Ministry of Railways has conceptualized the next generation reform in supply chain management to bring in efficiencies and leverage best available expertise to improve quality of goods, spares, input materials and manufacturing to enable operating more efficient and reliable services with better RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) of assets. It is worth mentioning that Western Railway had been assigned the responsibility of piloting this transformational initiative.
According to Sumit Thakur – Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, the Agreement for Engagement was signed by the agencies in the presence of Shri Ashok Kumar Misra – General Manager of Western Railway on 21st February, 2023. He complimented the team for leading this transformational reform for Indian Railways. The concept was brought to the implementation stage by finalizing the engagement of four of India’s best TPI Agencies for inspection on Indian Railways viz. Intertek, RITES, Bureau Veritas and TUV India. These TPI Agencies will be integrated into digital systems of Indian Railways leading to complete end-to-end digitization of supply chain. The finalizing of the engagement process was done through competitive bidding and signing of contract agreements on 21st February, 2023.
Thakur added that the assignment of inspection work by the agencies will be done by algorithm-based digital process without any discretion to vendor or railway procuring entities. Digital integration will also allow the application of data analytics for informed decision-making with respect to product/spare specification, vendor approval/performance and improvement opportunities. The digital milestone shall bring the paradigm shift in business environment for Indian Railways, enhance Ease of Doing Business with vendors and is commensurate with vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. While this engagement is expected to bring in the best capability in the Railway System and improve quality, it will also result in significant recurring savings to national transporter of the order of Rs. 400 Crores per annum. Besides the product and spares inspection, the contract covers Process Inspection, Process Audit, Verification of Quality Assurance Plan and Quality Audit.
The engagement of Third Party Inspection (TPI) agencies is a stepping stone to accomplish Government of India’s vision of world-class manufacturing in Railway Sector in India and to make Indian products more competitive internationally. This reform will not only create additional capacity for inspection but will also enable better vendor evaluation; continually improve products specifications and effective implementation of warrantee management.
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