Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

Finding a systematiq solution

Systematiq provide flexible and scalable project management and support for projects. The company began with a focus on defence but has made the transition into supporting the rail industry.

The organisation has services including bid and tender writing, project management, systems engineering and assurance, asset management, supply chain development and local industry development capability.

Sascha Sinclair is the head of sales and marketing at Systematiq and explained how the company’s experience in the defence sector has well positioned it to support the rail industry.

“People will be looking for our services particularly as labour shortages continue as we are able to fill a gap they may have internally or require expertise to develop a compelling bid or tender response to position themselves to win future contracts,” she said.

“Our model is that we work above and below the line, working with organisations such as large rail companies and consortiums or defence contractors.

“They use our system engineering, asset management expertise, safety engineers and integrated logistics specialists to help deliver projects.”

Systematiq offers a range of  consulting services to assist with tenders and bids, panel submissions and project management. Sinclair explained that the approach for the organisation is to understand the ecosystem of the broader industry or end user are working for.

By doing this they have an in depth understanding of the steps needed to support a company to ensure projects are delivered successfully. This experience has been critical in supporting defence but then also in Systematiq’s transition into rail.

Transitioning into rail 

Sinclair explained that rail IP operates in a different landscape to defence but there are in fact a lot of similarities between the two.

“We have found there are a lot of synergies between the two, so we are able to bring our expertise and understanding into this sector,” she said.

“We have brought experienced people in the rail space to help us fill that IP gap and that has been critical.

“Traditionally rail has been quite a closed shop relying on existing suppliers and consortia, but I think now we are seeing a skills shortage, and influx of demand that requires a real focus on providing best practice in how you deliver projects. The industry is looking for fresh ideas and experienced providers more broadly, while still needing to be focused on risk mitigation.”

Sinclair believes this is where Systematiq’s experience in defence is vital for rail as it transitions practices that are commonplace in defence contracts.

“This is where defence has some parallels as they need to mitigate risk; in rail there is a heightened focus on public safety and security, and delivering often complex projects in challenging environments,” she explained.

“They need rigorous processes involving project planning and work breakdown structures, master schedule development, and management of workstreams through milestones and outcomes It’s highly nuanced and requires people with experienced technical and business skills of which we have some of the best qualified and trained working with us.”

Systematiq has already immersed itself in the rail industry supporting the Metro tunnel project, the High-Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) and the level crossing removal program.

“This is where we provide something new and different for the rail sector,” Sinclair said.

“We are used to providing practitioners to assist with systems safety management and project risk management from a systems engineering perspective.

“We then are able to identify, analyse and execute risk control measures ensuring that all legislative and compliance standards are met.”

Sinclair went on to detail the importance of working closely with organisations to support its success.

“For us it is an opportunity to provide a safe pair of hands utilising our experience for mutual success,” she said.

Working on government projects

Government requirements for those operating in the rail sector are becoming more complex and Systematiq is aiming to simplify this process for users.

“Governments at both federal and state level now enforce strict procurement processes to meet Australian industry procurement guidelines,” Sinclair said.

“In rail this equates to Local Industry Development plans to ensure contractors are engaging enough local suppliers in their projects, encouraging local industry jobs and development.

“Part of our procurement service we provide is developing Local Industry Development plans for our clients.”

Sinclair used the example of the recent QTMP project in which Systematiq supported its client in successfully tendering for the project.

“We embedded someone within the company for the duration of the tender to support their team,” she said.

“They then went out and interviewed and worked with local industry to bring them on board to maximise the tender’s potential success.

“This ensured our partner was fully compliant and met all of the state government’s needs.”

Sinclair went on to explain that she believes the industry is going to becoming more complex and the vast array of projects will require more support.

“What we can provide is highly developed and proven expertise in pre-contract services for large organisations to support their tenders,” she said.

“A lot of businesses just don’t have the internal capability to put these large tenders together and that is where we are well-placed to embed into their businesses.

“We often unlock greater value for our clients, which is why they move beyond the pre-contracts stage and engage us in all aspects of project delivery.

Being scalable and flexible, we strive to move our clients forward – their success is our success.