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Safety and service is central to everything we do. We expect all our suppliers to support us in working sustainably to deliver world-class safety and a service that puts passengers and freight users first.

Every year, we spend around £7bn on works, services or products, and we’re committed to maximising the value delivered by each and every supplier. We currently have around 11,000 listed suppliers – 4,000 of these were engaged in the last financial year.

As a supplier to Network Rail, it is important to understand how we measure our company performance. We do this through national and local scorecards which provide a clear view of performance throughout the company. The national scorecard is published every period and shows how Network Rail is performing against 21 measures. It shows the annual target, the most recent performance figures and a forecast of where the company expects to be at the end of the year.

Supplier management

Supplier Management is about enabling collaborative, innovative, value adding relationships with our suppliers, whilst ensuring that contractual obligations are met, and supply chain risks are effectively managed.

Our vision is to manage the relationship with our supply chain to drive value in a safe, efficient and sustainable way in line with Network Rail values with an aim to be net zero. Supplier management is made up of three activities that support and build upon each other, namely, contract management, supplier performance management, and supplier relationship management.

Introducing PRISM

Our supplier performance procedures are here to support you in providing an effective service. PRISM is one of the tools we use to assess the performance of our capital works suppliers. We also use PRISM to assess our own performance.

PRISM was developed in conjunction with the rail industry supply chain and various in-house functions to drive a culture of continuous performance improvement. The PRISM process enhances existing project management meetings (for example, progress meetings) rather than adding additional requirements. It requires project managers to document discussions that should already be happening.

Sustainable development for Britain’s SMEs and communities

We directly employ 40,000 people and support another 117,000 in our supply chain, many of them providing access to employment, training and apprenticeship schemes.

Supporting local communities is an important part of our contract with suppliers. We not only ask suppliers to identify opportunities to recruit people from the local area and provide entry-level employment opportunities, but we also ask them to procure goods and services from SMEs and social enterprises, supporting local business and the local economy where possible.

Our supply chain charter

In order to provide a safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable railway fit for the 21st century, our ambition is to establish a world class supply chain that builds long term mutually beneficial relationships and encourages joint strategic development – in a fair, transparent and consistent way.

Materials quality assurance

Our Materials Quality Team provides customer-focused supplier quality assurance (SQA) activities and materials engineering technical expertise, supporting the materials business units within Route Services.

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