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1995 - July - Davis - Open Discussion - Trusted Suppl 1995 - July - Davis - Open Discussion - Trusted Suppliers

Ken Davis

Recent cl.ianges to customer focussed orgaliisational structures has resulted in engineering, including railway signal and telecommuriications engineering, as being regarded as "services" to the owners and operators of railways.

Ilow can we (railway engineering departments and industry suppliers) as "service" providers demonstrate to our customers that wc can be "trusted" to deliver safe and appropriately functional railway signalling and telecommunications systems.

Currently, goverllmellt owned railways have their own engineering departments which specify, approve, certify etc the deliverablcs from industry suppliers, and by default, are "trusted" by the owners and operators.

With railways focussing more on the bottom line, more and more engineering services are being outsourced, either resulting in staff rationalisations or resistance to staff increases to compensate for increased workload. This consequently impacts on the ability of engineering departments to perform these functions and therefore has an impact on this "trust".

Reliance on past performance as the only evidence is not necessarily a reliable indicator if the service offered involves some novelty eg unusual requirements, high technology etc. How can we as suppliers of safety-related services demonstrate to our customer that they can "trust" us?


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