The client had requested a full audit of their procurement framework, including policies, processes and procedures.
The purpose was to review the adequacy of their procurement arrangements and to assess the effectiveness and compliance of rolling stock acquisition activities during recent new train introduction projects. As part of the scope of the audit, Infinitive were also requested to compare the client’s practices against industry best practise and, where relevant, identify opportunities for improvement.
The Client’s Challenge
The client required the assistance of a third-party company with the skillset and ability to review company and project records, and subsequently advise and provide expertise on a wide variety of rolling stock topics.
These included Procurement Strategy, System Specifications and Standards, Design, Software, Interface Management, Maintenance, RAMS, Testing and Commissioning, NoBo and Independent Person Veriﬁcation, and Financial Governance.
Infinitive Group’s Response
From the beginning of the audit, Infinitive introduced weekly reporting and established weekly project review meetings. The meetings were useful to formally present the project tracking reports and update the client on progress, constraints and KPIs.
A Request for Information (RfI) process was established to provide timely feedback after an initial review of a process or document under audit had been undertaken. The aim of this process was to provide comments, questions and/or requests to gain further knowledge or evidence regarding an issue or observation.
Any gaps in processes and/or procedures encountered during the audit were used by Infinitive to identify a range of opportunities for improvement. The aim was to identify and use the constraints and challenges observed to provide positive changes, thus helping the client develop by utilising continuous improvement and incorporating best practice. To achieve this, Infinitive leveraged expert industry experience and knowledge to provide both general and specific recommendations.
The client had been through a period of change and the acquisition of different organisations, amalgamation of additional operations, and internal departmental changes had exacerbated the challenges that they faced. The biggest challenge for the client during the project was the availability and accessibility of documentation, understanding what information to look for and knowing where to find it within their organisation.
The Value to the Client
In addition to identifying and highlighting direct risks, a range of recommendations were provided to improve the procurement framework of policies, processes and procedures for future projects as requested by the client.
The opportunity was taken to identify and highlight a range of recommendations from Infinitive’s knowledge of best practise, such as creation of specific rolling stock procurement procedures, development of the quality management system, and expansion of technical and software specifications.