04 September 2009 | Jake Kanter
The rail arm of Stagecoach is embarking on a procurement transformation.
Julia Fancourt, head of rail procurement, has brought together buying teams for East Midlands Trains and South Western, which incorporates South West Trains and Island Line networks.
The joint department will aggregate Stagecoach rail's £1 billion annual spend, work more closely with suppliers and rewrite some contract specifications. It also aims to boost customer numbers by improving catering services and offering first-class customers free newspapers.
The changes aim to help the firm through the economic downturn by driving savings and improving customer service.
Since joining Stagecoach four months ago, Fancourt has divided buyers into three category management teams - indirect, engineering and regulated. The latter is a revenue-generating department, which includes leasing advertising space at stations. She has also introduced training programmes in areas such as supplier negotiation.
"I had quite traditional buyers when I first started here. I am looking to develop more strategic category managers," she said.
Stagecoach has not yet set the team any targets, but Fancourt said the department has already delivered "substantial" savings.