Finning joins defence support group bid consortium

32196 Carillion

FINNING, the UK and Ireland Caterpillar dealer, has joined the newly formed Defence Equipment Services Limited’s (DESL) bid to acquire the Defence Support Group (DSG) from the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

DESL is a new entrant to the UK defence engineering service market, backed by companies including Finning, Carillion, Ryder and Caterpillar. Each of the four companies will provide key expertise to DESL, with Finning set to provide the heavy engineering capability. This will include access to its substantial footprint of workshop facilities in the UK, Canada and other overseas territories, in which the British Army is present.

In addition to Carillion’s business transformation experience, DESL will also benefit from the world-class automotive manufacturing, fleet management, production planning processes and systems capabilities of Caterpillar and Ryder.

The aim of DESL will be to transform DSG from a transactional provider of equipment servicing, maintenance, repair, overhaul and spare parts supplier into an agile and responsive MoD partner. This will be achieved through the development of a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the Army, in order to provide the equipment which formations and units require, in the right location, at the right time and in the required condition or state.

Finning’s Divisional General Manager, Gary Burden, explained, “Having worked with the MoD supporting numerous platforms for many years, we saw an opportunity to play a key role in DESL, helping to bring a new entrant into the sector. DESL is the right partner for our armed forces, they have the aptitude and capability to deliver future support as and when required; no matter how demanding. As a new entrant into the sector, DESL is not bound by the traditional assumptions of established defence contractors; it will bring commercial best practice, innovation and a competitive edge to the sector.

“With all of the members of DESL having experience in delivering consistently high standards of customer service, quality products and high responsiveness to customer needs, DESL will be well placed to build a culture of personal accountability and engagement. This will ultimately help to build on the excellent DSG capabilities and further transform it into a high performing organisation.

“In addition to our services and facilities, we are relishing the opportunity, should we be successful, for mutual training and development, working with future DESL employees, sharing best practice and enhancing skills to the benefit of all involved. Our strong training and apprenticeship programme will also help to support the continued development of the highly skilled engineers the defence and plant sectors need in the future.”