North East Connected

SOS Group and Hitachi Rail ‘Track Back’ to the North East

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 15.52.28A business relationship with Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd (HRE) that began in London and grew to cover the rest of the country has now ‘come home’ for Team Valley-based SOS Group Ltd. 

The print management company became an HRE Approved Supplier in 2012 when it won the contract to service Hitachi Rail Europe’s headquarters in Holborn. 

The partnership proved a great success and SOS now work with HRE’s operational sites in London Holborn, London North Pole Depot, London Bridge, Melton Mowbray, Milton Keynes, Stoke Gifford – and now at the company’s new flagship manufacturing base at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, too.

George Young, director at SOS Group, says: “Having worked very closely with Hitachi Rail at their operations all across the country, for us, it’s a huge positive to now be working with them so close to home too. 

“We first won the contract to provide their print management services when Hitachi Rail opened their global HQ in London and our relationship has developed from there.

“It’s fantastic to see the investment Hitachi is making in the UK, and especially in the North East.

“We’re far from alone in benefiting from the company’s decision to bring rail manufacture back to its birthplace in this region and very proud to have begun working with Hitachi Rail before that step was even taken.”

Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Europe, Ltd. and is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems, and maintenance depots.

Hitachi’s £82 million Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe was opened by the Prime Minister in September 2015 and is where the new InterCity Express trains for the East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line, and the AT200 commuter trains for Scotland, will now be made. 

Malcolm Brown, IT Manager, Hitachi Rail Europe, says: “It’s great that a local print management supplier based in North East has been appointed for our flagship facility in Newton Aycliffe. 

“The SOS team always respond quickly and have been flexible and helpful in what has been an ever-changing, growing environment, establishing, and then moving, print facilities from three temporary locations to the facility where we now reside.

“Sales support is not just ‘sales’ but finding something that best suits a customer’s needs, short term and longer term. The SOS group has worked closely with us on this journey and I am confident our relationship will go from strength to strength over the coming years.” 

SOS Group Ltd launched in 2002 to supply digital office equipment, related software and support.  Based on the Team Valley, the company also has an office in Bristol and services ‘blue chip’ clients nationally and, increasingly, internationally. 

It employs 23 staff and services include document management, scanning, cost consultation, managed print services and supplying and maintaining leading brand digital office equipment.  It is an accredited Kyocera UK agent and Lexmark approved partner.

The firm has a long-standing tradition of local charity support and is the key sponsor for fundraiser Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison as he continues his Around the World running challenge in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children’s Foundation.  Mark is currently running between Lisbon and Istanbul on the 3,400 mile Europe leg of his challenge.

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