COMS supply chain work with Sellafield

COMS supply chain work with Sellafield

Sellafield recently released their Small and Medium Enterprises Action Plan 2021, which sets out how they are providing opportunities for SMEs to do business in their supply chain.

Cumbria O&M Services (COMS) are one such SME that have been working within Sellafield for several years and have been able to take advantage of the opportunities that the nuclear power plant provides.

COMS have a team of professional engineers, technicians and operations specialists who undertake support services in highly regulated industries across the UK; specialising in operations and maintenance support to operational facilities and pre-operations and commissioning support to projects.

In the action plan, 75% of organisations thought that doing business with Sellafield was difficult. However, through the LINC (Liaise, Innovate, Network, Collaborate) scheme, which launched back in 2017, many SMEs including COMS have proved that it is possible to bid, relatively straightforwardly, for work with both Sellafield direct and their Tier 2 suppliers and become part of the Sellafield supply chain.

Cliff Woodman, Business Director of COMS was recently invited by Cumbria Business Growth Hub to share COMS’ experiences with other SMEs looking at how they can work with the Sellafield supply chain.

Cliff outlined that it was really important for any potential supplier to understand the commercial routes that Sellafield and their Tier 2 suppliers work by.  This includes the various procurement portals such as CTM & CCS as well as initiatives for SMEs such as LINC with Sellafield. Plus, an understanding of the awarded frameworks and the collaborations or individual companies who hold them.  COMS now deliver scope under various frameworks, projects and initiatives, so have a good understanding of the procurement routes and processes to follow when bidding for new opportunities.

Earning trust and demonstrating you will be a reliable sub-contractor are key factors when pitching for any work with new clients. There is often strict guidance regarding risk, so it is important to really understand this and demonstrate that risk minimisation is inherent in your business systems. COMS operate to a comprehensive Business Management System which incorporates ISO9001, 45001 and 14001.  Their various policies, procedures and processes are strictly adhered to and regularly audited to ensure they can demonstrate readiness and can commence activities as soon as a contract is awarded.

As a result of really understanding the procedures and systems that the supply chain work to and having earned that trust is a great advantage for COMS in ensuring success when bidding for new and ongoing contracts.  The most recent £2.6 million multi-year contract that COMS secured through the Tier 2 LINC scheme with Morgan Sindall, demonstrates that SMEs are capable of winning opportunities and growing within the Sellafield Supply Chain.