Background

Network Rail Consulting (NRC) is the international consultancy arm of the UK’s rail transport management company. NRC began their Saudi operations in 2015 when they started consulting on the development of the North-South Saudi railway network. NRC employees live on western-style compounds and initially sourced their vehicles from a local provider.

In 2016 NRC were put in touch with AEI Saudi by the British Embassy and an in-depth conversation began, looking into how AEI could develop a tailored solution for NRC that would both improve the quality of life support services provided in Kingdom, but also reduce cost at the same time.

AEI Vehicle and Driver Fleet

 

The British Embassy recommended us to AEI and we are very pleased that they did. The support so far has been excellent and we look forward to a growing relationship over the coming years.

James Heron, Commercial Manager, Network Rail Consulting

Approach

After a comprehensive evaluation of AEI’s offerings including several iterations of our delivery approach to exactly match NRC needs as well as incorporate some innovative project management suggestions which enabled cashflow benefits to NRC on top of overall cost savings, the possibility of AEI becoming the in-Kingdom life support partner for all of the NRC staff arose. It was recognised that AEI were capable of providing a more cost effective but also higher quality of service, with reduced supply chain management effort due to AEI’s status as a sole life support partner.
The ultimate combined services provided by AEI fall into four broad categories:

Procurement

AEI provides everything from pens and pencils to a tea boy for the NRC staff. Whatever is required to make the job as easy as possible; we use our extensive network of suppliers and contacts throughout the Kingdom to get the best deal. As a ‘local’ purchaser we are often able to secure lower overall pricing as well as improved terms than NRC could themselves. Where possible we are also able to leverage our bulk purchasing power to gain the best possible pricing from suppliers.

Managed Transport Service

AEI employs a fleet of drivers who work seven days per week, with 24-hour cover, providing transport for the whole NRC team. The fleet performs the daily commute for the NRC team as well as all local transport requirements and airport runs.

As well as this the fleet includes a number of specialist off road vehicles with enhanced 4×4 performance, allowing a nationwide emergency response capability for the NRC engineers to get wherever they need to, whenever they need to. An on call driver service means that these vehicles can be deployed 24/7/365.

Compound Management Service

AEI acts as the local liaison between NRC and the compound where they stay, negotiating rates, dealing with administrative duties and generally allowing the NRC staff to focus on their more important duties such as delivery of their North South railway duties.

At any one time AEI is supporting between 50 to 100 individuals with their life support needs in Riyadh. This gives us enourmous purchasing power with the local compounds and perhaps even more importantly also means we can perform continuous negotiation, meaning we can get rate reductions in times of low demand in the market. A foreign company, once all staff are moved on to a compound, can find itself at the mercy of that compound at lease renewal time.

Government Relations Office

AEI is assisting NRC with various Saudi commercial and contractual plans in the Kingdom. From helping them unravel the intricacies of the Saudi medical insurance system to assisting them with Commercial Registration requirements and renewals, we are able to ensure they are aware of any problems on the horizon long before they might derail progress!

Conclusion

Since starting our support to Network Rail under a multi-year, multi-million SAR framework contract, they have requested additional support in many further areas and we have received consistently positive feedback from both the management and end users on the engineering team including favourable comparisons with the previous provision.

‘AEI’s initial combined accommodation and transport proposal was just under 10% lower in price than our previous providers. Even more valuable than this, their professional delivery meant my management team had more time to dedicate to our client SAR and to our technical assistance on the North-South railway.’

Jason Wassermann, Regional Director Middle East, Network Rail Consulting

We look forward to an enduring relationship with Network Rail over the years to come and are proud to be a part of supporting such a prestigious UK brand to deliver their services and knowledge to the Kingdom.