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27.11.13

Simon Kirby outlines CP5 procurement strategy

Network Rail infrastructure projects boss Simon Kirby says the organisation’s strategic procurement strategy for the next control period will “up the game of the industry”.            

Speaking at a briefing this week, Kirby spoke of the concentration on the value-added offered by contractors and suppliers, as well as safety, legacy, equality and diversity – not just cost. “Very rarely is cost now the major determining factor in procurement”.

The strategy, which focuses on closer relationships with fewer key tier one suppliers, means more committed work and future visibility of what’s coming, ensuring fewer peaks and troughs. This will ultimately lower costs and improve efficiency across the whole industry, Kirby explained.

For those formerly tier one suppliers unable to achieve what’s now being demanded by Network Rail, the situation in CP5 – which begins next April – will be considering life as a tier two or a supplier of a different kind.

David McLoughlin, infrastructure projects’ finance and commercial director, said: “We’ve listened to the supply base, who’ve said the best way that [Network Rail] can get efficient and safe delivery out of us is to give us long-term frameworks with commitment. We subscribe to that, and think that’s the right thing, and that’s now what the basis of our contracting strategy is. We then expect to put pressure on and get the tier ones to do something similar with their own suppliers as well.”

For the full story on Network Rail’s procurement strategy for CP5 – and its effect on jobs and skills in the industry – see the Dec 2013 / Jan 2014 edition of Rail Technology Magazine. Subscribe at www.railtechnologymagazine.com

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