Coronavirus update for United Utilities suppliers

During these unprecedented times we are working closely with our supply chain to understand and manage the impact of the coronavirus on our business operations. It is our number one priority to make sure that water keeps flowing to the tap, toilets can be flushed and we’re there for customers. Our supply chain plays an important part in making this happen and we are working very closely with our suppliers to mitigate against any potential impacts to front line services where we can.

The situation evolves on a daily basis and United Utilities is working closely with Local Resilience Forums and Public bodies, while also following all the latest Government and Public Health England advice and guidance, ensuring we are prepared to safeguard employees, customers and our partners in delivering services. 

If you are a supplier to United Utilities and would like to discuss how you can help then please engage with your Commercial contact or the mailbox. Similarly, if you are a supplier to UU who’s operations has been significantly impacted by Covid-19 then please get in touch.

All queries relating to any payment or order related issues you may have should be directed to the Purchasing Team via United Utilities wants to ensure the stability and longevity of our supply chain during this period and are keen to work with our suppliers to both expedite payments and orders where applicable, but also to understand the full impacts of the pandemic on the operations of our supply chain.

We are therefore asking our suppliers to:

  •  Stay in touch
  • Take note of all communications issued by United Utilities
  • Keep up to date with the latest government guidance
  • Highlight any service disruptions and/or issues in your own organisations or supply chains
  • Remember that nothing we do is worth getting hurt for, and
  • Generally, keep yourselves safe as well as those around you.


Overview of the United Utilities commercial team

All our procurement activity is carried out by our commercial department, whose objective is to support our vision to be the best UK water and wastewater company, providing great service to our customers. We build relationships with our key partners and suppliers based on common values to achieve our goals.

We conduct business with around 2,500 suppliers every year, from major international corporations to sole traders. We are committed to meeting our obligations to our suppliers, measuring our progress whilst dealing fairly and ethically at all times.

Our approach to supply chain activity is based on category management which takes a long term holistic view of our demand, specifications and the supplier market to deliver the appropriate contract strategy. Throughout this process we’re encouraging commercial awareness from market to company and encouraging competition wherever necessary.

Our third party spend is around £1 billion per annum and consolidated into a number of categories which reflect similar commercial considerations and supply markets, with each category having a dedicated category delivery manager.

Supplier segmentation

Our supplier segmentation model splits suppliers into four segments: Partner, Strategic, Preferred and Approved. The model sets our expectations for the different segments against performance measures of: customer, regulatory/legal, sustainability/efficiency and health, safety and wellbeing. Those higher up the segmentation hierarchy receive greater scrutiny, for instance, regular meetings are undertaken with Partners to evaluate performance, plan future activity and manage performance issues.

Supplier segmentation model
Partners and Strategic suppliers account for a large proportion of our annual spend and are more critical in delivering our key services. Preferred suppliers provide goods and services accounting for a lower proportion of spend value and as such receive less interaction from our commercial team. Whilst approved suppliers are generally smaller, with shorter relationships that incorporate more local, one off transactions.

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Bid Assessment

Find out more information about the Bid Assessment Framework

Bid Assessment