Case Study: Constructionline

Lychgate research study informs Capita’s successful bid for the purchase of Constructionline

The Challenge

Constructionline is the UK’s leading procurement and supply chain management service. Constructionline, previously run by Capita on behalf of the Government, was acquired for £35m by Capita in January 2015. The scheme is used by some 8,000 construction buyers and over 23,000 contractors and consultants.

Constructionline has used Lychgate over a seven year period to successfully help drive both service and market developments, in addition to more general buyer reviews.

In 2013, Capita enlisted Lychgate to help identify emerging trends within public and private sector construction procurement. The research would be used to understand how Constructionline could be further developed to continue satisfying buyers changing needs. In addition, Capita wanted to understand how perceptions of the brand and service had changed since Lychgate’s first engagement in 2010.


The Approach

Through close consultation with the client, Lychgate designed a research study involving two stages to capture both quantitative and qualitative feedback.

The first was to organise and facilitate two sets of focus groups with a different set of questions for private and public sector buyers to reflect their different drivers and purchasing processes. Public sector focus groups were organised at different locations across the UK to identify any regional trends and variances.


Focus groups took the form of a structured workshop to encourage lively debate exploring strategic and operational procurement issues. Also included were exercises to get participants thinking about how their role could change in the future and how they foresaw Constructionline evolving to support them.

Based on the focus group findings, the second stage involved designing and conducting a telephone survey addressing topics that came to light during the discussions, whilst asking historical questions to understand how perceptions of Constructionline had changed. Utilizing their extensive database, along with Constuctionline’s contacts, Lychgate carried out 200 interviews with a cross-section of clients and prospects to obtain feedback on a larger scale.

The Outcome

The results were used to support Capita’s successful bid for the purchase of Constructionline in 2015 and have been fundamental in shaping the service’s business strategy, which includes some exciting future developments.

“I was yet again impressed with the quality of Lychgate’s team, their research processes and end results. They took the time to get under the skin of our business and the specific research objectives, and the final report gave us some interesting insight, a good view of our market position and actions we can take to improve. I would recommend Lychgate to any business within the construction industry, they are immersed in the industry, highly knowledgeable and professional plus always a pleasure to work with.”

Philip Prince

Sales & Marketing Director, Constructionline