New benchmarking tool for the rail supply chain launched

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Buyers in the rail industry can now compare suppliers’ capabilities using a new benchmarking tool through the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS).

Network Rail and Transport for London are set to unlock £50 billion over the next five years. Both will be looking to work with the best suppliers to improve the railway for passengers and freight customers.

RISQS is home to nearly 4,000 suppliers, all of which have had their credentials verified through the official rail industry scheme, managed and overseen on industry’s behalf by RSSB. Around 100 buyers already use RISQS to identify suppliers that meet their key requirements.

RISQS is now offering suppliers the chance to stand out from the competition through a new on-line benchmarking tool. 

This provides a measure of suppliers’ maturity based on information acquired through the verification process.

This supports buyers’ decision making by enabling them to benchmark the companies they have shortlisted. 

Suppliers will be able to see their own results and measure their performance against their peers. With this information, suppliers can focus on improving areas of lower maturity and drive up standards across the supply chain. 

RSSB hopes that the tool will help to raise the bar and ensure that suppliers fulfil the government’s commitment to make this a year of action on rail.

RSSB’s Commercial & Business Development Manager, Suzanne O’Keane said, 

RISQS already provides an efficient and reliable mechanism for supplier assurance, supported by industry and the Office of Rail and Road. With government planning substantial investment in rail, suppliers need the opportunity to show more comprehensive maturity and detailed capability to buyers. This is where the new benchmarking tool helps. It informs the procurement process and helps buyers manage supply chain risk based on real data from an independent, trusted source

We want to continually improve RISQS as the official rail industry scheme, keeping the costs down, while simultaneously offering more to members.  

This new feature will benefit the whole supply chain, both buyers and suppliers, helping people to do business with rail in CP6, manage risk cost-effectively, and contribute to a better, safer railway.’

The tool was developed following industry consultation with buyers and suppliers, and forms part of RSSB’s programme for further improvements in RISQS. It is available to use by all organisations in RISQS via the portal.

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Editors’ notes


Buyers need to have confidence in their suppliers to deliver what they need safely and reliably.

RISQS helps the rail supply chain do this by contributing to the assurance that buyers need. The scheme helps provide evidence that suppliers are suitably competent, adequately resourced and can deliver their products to the right specification. 

The scheme provides suppliers with an open, fair and transparent way to be formally recognised as capable, on an easy to use web-based platform. Where applicable, suppliers will be audited annually via RISQS to establish their capabilities. This avoids the need for them to be subjected to multiple, duplicate auditing from different buyers.

Suppliers register their details on the portal along with the products and services they provide. Some products require a straightforward verification provided via the portal. Higher risk products prompt an audit by an official RISQS auditor, who can provide independent assurance that the relevant services are provided reliably and safely. 

Buyers can then search the portal to identify appropriate suppliers, knowing that their credentials have been verified and proven through the RISQS scheme.

RISQS is managed by RSSB to ensure it remains an independent industry scheme, working in the interests of safety.  We provide oversight, coordination and a team of dedicated specialists to manage the necessary industry interfaces, service provider delivery and coordination, and ongoing system improvements. 

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