TMS Support Solutions

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by TMS Support Solutions's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from TMS Support Solutions is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.tmsss.com

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | SYSTEM BUILDING SERVICES
Why is all this important?
Our industry has warned that the
slackness in this system would cause a
major catastrophe, and this has now
happened with the Grenfell Tower fire.
The structural stability was fine, but the
spread of fire from the compartment
of origin was swift and deadly in the
worst possible way. The requirements
of the regulations were clearly not met,
and the failures within the structure will
be the basis of criminal prosecutions.
We await the outcome of the public
inquiry with sadness, knowing that it
could all have been avoided.
Comments in previous editions of
The
Parliamentary Review
point out that
the construction industry works on
one to three per cent margins and so
risk is passed down the contract chain.
Another specialist contractor writing
in the
Review
said: “People are cutting
corners just to beat us and that is not
good enough. If it takes a serious injury
for things to change then it is already
too late.” Grenfell would appear to
have happened because many similar
warnings were ignored, the risks
passed down and many corners cut.
We are now finding major property
companies examining their projects
and building stock to see if they do
actually fall short of the requirements
as Grenfell obviously did. Specialist
inspectors are being employed
to check the accuracy of the risk
assessments that are in place, and local
authority building control bodies are
being more attentive to the credentials
of the materials being used.
SBS has followed the advice in ADB
and established our company as a
FIRAS-accredited installer of all types of
PFP; we have a detailed QA system and
keep auditable records of our work to
show our clients, their insurers and the
authorities how our work complies with
the requirements. As a FIRAS contractor
we only use third-party certificated
products as recommended in ADB. This
Best Practice system has allowed us
to complete work on such projects as
Wembley Stadium, The Royal London
Hospital, The Temperate House at Kew
Gardens and 135 Bishopsgate.
It is our opinion that the construction
industry needs major reform with
regard to fire and public safety, and
we applaud the recommendations
made recently by Dame Judith Hackitt
with this objective in mind.
It is our
opinion that
the
construction
industry needs
major reform
with regard to
fire and public
safety
Passive fire protection to
a very high decorative
standard at the Olympic
Visitors Centre in the
rapidly-evolving heart of
east London
47TMS SUPPORT SOLUTIONS |
AEROSPACE, DEFENCE & SECURITY
TMS is a premier technical
support provider to the MoD
Director Theresa Cannon
Based in Lincolnshire, TMS Support Solutions Ltd is an
engineering service support company supplying both the
defence and commercial sectors. Founded by Brian Cannon
in 1991, after he had spent a full career in the army, the company
is now managed by Brian’s children, Theresa and Timothey. It is
one of the few remaining privately and family-owned businesses
in the sector, and it prides itself on delivering tailored, agile
solutions to even the most complex of customer requirements.
Directors Theresa and Timothey Cannon explain more.
With around 50 staff, of whom 70 per cent are ex-forces engineers, we provide
product through-life support, planning and management services to include all
aspects of technical documentation as well as training, software and safety and
environmental services. We work directly with the Ministry of Defence and with
larger prime contractors such as BAE Systems, Raytheon and Terberg DTS.
The problem
The issues in our industry include fierce competition and shrinking defence
investment in equipment support, the MoD’s appetite for purchasing capital
equipment from overseas suppliers, numerous government Strategic Defence
Reviews, a £20-billion defence deficit, and other external threats, such as the
unknowns of Brexit throughout 2018 and 2019. Small and medium-sized
enterprises like us therefore have to continuously adapt, innovate and evolve
to remain in business. Wheth er expanding their portfolio of product offerings,
investing beyond the horizon into new sectors or just becoming more agile, every
FACTS ABOUT
TMS SUPPORT SOLUTIONS
»Directors: Theresa and
Timothey Cannon
»Founded in 1991
»Based in Lincolnshire
»Services: Support engineering
»No. of employees: 50
»Over 70 per cent of employees
are veterans
TMS Support Solutions
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | TMS SUPPORT SOLUTIONS
SME has had to re-evaluate its priorities
in order to remain a relevant entity in a
very large organism.
Coupled with this is the MoD’s and
wider government’s drive to pass more
risk and cost onto industry – quite
fairly, you might say, as it is their job to
get the best deal for the taxpayer, after
all. Unfortunately, like so many things
in life, what looks good on paper does
not quite turn out as wonderful in
reality, and it is the SMEs that suffer
the most.
