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  • Supply of works, services or products

  • We spend circa £7 billion annually on works, services and bought-in goods. We are committed to maximising the value delivered from every supplier that we deal with.

    Every year we take a survey of our suppliers to improve our understanding of their perceptions of us. This survey includes procurement practices and many of the comments received have been acted on through a significant programme of transformation. We have taken five primary actions:

    • A review of purchase to pay processes and implementation of iProcurement 
    • The development of a strategic sourcing process to manage commercial activity consistently 
    • Launch of a supplier account management process for key suppliers 
    • A review of the qualification and assurance processes
    • A refresh of our standard suite of contracts  

    Each of these is a significant project in its own right and demonstrates clearly our commitment to improving supplier relationships.

    We have established 30 category families which cover our entire expenditure profile. As part of this, we've defined the scope of these categories by taking each of the Achilles Link-Up codes and connecting them to one of the category families.

    Category strategies consider the category from a company-wide perspective and use historic and more importantly future demand and market analysis to define a three to five year strategy for each category family. For more information please contact us.

    Category family Description of category
    Information technology IT services including software, hardware and business systems
    Telecoms Operational telecoms, all voice and data and hardware
    Facilities hard services General building maintenance including air conditioning, heating & property management
    Facilities soft services Office & station services including waste management, cleaning & catering
    Supplies and services Equipment  used by operational staff, office supplies, uniforms and corporate travel and accommodation
    Road fleet Road fleet costs including purchase, hire & maintenance
    HR and training External training and staff benefits
    Business consultancy Consultancy for business services which includes marketing services, legal services, management  consultancy, financial and insurance services
    Recruitment services Recruitment services related to permanent staff, temporary staff (excluding consultants and contingent labour)
    Utilities Electricity, water and gas for offices, stations and depots.  Electricity for powering trains
    Professional services direct Railway infrastructure design, technical consultancy and commercial services
    Rail & ancillaries Short (<60ft) and long welded (>60ft) rail
    Sleepers & bearers Concrete, steel and timber sleepers and bearers and cable troughing (Sleepers hold the rails apart and support the track on the ballast)
    Ballast Ballast and associated loading and unloading activities. (Ballast is the graded stone sub-base used for drainage and support of the track)
    Switches and crossings & ancillaries Modular and traditional railway switches and crossings including related ancillaries (switches and crossings are part of the rail system at junctions between different rail lines)
    Rail haulage Logistics and operation of rail haulage
    Rail fleet Purchase and maintenance of rail wagons and locomotives including seasonal treatment fleet
    On-track machines On track machines for treatment and maintenance of the track
    Intelligent infrastructure Train and non train mounted remote condition monitoring systems for the monitoring of the rail infrastructure
    Contingent labour: direct Temporary infrastructure labour (including possession management) working under the direction of Network Rail
    Infrastructure support services (on and off track) Support services for infrastructure maintenance including track and vegetation clearance
    Plant & tools Plant and Tools including hand tools and portable plant
    Railway spares Spares required for the maintenance of the railway infrastructure
    Signalling  Design, build and maintenance of railway signalling systems
    Electrification & fixed plant Projects, materials and services to support the electrified part of the rail infrastructure
    General civils   Construction not related to station redevelopment
    Buildings Stations building & renewals. Shop fitting and renovation of existing stations
    On-track plant On-track plant (eg road rail vehicles)
    Security solutions Security equipment, manned security and policing costs
    Track   Track renewal projects, and maintenance support
  • More information

    • We spend around £7 billion each year on works, services or products
    • 50% of our total expenditure is with our top 20 suppliers
    • We have 11,000 listed suppliers, of which 4,000 were engaged in the last financial year

    See our code of practice for prospective business dealings with customers and suppliers.

    Workbank planning (tender schedule) 

    Innovation and suggestions scheme 

  • Reclassification of Network Rail as a public sector body

    Network Rail was reclassified as a public sector body on 1 September 2014. Find out about the impact on procurement and our suppliers: