Crossrail has procured 116 major contracts, with a combined value of more than £8 billion. As well as the main works packages, this included enabling or advance works, various frameworks, the design contracts, many disparate services, and notably the contract to design, build and maintain the trains which was procured on behalf of Transport for London as the operator of Crossrail.
The programme scale, complexity and schedule ultimately drove Crossrail to ‘industrialise’ the processes used. A procurement production line was mobilised to deliver this through 3 main components,
- Planning, strategy and assurance
- Procurement Delivery
- Procurement Operations
For added assurance Crossrail established a ‘Procurement Expert Panel’ which reviewed the policies and processes adopted and provided a challenge throughout the execution of the major procurement processes.
Key lessons from the procurement activity have been in:
- Evaluating the results of market sounding in the context of the broader influences and potential future trends.
- Structuring packages to suit capability and optimise risk allocation
- Designing Works Information to accommodate broader ‘outcome’ criteria
- Utilising the Expert Panel for stronger assurance.
- Developing the entire market – not just the immediate tier 1 players – to achieve greater inclusion and economic sustainability
The extensive case study Crossrail Procurement Delivery sets out the procurement processes established and the development of the ‘six pillars’ model, and explains the lessons learned by Crossrail in delivering this major procurement programme.