Link-up will see many changes this year: new governance, greater focus on procurement needs and the start of Link-up v3, the project for a new technological platform.New governance
The previous Link-up Governance model with the Governance Group, Special Interest Groups and Supplier Consultation Group had been phased out to make way for a new, more inclusive Governance structure. At a meeting in July all the buyers on the scheme elected a new Steering Group with Richard Sharp from J Murphy & Sons as its Chair. This new Link-up Steering Group consists of 21 representatives from EU and Non-EU buyer members including Network Rail, London Underground, TOCs and FOCs as well as representatives from RIA, CECA, RICA, RPA, Rail Alliance and RSSB. In addition, working groups will be set up as and when required to analyse specific topics such as the Product Code Structure, the Link-up Audit and requirements from EU Legislation. Participation in the working groups is open to any organisation related to the UK rail industry, whether a member of the Link-up community or not, including overland rail, underground and light rail systems.
Annette Poehl, recently appointed director rail and transport at Achilles, commented: “Network Rail and Achilles were keen to create a more collaborative and balanced Link-up Governance structure and we were delighted by the great level of interest from all members of the industry. I am convinced that greater collaboration is the most effective way to reach better alignment and recognition of supplier qualification in the industry.”Greater focus on procurement
The expansion of Link-up, to better align with procurement needs, will be two-fold – both content and process related:
- Content – through working with customers and comparisons with other Achilles supplier qualification schemes it has highlighted that certain key aspects such as environmental and CSR are becoming increasingly important to measure supply chain risk and need to be reviewed for their inclusion in the supplier qualification through Link-up.
- Process – to further help procurement professionals with their supplier identification and selection, additional functionality will be introduced that simplifies the procurement processes.
These elements will not only broaden the focus of supplier information management and ease the tender selection process, within the new generation of Link-up, but also help to support the UK rail industry through improving transparency, efficiencies and collaboration.Link-up v3 initiated
Link-up will be placed on a new technological platform. The existing version 2 will be replaced by a new version 3, which will not only bring an improved user interface but also new features for buyer and supplier users alike. Improvements in the existing questionnaire and product code hierarchy will be discussed as part of the scoping phase that initiated the v3 project. Close alignment and consultation with all industry members will be ensured through the v3 Working Group.Webinars for supplier and buyers
To find out how Link-up can benefit your organisation, Achilles has recently introduced webinars for both buyers and suppliers. Run on a regular basis they provide information on how the rail community scheme works. If you would like to be invited to a webinar please contact the Link-up Team.
For more information on Link-up please contact the team on 01235 861 118
or visit www.rail.achilles.com