NRE has forever been a proponent of keeping business local. Parts not manufactured in-house are purchased from domestic vendors whenever possible. This deep-rooted belief, paired with a stringent attention to quality control, made completing and successfully passing NRE’s recent Buy America audit an achievable task.
Buy America is a Federal Transit Administration mandate that requires all FTA-assisted rolling stock procurements to (i) be assembled in the United States, and (ii) contain more than 65% (FY19) domestic content, by cost, including iron, steel, and components produced in the United States. The objective of Buy America is to support U.S. jobs and the U.S. manufacturing industry by maximizing the use of domestic products.
While NRE passed the audit handily, it was an intense process that required significant effort. Compliance to this mandate is known in the industry as a challenge, and requires strict attention to quality and detail on a daily basis. Well-planned internal processes are paramount in helping the audit progress successfully.
One component to being prepared for Buy America is record keeping. A section of the audit required a listing of each part’s details, including cost, manufacturer information, and domestic content. Collecting this information would be a time-consuming task without a good handle on inventory and data integrity.
NRE’s notoriety of handling their customers and projects with a “nose to the grindstone” attitude while maintaining reliability and accountability has garnered the attention of the transit sector. NRE has been awarded more than 50 engines in this business segment alone. All of these engines will be certified to the Tier 0+ emission standard with kits produced by NRE.
While establishing Buy America compliance is a challenging task, proving itself triumphant is the culmination of hard work and attention to detail that NRE prides itself on.