Faster, better. cheaper – Unipart cuts rail repair stock by 95%, and improves performance

‘Faster and better costs more’ – that’s a perception that pervades business.

So when rail suppliers meet their obligations to Network Rail at extremely short notice, it’s surely going to be more expensive?

Not if it’s done The Unipart Way.

Instead, it resulted in a 95% reduction in stockholding and £140,000 reduction in value of stock held, while availability and performance actually increased.

Balfour Beatty manages rail renewals for Network Rail in the South East and Great Eastern regions of the UK rail network. The £115 million-a-year Network Rail contract sometimes involved renewal work at very short notice.

It meant Balfour Beatty held a vast amount of stock “just in case”, when a big element of Unipart’s modus operandi is based on “just in time”.

Balfour Beatty asked Unipart Rail to provide an integrated solution that would help Balfour Beatty improve its contract performance for Network Rail while also reducing costs. If Unipart Rail got it wrong, then Balfour Beatty could incur massive penalties, as well as running the risk of not having the contract extended.

The signalling renewals portion of the contract was identified for the pilot solution, as it’s a critical element in terms of performance.

The first thing Unipart Rail did was to identify the precise material requirements for the renewal work. Focus on the exact needs almost immediately eliminated over-stocking and over-ordering of materials ‘just in case’.

Unipart Rail then used its ‘Remote Warehouse’, on-line ordering and stock management system and had all the materials sourced through them. This significantly reduced Balfour Beatty’s procurement, finance and warehousing overheads and processes, reducing its overall material costs for the renewals work. Cost savings and efficiency were delivered through the use of Unipart Rail’s consignment stock, which was only invoiced when used.

Unipart Rail also dedicated a Planning Manager to be responsible for managing any unforeseen or urgent requirements, who also reassessed the customer needs to continuously improve the service provided to Balfour Beatty.

Performance so improved under the stewardship of Unipart Rail, that Balfour Beatty asked them to look at how and where else Unipart Rail could increase efficiency and cost savings.

To read the case study, click here.