ICN helps maximise local content
When it was announced that John Holland Rail (JHR) would become the first accredited private rail transport operator of the government-owned heavy rail network in New South Wales, the company enlisted the support of ICN to connect with regional suppliers in readiness for the take-up of the network.
The 10-year contract involves the operation, management, maintenance and upgrade of the NSW Country Regional Network (CRN) which includes 2386 kilometres of operational freight and passenger lines and 3139 kilometres of non-operational lines. JHR will deliver the full scope of rail asset management services, including network operations, signalling, structures and major periodic maintenance.
Considering the challenges involved in the take-up of a fully operational 6000 kilometre heavy rail network, when JHR responded to the tender in 2010, the company’s bid team enlisted the help of ICN in NSW to collaborate in developing an Australian and New Zealand Small to Medium Enterprise Participation Plan (ANZSMEPP) as well as the development of an efficient supply chain.
Deputy director ICN NSW Peter Webster explains that ANZSMEPP is a form of a local industry participation plan that identifies appropriate local suppliers and provides them with reasonable opportunities to bid for work.
“ICN plays a key role with local industry participation plans to maximise opportunities for Australian and NZ small to medium enterprises. ICN’s Gateway broadcasts opportunities to local industry with our consultants also actively seeking capable companies to advise them that these opportunities exist," Webster says.
JHR integrated support manager Chris Fitzgerald says the development of a strong ANZSMEPP was a must for the project as it was a requirement of the NSW Local Jobs First Policy and a major factor in the NSW Government’s rigorous tender requirements.
“Part of the challenge for us has been finding the right people in the right places to supply the services we require and this is where partnering with ICN’s NSW office has added value for us,’ Fitzgerald says.
ICN helped JHR to draft a practical plan that maximised scope for JHR to connect with regional suppliers, with JHR advertising in Dubbo, Bathurst, Tamworth, West Wyalong and surrounding areas for a wide range of services.
The advertisement directed all interested companies to register through ICN
Gateway and the floodgates opened with more than 317 suppliers and subcontractors registering their interest.
“Many of these have been small (and micro) businesses and we recognise the importance of the business to them, so we took extra care to help these organisations register their interest correctly,” Webster says.
The final result was a good one with JHR awarded the CRN contract.
Fitzgerald says JHR was impressed with the quality of support and service provided by ICN during the establishment of what was a “widespread and diverse supply chain.”
“ICN understands our commitment to giving supply chain opportunities to small business across regional NSW and they didn’t just help us with this, they went above and beyond the requirements and continue to do,” he says.
ICN’s NSW office continues to be a hands-on supporter of JHR’s supply chain sourcing processes.
ICN has worked with a number of rail companies in the development of local industry plans including Downer Rail (NSW Waratah contract) and companies bidding for RailCorp’s Maintrain contract (rolling stock maintenance).
As Australia and NZ’s “industry matchmaker” ICN can put companies in contact with the best suppliers and suppliers in touch with the best projects for their business.
Visit www.icn.org.au for more information
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