Bidvest Noonan uses transport experience to excel in rail support services

Rail Business Daily has caught up with Deborah Mills-Burns, Transport Sector Director for Bidvest Noonan. An expert in security for the transport sector, Deborah has built a wealth of experience, supporting train operators before joining Bidvest Noonan, a leading provider of services to the sector.

In this interview Deborah speaks about the expertise needed to work alongside the UK’s public transport operators and the solutions Bidvest Noonan offers through the dedicated transport sector business unit the company launched earlier this year.

What does it take to be successful in the rail industry?

Providing a first-class security and cleaning service to hundreds of customers spanning multiple sectors means you need to have experts within your business that understand those industries.

That’s why we have been investing in sector experts that can support the railways with the solutions they need. We have also recently become an affiliate to the Rail Safety and Standards board (RSAS). This means that our experts have access to additional training, policies and consultants to further strengthen our operation and align ourselves with what our customers need.

What does it mean to run a first-class service?

First of all its about getting the basics right. We understand the knock-on effects that can happen if the correct service isn’t provided in the right way. For the train operating companies we serve, we understand the minutes lost and penalties faced if they do not run on time.

Bidvest Noonan has a commitment to ensure that every single person working on these types of contracts understands the industry and its unique challenges. After the basics are in place, we can start to bring in innovation to our customers. When it comes to security, it is about having that knowledge of locally based challenges in the industry. For example, there are local lines on which we provide security services where cable theft is an issue. So, we deploy our innovative software RAID (Risk Analysis Intelligent Deployment).

RAID in simple terms is collecting all the crime data we have access to, then mapping that data into an easy to view system that then generates and recommends a security solution based on the intelligence we have gathered.

So, to go back to the example of an area with a high level of threat to cable theft, our system may suggest introducing measures such as increased mobile patrols, increased CCTV coverage etc. We can then run our system across the whole network for all stations, stops, depots with a suggested security provision for each location.

Our cleaning teams have other innovations too, such as the use of green chemicals, technologies that reduce our water consumption, and cobots to make our work more efficient.

What’s one of your core strengths as a business?

Our credo, that includes a strong set of principles, and a vision focused on customer experience. It enables our teams to be the best in the industry and, as a people-focused business, provide a service that ultimately benefits the communities we serve. It is essential that rail organizations in particular turn to those companies that have deep sectoral expertise to ensure that they get the best service on the market.

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Photo credit: Bidvest Noonan

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