Would the rail industry be for us….?
The rail industry, both here in the UK and abroad, needs a wide range of products and services. Procurement is not just carried out by Network Rail and the TOCs & FOCs, but by all players in the sector and the associated sectors (e.g. manufacturing) up and down the various supply chains.
Indeed, this is one area where our Networking Meetings can be of real benefit, giving you the opportunity to contact people from all levels of the rail industry face-to-face with the possibility of doing business. You will also have the opportunity to talk to other full members and our team to gain an overall impression on how your products and services could find a best fit.What if I am not sure if the Rail Alliance is for me … ?
We know what an important decision it is to justify joining a subscriptions-based association such as ours – that is why we offer you the chance to attend up to two meetings for free to see for yourself if the Rail Alliance and, perhaps, the rail industry as a whole, is for you.
What is the connection between the Rail Alliance and Achilles … ?
The Rail Alliance has a strong, working relationship with Achilles Information Ltd which provides the Link-up accreditation insisted upon by Network Rail and many other procurement organisations. We provide information and advice to member companies and, where we can, facilitate their route to attaining the Link-up qualification. As Achilles Information develops the next iteration of their system (Version 3), so we will be involved every step of the way with our rail industry liaison manager (email@example.com
) sitting on the Link-up Version 3 Steering Group.How can I get the most out of Rail Alliance Networking Events … ?
Prior to you attending the meeting, the Rail Alliance will send you a copy of the delegates attending with full contact details – this will allow you to see who is likely to be attending (more than 90 per cent of our sign-ups attend our meetings) and enables you to contact fellow Rail Alliance members in advance of the meeting. Additionally within three working days of a Networking Meeting an updated list of those attending the meeting will be sent to all participants enabling follow-up action to take place. Non-members still get the names and companies of those people attending (minus the contact details).
How can I contact the rightm people in rail…..?
The Rail Alliance provides a Capability Database through our website where you can search for businesses and contacts either by the category of product or service they provide (or by name if you know the company you are trying to make contact with). We also have access to many contacts within the rail industry’s major players and will always do our best to assist our members wherever possible in ‘opening doors’.Who manages the Rail Alliance Networking Events … ?
Members of the Rail Alliance Management Team are always on hand to help guide you and to facilitate introductions with either the guest speakers or member-to-member introductions. Additionally we always set aside time after the main event for one-to-one meetings with Rail Alliance staff and these appointments can either be made on the day or in advance of the Networking Meeting.Where do you have your meetings … ?
Our meetings take place around the country and can either take place at typical conference-type venues or at members’ premises – for the member, staging a Networking Meeting can bring a wide variety of contacts to the company and is a useful part of any company’s ‘marketing mix’. So far, we have held Networking Meetings in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Crewe, Doncaster, London, Rotherham, Worcester and we have plans in place to hold future meetings in Hatfield, Skelmersdale, Durham, Reading as well as developing our presence in Scotland and Wales.
What if I cannot attend every meeting … ?
Our Networking Meetings are held around the country; however, we appreciate that it is not always possible or practical to attend every meeting. Should you have to miss a meeting on a theme that is of interest to you, we endeavour to give access to the presentations from each meeting through our website within a few days of the meeting taking place.I am already doing business in the rail sector but how do I expand my business overseas … ?
The Rail Alliance works closely with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to provide our members with sufficient support and information on the procedures and opportunities for trading in international markets. We also have members we can put you in touch with who can offer services to assist in foreign trade such as Alliancetranslation services and currency exchange services to make the most of fluctuating exchange rates over contract periods. Additionally, we are respected in Europe as a stand-alone UK Rail Cluster and we are the sole UK representative of the seven-member European Regional Rail Clusters Initiative, which aims to develop world class standards for rail clusters. This relationship, among others, enables us to maintain particularly strong links with Austrian, French, German, Spanish, Danish and Benelux markets.What if I want to find out more aboutvRail Expos/Exhibitions … ?
