Keeping Metro on track
If you find Melbourne’s trains running more efficiently over the next few years, it could partly be due to Sumit Sood (MBA 2014).
Sumit is the Procurement Performance Manager at Metro Trains Melbourne, a position he secured after developing a performance management model for the rail network operator during a 10-week project as an MBS student.
“The performance model evaluates the maturity of our processes and highlights key areas of improvement,” he says. “The results show what we have done better, which motivates us, and also indicates what we need to improve.”
Sumit so impressed Metro’s Commercial Procurement Manager Jason Westwood as a student that he hired him to implement his model.
“The internship created an opportunity both for Sumit and Metro to validate the cultural fit for each other. I was able to evaluate Sumit’s performance in a live business scenario and Sumit could envisage his career progression in Metro. It was a win-win scenario for all involved.”
Sumit’s role as a student was to create a model for evaluating procurement performance, set KPIs for the procurement department’s three divisions and provide Jason with a snapshot of overall performance from a dashboard.
“We're trying to get a very strong performance model to evaluate procurement and achieve savings,” Sumit says. “Every dollar saved from our initiatives creates value for our shareholders and customers.”
Metro moves about 400,000 customers a day around Melbourne’s 869-kilometre network, which it has operated under contract since November 2009. The company is constantly striving to improve its operational performance on the network, making Sumit’s work especially valuable.
“The whole idea of going to Melbourne Business School was to get an external, consultant view of what we could do and how it could be done,” Jason says.
“Sumit was able to come with a fresh pair of eyes. The whole span of what he'd done on his MBA, along with the professors and academics supporting him, enabled us to really look at the best way to performance manage a business within a business.”
Sumit was the second MBS graduate hired by Metro. The company has since taken on more MBS students for project work and hopes to take on one or two every year to help it solve challenging business problems and strengthen its relationship with MBS.
“I think everybody's a winner throughout the process, because we are able to evaluate our current business standards through the latest trends taught in a business school,” Jason says. “It gives us a quality piece of work that we can use to formulate our business strategies going forward.”
For Sumit, working on a real project while studying gave him a valuable opportunity to use his MBS learnings to solve a practical business problem.
“I come from a mechanical engineering background, with experience in the marketing and education sectors in India. Railways and procurement were new to me. The internship was an opportunity to validate my skills in a new business environment.”
Jason credits Sumit’s success at Metro to what he learnt at MBS and the network he developed there.
“Sumit came with his MBA work ethic and professionalism, which shined through his internship – the clear open-mindedness, the extensive research ability and willingness to challenge the status quo.
“And the MBS alumni helped him. I know he reached out to a lot of alumni, who he knew were working or had worked in the area. So, we weren't just getting Sumit's view, we were getting a collective MBS approach to our business problem.”
For Sumit, his alumni contacts are one of the most valuable aspects of his MBS experience.
“My MBS journey didn't end after my MBA. The alumni are still helping me now. When I reach out to my alumni, they help me sort out business issues in my current work environment.”