Award-winning collaboration approach results in 20% savings in procurement process | Case Studies

Thames Water

Award-winning collaboration approach results in 20% savings in procurement process.

The Brief

When the regulator fired the starting gun for major infrastructure improvements to be delivered by 2025, Thames Water wanted to get ahead of the crowd with a robust procurement process that would secure the best supply chain partners.

This process had to be based on stronger commitments than traditional, cost-based contractual models.

They worked with JCP to develop a behavioural assessment process that would:

  • Be consistent and transparent, based on clear capabilities
  • Attract a best-in-class team where all members share the same values and behaviours.
  • Develop a long-term relationship with the winning partners to ensure shared efficiencies from the outset and for the duration.

The Approach

JCP developed an in-depth procurement process based on behavioural assessments to identify the best team for the job based on behaviours and cultural fit as well as best value. The framework was based on securing partners for the new AMP period that would share risk and rewards, and focus on a successful outcome from procurement to planning and delivery.

Specifically the approach:

  • Placed a high weighting on a behavioural assessment of applicants at all levels, from on-the-ground operatives to senior executives.
  • Deployed assessment methods tailored to suit executives and operatives, including workshops, behavioural biography submissions and leadership team interviews.
  • Put in place a clear framework of the objectives and deliverables for the long term, putting Thames Water and their chosen partners in the best place to meet any future challenges during the management and delivery stages of the project.

The Result

  • Thames Water reduced its procurement process from 18 months to just four months.
  • By circumventing the need for a costly bid process, Thames Water has reduced costs to itself and its partners already.
  • The short and efficient alliance-based approach has secured Thames Water the best experts in the industry to carry out the refurbishment programme over the next 10-12 years.
  • The UK Cabinet Office singled out the approach as a best practice which delivers savings to the taxpayer.
  • The alliance team (named Eight20), received a Construction News award nomination for supply chain excellence.
Thames Water logo


"JCP have helped us deliver a behavioural procurement process that met this challenge as well as being both robust and speedy. Working collaboratively with us they quickly produced a process that was rated as excellent by both ourselves and the bidders. We look forward to working with JCP in an on-going way as they support our alliance in a way of working that has collaboration at its heart."

"We have procured an option to offer the longest contract term ever awarded by Thames Water. Rather than taking a purely commercial and technical approach, we have focused on behaviour by putting our people and our partners' people through interviews, site visits and workshops. This process has reduced the procurement process from up to 18 months to four and has significantly lowered the cost of bidding for the bidders involved."

Tim Coles, Head of Capital Procurement at Thames Water

For More Information Contact:

JCP Press Office on: 01252 711025
JCP Website:

Download a PDF version

Partnerships & Memberships

Major Projects Association
Crown Commercial Service Supplier
Institute of Civil Engineers