Hitachi Rail Europe hires Capgemini for major SAP roll-out

Hitachi Rail Europe has awarded outsourcer Capgemini UK a multi-million pound contract to provide SAP-based IT support for its new rail manufacturing facility that is currently under construction in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, as well as its maintenance facilities.

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Hitachi Rail Europe has awarded outsourcer Capgemini UK a multi-million pound contract to provide SAP-based IT support for its new rail manufacturing facility that is currently under construction in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, as well as its maintenance facilities.

The new sites, which include Hitachi’s first train factory in Europe, follow major contract successes, including the contract for the Intercity Express Programme to supply and maintain 866 railcars for the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines.

Headquartered in London, Hitachi Rail Europe also manufactures and maintains high-speed trains to Kent running on the HS1 line.

The Capgemini support for Hitachi Rail Europe is based on SAP software and will be deployed at a number of the company’s rail maintenance facilities in the UK, in addition to the factory at Newton Aycliffe.

A "unique feature" of Capgemini's proposal, said Hitachi, was its integration of manufacturing with maintenance, reflecting the importance which Hitachi attaches to providing "a comprehensive long-term service to its customers".

Nobuhiro Otsuka, head of IT at Hitachi Rail Europe, said: "Capgemini has already demonstrated its ability to work effectively with us and to understand our complex and challenging business environment."

Other important factors in Hitachi Rail Europe’s choice, it said, included Capgemini's expertise in SAP solutions, its ability to map Hitachi’s business requirements to SAP capabilities and to configure the software to match business processes, and its "convincing evidence that the proposed SAP solution offered a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

Implementation of the new IT systems begins immediately in a three-phase programme. Phase 1 comprises design, scoping, proof of concept and initial operating capability for maintenance, planned for completion in July 2014.

Phase 2 will provide the core operating capability for both UK manufacturing and maintenance, with a go-live in June 2015, and Phase 3 comprises additional functionality from 2016.

Capgemini will use its Rightshore worldwide delivery model to provide the services from various locations.

Hitachi Rail Europe in Newton Aycliffe will employ 730 by 2016.