As a matter of course the Rail Alliance takes space at, or attends, many of the overseas exhibitions such as: SIFER
in Lille, Innotrans
in Berlin, Eurasiarail
in Turkey, AusRail
in Australia, BCN Rail
in Barcelona to name but a few. The Rail Alliance has a presence at most of these exhibitions either with a stand that members can use as a base (or even be part of) or, by visiting the exhibition, where we can provide an advocacy service to members if and as required.
What about UK Rail Exhibitions … ?
The Rail Alliance has a particularly strong working relationship with the promoters of Infrarail and Railtex, which are staged in alternate years, as well as The Infrastructure Show (staged each year). We negotiate on behalf of our members the best possible terms for taking space at these and other exhibitions. Such member benefit can include: discounted space (up to 40 per cent on occasions), improving the base offer by enhancing the basic specification on offer … through to negotiating smaller footprints than the ‘industry minimum’ which is often nine or 12 square metres for those companies wanting only a small area (say, three square metres) as this may be their first foray into that particular market or exhibition and they cannot justify the expense of a full quota of exhibition space.
What is Macrorail …?
The Rail Alliance’s Macrorail Exhibition is a low-cost/high-value concept for members to exhibit their products and services in a rail environment. As a concept, it proved itself last year in September when 62 members of the Rail Alliance got together to stage an exhibition on the Rail Alliance’s ‘home turf’ at the Long Marston Business Park near Stratford-on-Avon. The concept enabled Rail Alliance Members to come together and exhibit their products and services in a live railway environment to an informed audience. This year’s event promises to be better and bigger and is planned to take place during 11-13 September at the Long Marston Business Park. Members of the Rail Alliance can exhibit inside or outside (or both) and exhibition space (in nine square metre chunks) is available from £350 +VAT … taking into account that electrical supply to the inside exhibition areas is free (one x single phase 13A socket per exhibitor) and that fork lift assistance (up to one tonne) is free and tea/coffee throughout the day is free … this offer represents approximately ten per cent of the cost of exhibiting at a standard UK or overseas exhibition and is a unique part of our membership offer to companies.
What sets you apart from other similar rail industry trade& support bodies … ?
We are different from the Railway Industry Association (RIA), the Derby & Derbyshire Rail Forum (DDRF) and the Rail Champions – although I suppose we all share the same aim, which is to get more and more British companies a greater and greater share of the GB Rail Market and for them to be ever more competitive in selling their products and services overseas. However, unlike the DDRF we are a national organisation and we believe this helps us in extending our reach for the benefit of our members – especially way down in tier 3/4 SME territory; additionally, unlike RIA we are not a trade association, so you do not need to be trading in the rail sector to join the Rail Alliance and therefore we are able to provide help to those companies looking to break into the sector.
Indeed, several of our members are more active in other sectors such as Marine, Automotive, Manufacturing and Aerospace. If a company is either considering returning to the rail sector or diversifying into the rail sector, then the Rail Alliance could easily be the logical choice for them in the first instance; that said, we continually refer individuals to DDRF and RIA. The Rail Champions has an enviable on-line fraternity and organises several rail-themed events (as do RIA, DDRF and ourselves); in effect, we are keen to learn from all membership organisations whether rail-based or not (our CEO is a member of the Institute of Association Management (IofAM)) and, as ‘serial improvers’, we are keen to develop our products, services and our ‘ways of working’ yet further – so, watch this space!
How much does membership cost … ?
Standard membership for a company is £500 + VAT per year and covers everyone in that company. For sole traders, membership is discounted to £150 + VAT. We are very proud of the fact, particularly given the challenging fiscal nature of the current economic climate, that we have been able to maintain this rate for a third year now.
We hope this has answered some of your questions about joining the Rail Alliance. If you have any more questions please do not hesitate to contact any one of our team and we will be delighted to discuss things further – simply email us at:firstname.lastname@example.org
or give us a ring on 01789 720 026