photo - Commercial Partnerships Sounding Board (Feb 2023)

Supply chain representatives gather for first Sounding Board as GBRTT explores simpler, better approaches to procurement

  • GBRTT held the first Commercial Partnerships Sounding Board on Thursday 9 February
  • It’s a new forum for supply chain businesses to input into the ongoing design of Great British Railways
  • Membership rotates broadly every six months to make sure a wide range of views and opinions are heard

Representing businesses from a mix of sizes and market sectors, ten senior leaders joined GBRTT for a lively discussion.

They were asked to answer two big questions: what needs to be true of rail’s new guiding mind, Great British Railways, to create the right environment for the private sector to deliver great value and innovation? And where can changes be made more quickly so that the supply chain can see and feel meaningful improvements on the day GBR stands up?

The conversation ranged from pipeline visibility and how the railway behaves as a client, to simplifying and demystifying procurement processes for SMEs.

It builds on conversations with the supply chain throughout 2022 about the role of the private sector. Businesses big and small have told GBRTT that the fragmented system we have now hampers value for money and gets in the way of innovation.

Almost 100 supply chain leaders expressed interest in joining the Sounding Board, following an open call.

The selection process was run independent of GBRTT for fairness, with the only control being to ensure SMEs and larger businesses are all represented. After five meetings with this team, the next cohort will be drawn in July this year from those organisations who have expressed interest.

The first cohort of representatives span market sectors from data and digital to infrastructure, stations and retail:

  • Dave Martyn, Contracts Director – Orton Group Electrical and Mechanical Services Ltd
  • Haydon Bartlett-Tasker, Managing Director – CrossTech
  • Jason Hurst, Partner – Grant Thornton
  • Kirstie Van Oerle, Partner – Netcompany
  • Krishna Samji, Bid Manager – Level 5
  • Michael Whitehouse, Chairman – Vintage Trains Limited
  • Nina Lockwood, Founder & Director – Intuitive Interim & Executive Search Limited
  • Niall McCarthy, Rail Development & Delivery Manager – Nestle UK
  • Noel Travers, Managing Director – Xrail Group
  • Peter Button, Business Development Director, Rail – WSP

Network Rail, RIA and Rail Supply Group representatives also joined as observers. Rail Forum were not able to attend this first meeting, but intend to join future sessions.