They have been selected as finalists in the Partners in Expert Services (IT) category for their success in introducing an online supplier assessment and accreditation system for the FM industry.
Altius and SGP first partnered in 2008 to develop a robust supply chain compliance system, introduced initially to SGP's clients, including NCP, Pizza Hut, Arcadia Group and Punch Taverns. Since then, the Altius system has been adopted by many other businesses, including Morrisons, Airbus, Trust Inns, Selfridges and Questgates.
The Altius system, which integrates with SGP's back office processes, reduces client risk and liability by ensuring contractors working on client's premises are fully compliant against key measures. It was developed as a real-time web based assessment system that removes the risk of lapses in compliance. This dynamic model was selected rather than retrofitting a paper-based system to the web, which is the norm.
Five areas of assessment were developed across key business areas of risk management, commercial, corporate social responsibility, quality and customer service, with SPG determining that the first two areas would be mandatory, but the other three elective.
The system includes an online marketing showcase, enabling suppliers to display and share evidence of their competences with customers and prospects, and to potentially be awarded new business from within the SGP supply chain network, plus other client companies within the Altius network.
SGP and Altius have worked together to continually improve the system, including the introduction of email/SMS alerts to highlight changes in status, such as financial risk (via a live third party financial information feed). Regular web based reports provide prompts to ensure clients are in full control of vendor compliance.
Altius is also developing the system to work across new platforms, such as mobile and tablet devices. To further flex the system around the varied needs of FM suppliers, a new small contractor assessment process has been introduced to assess contractors who undertake low risk work where annual spend is of a low value.
Kevin Elliott, Managing Director of SGP, said: "The dynamic functionality of the Altius assessment programme has made an important impact on our business, reducing risk for our clients and to our own business. If an issue with a supplier should occur, SGP can access that particular supplier's information immediately. Our objective is to enhance our understanding of our suppliers further, introducing metrics for aligning their capabilities with the requirements of our clients both technically and culturally. "
Gary Plant, Managing Director of Altius Vendor Assessment, said: “Despite the fact that the Altius scheme was not initially mandatory for SGP suppliers, more than 93% signed up. This speaks volumes for our flexible, evidenced-based system that reduces the administrative burden faced by suppliers by distilling required information to the client environment they are working in and services they are providing. Clients specify their own assessment requirements and have all the up-to-date evidence and certification available to view online."
Altius and SGP will go through to the PFM Awards Final to be held The Brewery in London on 6 November, where they will compete against two other finalists in their category.