Arcadis with Network Rail

Network Rail is embracing digital technology to improve capacity, safety and reliability across key routes on its network. The Digital Railway Programme (DRP) is an unprecedented and potentially disruptive transformation with existing procurement frameworks impeding its success.

Due to the innovative nature of the signalling and control technology to be procured, the DRP knew they needed to harness the knowledge and experience of supplier partners and change the way in which they procure their services. They also recognised the need to increase the supplier community’s knowledge about the transformation that digital technology would deliver to the railway.

Traditional procurement approaches contained constraints to achieving this – defined activities and procurement through established framework arrangements were inflexible and would not provide the innovative supplier input that they needed. A new solution was required.

Using extensive primary and secondary research methods, the team from Arcadis worked with key stakeholders to design a model that would facilitate innovation across the supply chain. This involved not only significant process change, but a behavioural shift to erode boundaries between suppliers who were not only used to competing – but also who had previously focused on delivering a predetermined solution rather than playing a role in designing it.

The resulting Joint Development Group (JDG) is successfully addressing the client’s challenge. It facilitates an open and collaborative model by connecting the right skills and competencies from a large supplier community – encompassing more than 150 supplier companies – with the digital railway project teams in DRP.

The JDG is an innovative procurement vehicle, enabling early supplier engagement in digital railway projects, supporting and informing new ways of working, creating opportunities to upskill the industry and ultimately achieve value for money in project delivery.

Furthermore, the JDG model – and the process behind its creation – represent a best-practice approach that could be scaled to meet similar transformative needs across other industries.

View the Arcadis company profile in the MCA Members Directory.