Upstream Management in Supply Chain

How a strong supply base is essential to collaborating at the “sharp end”

Your maintenance, project or renewal is planned to ensure that there is minimum impact on the availability of the track whilst managing risk and costs.

And once all the materials are ordered, you can be confident that they will arrive on time – because your supplier has said they will. But there are many ways in which materials delivery can be delayed.

  1. Ubiquitous components – these are usually readily available so seldom impact supply chains.
  2. Scarce components – these are a different matter. Some materials are scarce due to the OEM withdrawing from manufacture, or because there’s so little demand they’re not a priority. Having a wide and long view of the market is essential to manage these supplies and ensuring continued availability.
  3. Availability of raw materials – particularly those which are rare minerals etc where they can only be produced at a certain rate can impact the availability of componentry.
  4. Long lead times – this can be a big issue for more complex materials where there are many components and in themselves take a long time to manufacture. These have to be planned well in advance of the works to ensure they are available.
  5. Demand Variations – sometimes there can just be a spike in demand – such as when regulations change or there is a large number of similar projects underway at the same time. Here it is imperative that the materials are prioritised across a wide demand profile.
  6. Supply Chain Disruption – adverse weather, increased import processing
  7. Economics – exchange rate variances, tarriffs & duties.

These are all very difficult issues to navigate and it would be so much easier if you had a single supply partner to manage all this for you.

A supply partner like Unipart Rail. With expertise to:

  • Plan your requirements with a long view to ensure availability, and to plan alternative design solutions when delays are unavoidable.
  • Smooth demand across multiple customers and manage the materials supply to avoid peaks and troughs of production (which can otherwise add costs).
  • Manage supply to multiple projects, ensuring demand is met without stockpiling.
  • Negotiate long-term supply contracts to avoid currency variation.
  • Ensuring access to alternative supplies when regular supply is disrupted.
  • Find new suppliers, or take on the manufacturing when and OEM exits.

So why would you do your procurement yourself when Unipart Rail can manage all this for you?

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