Thinking that goes BeyondLogistics for London Underground

Unipart Rail were invited to collaborate with London Underground to create a ‘Model Line’ satellite depot

Unipart Rail were invited to collaborate with London Underground to create a ‘Model Line’ satellite depot, handling London Underground’s infrastructure materials.

Bob Martin, London Underground’s Track and Signalling Warehouse Manager said the challenge was: “to establish London Road, one of the key operational centres in the city, as a platform from which to deliver best operational practice within the industry.”

Unipart Rail Expert Practitioners brought their logistics skills and experience together with London Underground’s knowledge of the industry; their combined expertise identified five areas that required their attention:

  • Better understanding of the quality and value of materials.
  • Identification of materials and their fitness for purpose.
  • Improvements in the storage and product layout of the depot.
  • Stricter standards on issues affecting Health and Safety.
  • Redesign of operational processes and controls.

The team created a carefully structured action programme, which brought together the latest thinking and operational practice to tackle each of the five problem areas.

The action programme included the introduction of a new inventory management system and the removal of any unwanted products. A new purpose-built racking system was installed and new ‘product flow’ procedures were bought in that identified and categorised products by usage rate.

The whole depot received a much needed ‘facelift’, to portray a clean and modern image.

The transformation was remarkable, and Unipart Rail and London Underground established the London Road depot as an industry benchmark in operational practice.

The new system provided London Underground with greater understanding of their ‘product flow’ procedures, and the practicality of the depot layout was dramatically improved.

London Underground is now planning to roll-out the use of this system into other depots.


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