Case Study: MSP & Supply Chain Audit

Case Study: MSP & Supply Chain Audit

Case Study: MSP & Supply Chain Audit

Tilbury Douglas is a leading UK building, infrastructure, engineering and fit-out company. They deliver vital projects across a range of sectors, including, health, education, highways, justice, defence, aviation, water and environment.
About Tilbury Douglas

Tilbury Douglas is a leading UK building, infrastructure, engineering and fit-out company. They deliver vital projects across a range of sectors, including, health, education, highways, justice, defence, aviation, water and environment. 

Project: Full recruitment partnership, including MSP and supply chain audit

Geographical footprint: UK

Number of employees: 540

Turnover: £630 million

Impellam has worked with Tilbury Douglas for many years and has chosen to stay with the group due to our sector expertise and our passion for the sector. Having had a Neutral Vendor contract in place with another of Impellam’s brands, the organisation transitioned to an MSP with Carbon60 in November ’20.

In this case study we focus on two aspects of our working relationship with Tilbury Douglas. Part one comprised our consultancy services where we undertook a comprehensive audit of their supply chain in preparation for the MSP. In part two, we detail the activity put in place under the MSP and the results we’ve seen so far. 

Consultancy - Supply Chain Audit

After deciding to move to an MSP, Tilbury Douglas required an in-depth review of their existing supply chain. As we’d now be a first-tier supplier, Carbon60 ‘s first task was to re-evaluate suppliers one by one.

Our dedicated compliance team found that most suppliers were well established, but many were no longer suitable for Tilbury Douglas’ needs. Some were inactive or unable to meet requirements, often because of the effects of the pandemic on the market. Our audit was focused on suppliers’ performance, geographical footprint, and specialisms. With a rigid checklist in place, failure to make the grade or agree to the new terms resulted in removal from the supply chain.

Very quickly, Carbon60’s auditing capabilities resulted in a top-performing supply chain for Tilbury Douglas which is now perfectly aligned to their needs. Suppliers have been chosen for their regional and/or specialist focus and in instances where Carbon60 needs tier-two support, we’re able to call upon a much smaller, but more engaged and fit-for-purpose supply chain.

The chain, now filled with local suppliers, helps to plug any carbon60 regional gaps and has a whole host of additional benefits, including:

  • Improved health and safety compliance
  • More diverse talent pools
  • Faster response on time-critical projects
  • Greater control of the supply chain and associated contracts
  • Fewer contingent staffing requirements

MSP - Sector Specialist

Tilbury Douglas’ previous Neutral Vendor contract was no longer working for them. The engagement was low, as was the volume of roles. They decided to appoint a sector specialist who would partner with hiring managers, build strong relationships, and drive their recruitment processes forward.

Carbon60 got straight to work on putting a specialist team in place. These sector experts were based on Tilbury Douglas’ site where they could not only become deeply embedded with our client’s organisation but could also manage the practicalities of the recruitment process, such as welcoming and guiding visiting candidates.

The pre-existing NV agreement had been concentrated around managing and delegating to the supply chain, but our new MSP agreement was much more about living and breathing Tilbury Douglas’ culture. Continuous client contact meant we could showcase our passion and sector expertise to provide a personal experience for both candidates and Tilbury Douglas.

Often, we’d overbook requirements to mitigate risk. If seven roles were needed, we’d book ten and agree to cover any additional cost, so that in the event of unreliability we’d put our relationship with Tilbury Douglas first. Our priority is finding solutions for our clients.

 This was a large, high-volume contract responsible for processing c.£15m of business for Carbon60 annually. Yet, underpinning this MSP was a straightforward, transparent agreement. It provided hiring managers with control and added value, and senior stakeholders (such as Procurement leaders and Operations Directors) gained additional insight via weekly MI on their contract workforce.

“Alongside the more typical recruitment services you may expect under this kind of agreement, our partnership has brought innovation, collaboration, and opportunities to explore and develop new solutions and ways of working. The outcome has seen some excellent results.”

Bernadette Jackson, Procurement & Supply Chain Manager 

The overall outcome has been extremely positive, and we’re pleased to share the following statistics:


  • 13% of roles are now being worked - previously it was only 5%
  • Role fulfilment has risen from close to 0% to 88% by year 2, against a target of 60%
  • Approx. £180k was saved in year 1
  • We successfully mobilised a new programme during the pandemic, mitigating the complexities around IR35 and Brexit and talent supply, all under the existing MSP.

Despite our long-term relationship with Tilbury Douglas, our most recent work has broken down any remaining barriers and has allowed us to form a true partnership. We’ve exceeded a transactional relationship and have used our expertise to help transform the organisation’s talent strategy.  We’re proud to now work seamlessly with Tilbury Douglas on innovative solutions that we hope will continue to support the business's ongoing success for many years to come.  

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