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Rail boost for SMEs

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Network Rail is looking at ways to work more effectively with small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The infrastructure company, a major customer for plant hirers and specialist equipment suppliers, is considering how to achieve the UK Government’s target of 33% of its annual expenditure to be spent via SMEs by 2022.

The new action plan focuses on six areas of improvement: engagement, pre-procurement, procurement, contract management, supplier management and innovation. Bodies consulted on the proposals included the Railway Industry Contractors Association and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association. ‘Meet the Buyer’ events will be held to increase face-to-face discussions with suppliers and a network of regional SME ‘champions’ is to be appointed.

A spokesman said: “The steps we are taking will make us easier to do business with, from simplifying our processes and providing clarity on what we want from suppliers, to better supplier management, clearer sourcing pipelines and a move away from zero-value frameworks.”

The rail company has increased its annual expenditure with SMEs by 5% in the last three years to 30%.

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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 12/1/2020