“INITIATIVE rich but action poor” – that’s how our industry has been described. There has certainly been no shortage of ideas about how we can improve our methods of working to take cost out of the supply chain; but sometimes the pace of the uptake of initiatives leaves more than a little to be desired.
Take, for example, the Supply Chain Code of Practice, to which almost all the big names in the UKCS are signatories. Now in its seventh year, the code remains “aspirational” and no organisation can claim to be fully compliant. The code covers aspects such as use of standard contracts and model invitation to tenders, the fair and consistent use of First Point Assessment and, perhaps highest on the agenda of SMEs, adherence to the 30-days payment cycle. Each year, Oil & Gas UK monitors compliance to the code by means of a survey, and the most recent report noted that “there has been a moderate decline in the parameters used to assess compliance”.
While this may sound bad, the statement masks a number of very positive facts about this sector. Firstly, it is an unusually well co-ordinated industry with a number of sharing initiatives such as the annual Share Fairs, Vantage POB and FPAL. The survey noted that 42% of invoices were settled in 30 days and, while this needs to be improved on, it is a figure that almost every other British industry would envy. Corruption is almost unheard of now, whereas a Chartered Institute of Building survey in 2006 found that 41% of respondents had been offered a bribe.
So we are pretty good at “walking the talk”; but, we believe, in no way complacent. The FPAL steering committee wants to redouble its efforts in 2009 to promote the consistent use of the supply chain’s North Sea gateway, especially with the advent of the new FPAL Advanced Registration, which promises to take further cost out of the supply chain.
Visit www.fpal.com for more about what the FPAL Advanced Registration can do for you