Featured Event: Transforming the defence supply chain

Posted On: 
6th December 2018

Leidos have a 13-year contract with the MOD to help British SMEs supply the UK's troops

Stuart Andrew MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, and Julian Lewis MP

WHO

Leidos, a defense, aviation, IT, and research company. “We’re one of those brands that not many people have heard about,” says Matt Wiles, Chief Executive, Leidos UK. “And yet we’re actually a very big company.” 

Leidos is 292 on the Fortune 500 list, with 31,000 employees and a turnover of $10bn. Although it’s not very well known as a brand, its provenance comes from two major American corporations: Lockheed Martin, whose information business was acquired by Leidos in 2016, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). “Leidos is now one of the largest technical services provider to the US government,” Wiles says. “And in the UK we’re also a growing business, delivering innovative technology solutions aimed at safeguarding critical services and capabilities.”

WHAT

“Transforming the Defence Supply Chain,” an event in the Commons showcasing SME defence suppliers.

WHY

Leidos was awarded the UK Ministry of Defence Logistic Commodities & Services Transformation (LCST) contract in 2015, a 13-year £6.7bn contract. Their brief is to support the transformation of the UK’s defence supply chain. A key element of this transformation is the fundamental role of British SMEs to supply the UK’s troops at home and abroad, equipping them with everything they need to do their jobs.

HOW

By making it easier for new suppliers to engage with tender opportunities. For example, Leidos have helped simplify tender documentation so that bidders only need to provide the most essential information required to demonstrate their value. This reduces time spent on paperwork and improves the end-to-end tender process. 

Since the start of the LCST programme, SME suppliers have grown to just under 50% of the MOD’s total commodity supply chain, and nearly 60% of new on-contract suppliers are SMEs. “We’re making great strides in this endeavour,” says Wiles. “We’re really proud that the UK government’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority have graded us with a green rating for a major programme, so we’re doing something right."

WHAT THEY SAID

Stuart Andrew MP, Minister for Defence Procurement

“Make no mistake, [the MOD] is a very big operation. We’re up there with the biggest and the best in logistics.”

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good your equipment and platforms are if you can’t sustain them.”

“It’s about driving innovation. Some of the best ideas that come out of our defence and security accelerator initiative so far have been in logistics and supply.”

“At the MOD, we’re committed to supporting the vital work of smaller firms in our supply chains with an ambitious target of having 25 percent of our procurement spend with them by 2022.”

“We’re creating a thriving globally competitive defence sector as part of our wider industrial base, which continues to hit above its weight on the international stage.”

Matt Wiles, Chief Executive, Leidos UK

“We were attracted to the challenge of executing this large scale transformation. Make no mistake: it’s a difficult challenge. The LCST programme is not something we believe that many companies could deliver for their customer.”

“We’ve successfully procured over a billion pounds of products for the UK military using leading procurement techniques and strong governance with an effective process of engaging the market and driving equal opportunity across our suppliers.”

“The LCST programme is absolutely committed to making it easier for those suppliers to access the supply chain and engage with our tender opportunities.”

Julian Lewis MP

“From the point of view of a small endeavour, you don’t really want to be always worrying about where the next income stream is going to be coming from. You want to be able to get on with the job that you want to do, with what you see as your mission in life. Leidos enables these small and medium enterprises to get on with what they want to do by taking away the burden of having to deal with the monster – and I say that in neutral terms – of the MOD.”

“[Stuart] is new in his job, but he’s got off to a flying start and we’ve already had the pleasure of welcoming him to the defence select committee. Whether it was as much of a pleasure for him as it was for us, that remains to be seen.”