A prime example is the establishment
of the engineering delivery partnership,
or EDP, a consortium headed by three
industry giants. The EDP was set up
as a result of the MoD’s defence
equipment and support organisation’s
requirement to streamline engineering
contracts and, of course, to save the
MoD money. The EDP is a ten-year
contract with an estimated value in
excess of £1 billion. Three leading
defence prime contractors established
Aurora Engineering Partnership and
held their own pre-qualification
survey to enable suppliers to join the
consortium. This came at a significant
cost for SMEs, with weeks spent
completing the questionnaire and
addressing additional insurance
requirements – amounting to over
£7,000, despite the fact that the
insurance had never previously been
a prerequisite for MoD contracts –
all in order to be allowed to bid on
opportunities that the SMEs had full
access to just a month previously.
And then the twist: Aurora Engineering
Partnership not only mark SMEs’
responses to MoD opportunities, but
they themselves are also allowed to
bid – ipso facto marking their own
homework. It follows that if you
are an SME that provides the same
services as one of the main Aurora
Partners, there is little opportunity
for work, perhaps at least until they
achieve a critical mass. The fair and
equitable competition, delivering best-
value, quality SME services and the
transparency typically associated with
government contracts, seems to have
disappeared overnight. This is just one
example – such frameworks seem to
be becoming the norm in defence and
are increasing across many sectors.
The solution
Adapt, innovate, become more agile
and network. The aim is to have your
fingers in as many pies as possible. But
let’s start with adapt. First, acceptance
is required that this is the way of
the world and that no SME wields
enough power to make a change.
With frameworks and consortia being
created monthly, it is very easy to
blink and miss an opportunity. And if
you miss it, you risk losing out for the
duration of that agreement – anything
from three to ten years. Therefore, it
is mandatory to have a dedicated staff
member scouring the internet, the
procurement portals and news sites to
keep aware of current and upcoming
frameworks, consortia and tenders.
At the same time, networking is as
important as ever. Attending industry
days, expos and shows, meet-the-
buyer events, and plain old door-to-
door meetings are vital actions for
SMEs. Being a known entity among
the prime contractors holds the
With headquarters in
Lincolnshire, TMS also
operates two additional
sites
We work
directly with
the Ministry of
Defence and
with larger
prime
contractors
such as BAE
Systems,
Raytheon and
Rolls-Royce
49TMS SUPPORT SOLUTIONS |
AEROSPACE, DEFENCE & SECURITY
same significance as having a good
reputation. We exhibit at the most
industry-relevant shows, where the
main objective is not to sell but to
beseen.
Our business development team
has learnt the importance of
communication among themselves,
each having a dedicated task while
everyone else knows what they’re
working on. The days of “knowledge
is power”, where people cling onto
their specific task, unwilling to share,
are long gone. For the good of the
business, working as a team is vital
and also saves time and money by not
having multiple people chasing the
same leads.
We also chose to take the innovation
route and digitise the workplace,
developing a suite of mobile and
desktop applications ranging from
risk mitigation and safety reporting
to spares ordering and asset
management. “Stop, look, assess,
mitigate” is a risk mitigation mobile
app that allows employees to easily
record, assess and manage hazards
and risks. Through its instant,
auditable record-keeping, it ensures
that employees comply with company
health and safety policy and follow
correct safety procedures.
The safety event reporting app, or SERA,
allows immediate accident reporting,
thereby mitigating the memory blur
often associated with trying to revisit
an accident that has been reported
at a later date. SERA also delivers
instant notification to management
and provides fully auditable reports on
demand. These applications and others
have been successfully deployed by the
engineers of one of the large defence
consortiums. Working closely with
the engineers and collecting customer
feedback has allowed us to customise
the apps to clients’ exact requirements
and also provides a seamless bug-
fixingroute.
The future
We are continuously looking beyond
defence. Although the company has
extensive experience in the delivery of
support services to the defence and
oil-and-gas industries, our focus is to
expand our portfolio of digital services
into these sectors while looking
to other potential markets such as
agriculture, health and construction.
With every company looking to cut
costs and streamline processes, we
feel it is the perfect opportunity to
introduce our solution.
While this offers exciting prospects, we
remain fully committed to delivering
our core services to the high standards
we have perfected over the past 28
years. The company was founded with
the goal of serving our forces, and we
hope to continue to do so for many
years to come.
Adapt,
innovate,
become more
agile and
network
TMS have been proudly
supporting our armed
forces since 1991
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | TMS SUPPORT SOLUTIONS
SME has had to re-evaluate its priorities
in order to remain a relevant entity in a
very large organism.
Coupled with this is the MoD’s and
wider government’s drive to pass more
risk and cost onto industry – quite
fairly, you might say, as it is their job to
get the best deal for the taxpayer, after
all. Unfortunately, like so many things
in life, what looks good on paper does
not quite turn out as wonderful in
reality, and it is the SMEs that suffer
the most.
