Downer Rail is the largest supplier of locomotives and passenger rail cars in Australia. They provide whole-of-life asset management solutions through to one off repairs. Over half of Australia’s train locos are serviced and supported, or use spares provided by Downer Rail.

Horizon Inventory’s micq-if inventory management system is helping Downer Rail achieve real change in the way it plans and manages its spare parts business.

The two key themes for this implementation were:

Coupling Up to harness the power, and Throttling Up to deliver benefits faster.

Coupling Up

I think it is the best thing that has ever happened to our business.

Mukesh Naidu,
Purchasing Manager – After Market Products


High service levels are critical to delivering freight and people via the locos and rolling stock that Downer maintain and for which they provide scheduled and unscheduled parts. The challenge was to get the right balance of service levels and the level of inventory investment. It was recognised early in the project that benefits could be significant and that delivering them quickly across the business was strategically important.

The Ultimate Inventory Optimisation Tool which allows stock holdings to be reduced by rebalancing inventory across the distribution network, creates the appropriate safety stock levels and pushing parts as required rather than stocking them just in case. It’s a very user friendly system that allows us to centralise purchasing and simplify analysis and decision making. It should deliver at least a five-fold return on investment.

Derrick Martins,
GM Supply Chain Operations

In order to throttle up however, we first had to couple up. This involved change management and working with the business to:

  • Rapidly achieve a Proof of Concept – it took less than two days of I.T. effort
  • Fully handle the scale of Downer’s business with some 80 stores, across 26 sites and nearly 100,000 parts
  • Adapt around their processes and existing ERP system. A second ERP has also been integrated into the solution subsequently
  • Work through process issues and some ‘dirty data’ ... none of which could be allowed to slow down the implementation.

It has been very easy to work with Horizon. They have helped us work through the project steps and transform our data and processes.

Rob Trevor,
Supply Chain Operations Support Manager

Throttling Up

If you wish to know more about how we could help you achieve similar outcomes, please contact us.