ADComms supports RIA-sponsored initiative

Date: February 2015

Jason Pearce, managing director of ADComms, recently presented the findings of a ground-breaking VIP pilot project at an event organised by the Railway Industry Association (RIA). The steering group represented by key customers (Network Rail, ATOC, LUL) sought to demonstrate how changing behaviours and culture can improve efficiency and performance, while reducing cost – a topic highly relevant to the challenges of Network Rail’s CP5 delivery plan.

As one of four VIP pilots part-funded by FutureRailway, the ADComms pilot working with Network Rail, clearly demonstrated the economic and delivery benefit of working collaboratively by seeking to break down the traditional supply chain model and promoting engagement more directly with SMEs. Pearce explained:

“While it is often difficult to measure the cost of non-collaborative work, its risk impact on the key issues of safety, program and cost overrun is undeniable.”

Peter Loosley, policy director and chair of RIA’s New VIP Steering Group, added:

“ADComms has taken the lead in one of our four pilot workshop programmes to promote the group, and has provided valuable insight into its relevance and applicability for SMEs. This uses externally facilitated workshops and an agreed industry code of practice to improve supply chain performance and efficiency through the embedding of more collaborative behaviours and cultures.”

Pearce outlined:

“Using our Derby Resignalling Scheme as a pilot project, we immediately saw how not working together with our key stakeholders would have not only quickly eroded our own margin, but also resulted in budget overrun for Network Rail. Failure to understand the relative issues for all stakeholders can quickly inflame situations resulting in aggressive variations, abortive costs and program recovery through incremental acceleration costs. So getting collaboration right at the outset on large, more complex projects, will realise benefits.

“Adopting the VIP process during the Derby project was not an immediate ‘silver bullet’ moment, but it has raised the profile of collaboration within our business, helping to change, fundamentally, how our staff want to work with our customers.”

With ADComms directly in front of all stakeholders through regular and productive program meetings, issues were able to be dealt with directly and immediately instead of through the potentially more protracted traditional Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 supply chain process.

The project will also be used to support ADComms’ journey to BS11000, helping improving internal working practices, and driving better performance.

Concluding his presentation at the RIA event, Pearce urged the industry to embrace the concept of collaboration, not demoting it as an optional extra on projects, and importantly to involve SMEs in the process.

“This type of pilot project provides the industry with vitally important experience and evidence as a basis for future best practice,” he said. “I am convinced that collaboration is one of the key challenges facing the rail sector over the next five years. It should be embraced by all as a means to give the industry the best opportunity to deliver to plan. This needs to include SMEs, not just the big players in the complex supply chain.”

Closing, Peter Loosley, added,

“We very much look forward to Jason’s continued representation of SME interests in the group as we go forward.”

To find out more about the Derby Synergy Signalling Scheme pilot, please contact ADComms on 01724 292 200.

For more information, please contact St John White or Natalia Gameson at Prova on 01926 776900.