ICN helps John Holland Rail connect with local suppliers to boost the supply chain capability and industry participation for a history-making project

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With over 6,000 kilometres of existing rail infrastructure, John Holland Rail (JHR) was well aware of the challenges involved in the take up of a fully operational heavy rail network. JHR enlisted the support of ICN to connect with regional suppliers in readiness for the take up of the Country Regional Network.

The ten year contract awarded to John Holland Rail (JHR) for the Country Regional Network (CRN), involves the operation, management, maintenance and upgrade of the CRN railway lines across NSW. Under the contract, JHR will deliver the full scope of rail asset management services, including network operations, signalling, structures and major periodic maintenance.

ICN’s Peter Webster became involved in this history-making project from the beginning of JHR’s preparations to take up the management of the CRN.

In 2010, when responding to the tender, the JHR bid team enlisted the help of ICN in NSW to collaborate in developing an Australian and New Zealand Small to Medium Enterprise Participation Plan (ANZSMEPP) – which is a requirement of the NSW Local Jobs First Policy.

When JHR took up of the management of the CRN in mid January 2012, they put into operation their supply chain and continued to source the knowledge and services of ICN.

‘Part of the challenge for us has been finding the right people in the right places to supply the services we require and this is where partnering with ICN’s NSW office has added value for us,’ says Chris Fitzgerald, JHR’s Integrated Support Manager.

Peter explains how ICN helped in this process. ‘We directly researched and sourced producers and service providers in regional NSW. Our consultants had a list of detailed project requirements and actively sought local capability for the project.

Committed to maximising opportunities for regional NSW, JHR advertised in Dubbo, Bathurst, Tamworth, West Wyalong and surrounding areas, for a wide range of services.

‘As a result, more than 317 organisations from all over NSW have registered interest in aspects of the project on ICN Gateway. Many of these have been small (and micro) businesses and we recognise the importance of the business to them, so we have taken extra care to help these organisations register their interest correctly,’ says Peter.

JHR was impressed with the quality of support and service provided by ICN during the establishment of a widespread and diverse supply chain.

In December 2011, JHR presented ICN’s NSW office with a certificate of appreciation for the support provided during the organisation’s first tendering process to source local suppliers for CRN.

‘We wanted to formally recognise the hard work of Peter and his team in sourcing local suppliers, including Indigenous suppliers. ICN understands our commitment to giving supply chain opportunities to small business across regional NSW and they didn’t just help us with this, they went above and beyond the requirements and continue to do. This certificate was our way of saying thanks,’ says Chris.

ICN is Australia and New Zealand’s innovative industry matchmaker. If you’re a major project developer, ICN can put you in contact with the best suppliers. If you’re a supplier we will connect you with the best projects for your business.

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