Serco has been awarded the prestigious Merlin Standard by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for "excellent" supply chain management. The company is now ranked first among 40 prime contractors having achieved the highest ever rating of 90%.
Serco, which currently manages two Work Programme contracts on behalf of the Department, outsources 100% of delivery to a diverse network of around 30 expert local organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors. This pioneering approach ensures that the voluntary and community sectors, which make up half its network, can participate fully in the welfare-to-work market and that jobseekers receive the tailored support they to help them secure sustainable employment.
Serco was the first prime contractor to receive the Merlin Standard back in 2012. The scheme, developed by DWP, is attracting growing interest from organisations outside of the welfare-to-work sector as it benchmarks excellence in supply chain management. Prime contractors are rigorously assessed against four key principles: supply chain design; commitment; conduct; and review. Submissions are checked and verified through interviews with a random selection of subcontractors.
This year, assessors highlighted significant strengths and areas of best practice in Serco's own supply change management including: the company's approach to the development and capacity building of supply chain partners through training, shadowing and best practice sharing; its clear approach to Performance Management, particularly the use of Management Information to inform and support consistent and regular reviews; its supportive and consultative approach to the implementation of policies and processes; and the innovative work around prison leavers to engage them more quickly and effectively with the Work Programme.Read more
Barbara Bradley, Serco's Managing Director for Citizen Services, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the Merlin Standard for the second time. A well-managed supply chain can deliver real results and the effective partnerships that we have established have supported over 26,000 long-term unemployed people back into work so far."
Serco's Gareth Matthews, Business Director for Welfare Services, added: "This is a fantastic achievement and I would like to thank our staff and subcontractors for all their hard work since the last assessment. The "excellent" rating reflects our commitment to working in partnership with the very best local providers to deliver a high-level of service to meet the diverse needs of our Work Programme customers".