A prime example is the establishment
of the engineering delivery partnership,
or EDP, a consortium headed by three
industry giants. The EDP was set up
as a result of the MoD’s defence
equipment and support organisation’s
requirement to streamline engineering
contracts and, of course, to save the
MoD money. The EDP is a ten-year
contract with an estimated value in
excess of £1 billion. Three leading
defence prime contractors established
Aurora Engineering Partnership and
held their own pre-qualification
survey to enable suppliers to join the
consortium. This came at a significant
cost for SMEs, with weeks spent
completing the questionnaire and
addressing additional insurance
requirements – amounting to over
£7,000, despite the fact that the
insurance had never previously been
a prerequisite for MoD contracts –
all in order to be allowed to bid on
opportunities that the SMEs had full
access to just a month previously.
And then the twist: Aurora Engineering
Partnership not only mark SMEs’
responses to MoD opportunities, but
they themselves are also allowed to
bid – ipso facto marking their own
homework. It follows that if you
are an SME that provides the same
services as one of the main Aurora
Partners, there is little opportunity
for work, perhaps at least until they
achieve a critical mass. The fair and
equitable competition, delivering best-
value, quality SME services and the
transparency typically associated with
government contracts, seems to have
disappeared overnight. This is just one
example – such frameworks seem to
be becoming the norm in defence and
are increasing across many sectors.
The solution
Adapt, innovate, become more agile
and network. The aim is to have your
fingers in as many pies as possible. But
let’s start with adapt. First, acceptance
is required that this is the way of
the world and that no SME wields
enough power to make a change.
With frameworks and consortia being
created monthly, it is very easy to
blink and miss an opportunity. And if
you miss it, you risk losing out for the
duration of that agreement – anything
from three to ten years. Therefore, it
is mandatory to have a dedicated staff
member scouring the internet, the
procurement portals and news sites to
keep aware of current and upcoming
frameworks, consortia and tenders.
At the same time, networking is as
important as ever. Attending industry
days, expos and shows, meet-the-
buyer events, and plain old door-to-
door meetings are vital actions for
SMEs. Being a known entity among
the prime contractors holds the
With headquarters in
Lincolnshire, TMS also
operates two additional
sites
We work
directly with
the Ministry of
Defence and
with larger
prime
contractors
such as BAE
Systems,
Raytheon and
Rolls-Royce
49TMS SUPPORT SOLUTIONS |
AEROSPACE, DEFENCE & SECURITY
same significance as having a good
reputation. We exhibit at the most
industry-relevant shows, where the
main objective is not to sell but to
beseen.
Our business development team
has learnt the importance of
communication among themselves,
each having a dedicated task while
everyone else knows what they’re
working on. The days of “knowledge
is power”, where people cling onto
their specific task, unwilling to share,
are long gone. For the good of the
business, working as a team is vital
and also saves time and money by not
having multiple people chasing the
same leads.
We also chose to take the innovation
route and digitise the workplace,
developing a suite of mobile and
desktop applications ranging from
risk mitigation and safety reporting
to spares ordering and asset
management. “Stop, look, assess,
mitigate” is a risk mitigation mobile
app that allows employees to easily
record, assess and manage hazards
and risks. Through its instant,
auditable record-keeping, it ensures
that employees comply with company
health and safety policy and follow
correct safety procedures.
The safety event reporting app, or SERA,
allows immediate accident reporting,
thereby mitigating the memory blur
often associated with trying to revisit
an accident that has been reported
at a later date. SERA also delivers
instant notification to management
and provides fully auditable reports on
demand. These applications and others
have been successfully deployed by the
engineers of one of the large defence
consortiums. Working closely with
the engineers and collecting customer
feedback has allowed us to customise
the apps to clients’ exact requirements
and also provides a seamless bug-
fixingroute.
The future
We are continuously looking beyond
defence. Although the company has
extensive experience in the delivery of
support services to the defence and
oil-and-gas industries, our focus is to
expand our portfolio of digital services
into these sectors while looking
to other potential markets such as
agriculture, health and construction.
With every company looking to cut
costs and streamline processes, we
feel it is the perfect opportunity to
introduce our solution.
While this offers exciting prospects, we
remain fully committed to delivering
our core services to the high standards
we have perfected over the past 28
years. The company was founded with
the goal of serving our forces, and we
hope to continue to do so for many
years to come.
Adapt,
innovate,
become more
agile and
network
TMS have been proudly
supporting our armed
forces since 1991

www.tmsss.com

This article was sponsored by TMS Support Solutions. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster