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Interview Spotlight: Future-Proofing Workforce Management in Rail

Posted: 30 May 2024 | | No comments yet

Effective workforce management starts with the establishment of well-defined, scheduled workorders. This reduces the time between identifying tasks and completing them, minimizing delays and maximizing efficiency.

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Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems can be invaluable  by providing platforms that help plan, execute, and monitor maintenance activities more efficiently. Arcadis enhances workflow precision with the Arcadis EAM Mobile Work Execution (MWE) app, an add-on to Arcadis EAM Core (built on IBM Maximo), designed to significantly streamline task processing.

The importance of well-defined workflows

A well-managed work bank is crucial for prioritizing maintenance tasks, especially in a sector where safety and reliability are paramount. Integrating a work bank with compliance management ensures that tasks critical to safety and operational integrity are prioritized, helping meet regulatory requirements without compromising on efficiency. Utilizing technology to automate and optimize workbank functions gives more predictable and compliant operations.

Assigning tasks in advance of shifts allows personnel to start their day with clear objectives and required tools at hand, reducing downtime and improving overall productivity. Mobile solutions enable real-time communication and task management; essential for dynamic scheduling that adapts to emergent needs and unexpected changes in availability or priority.

How standardization and reporting can help you master your maintenance and empower your decision-making

Adopting standardized, uniform workflows across operations ensures consistency and reliability in maintenance and repairs. This standardization extends to data entry for work orders, particularly on platforms that allow for configuration, and where maintaining integrity involves mandating data such as failure codes and user comments. Standardization not only enhances operational efficiency but also simplifies training and onboarding, making quality easier to maintain as the workforce evolves.

Leveraging real-time data is a game-changer in managing a modern rail workforce. Technologies that enable on-site reporting and sign-off greatly enhance the accuracy and timeliness of data collection. Effective asset management solutions facilitate immediate updates to work records, significantly reducing errors associated with manual entry and ensuring that decision-makers always have access to the most current information.

Why you should be looking at future planning and integrating material management at the point of work

Analyzing historical data and predicting future needs is invaluable in optimizing workforce allocation and anticipating workload trends. Predictive analytics can inform more strategic planning, helping rail companies adjust their workforce size and skill mix based on forecasted demand patterns. This forward-looking approach not only improves operational efficiency but also helps manage labor costs more effectively.

Effective integration of materials management with work execution ensures that technicians have the right parts at the right time, thereby reducing delays and improving service turnaround times. Implementing systems that update the asset hierarchy and inventory records in real time at the point of work—such as barcode scanning and RFID technology—helps maintain accurate records and supports better asset management practices.

Final thoughts

The future of workforce management in the rail industry hinges on the strategic integration of technology, standardized practices, and predictive analytics. While tools like Arcadis’ Mobile Work Execution (MWE) app can support these efforts, the focus should always be on adopting a holistic approach that considers the unique challenges and opportunities of the rail sector. By embracing innovation and striving for continuous improvement in workforce management, rail companies can not only enhance efficiency and compliance but also build a strong foundation for future growth.

Learn more about how Arcadis EAM Core and its MWE add-on can help you overcome your current asset management challenges and leverage the power of IBM Maximo in your organization.

 

Matt Gorham, Director Enterprise Asset Management Delivery

Asset Management has been central to Matt’s career. A Chartered Engineer who cut his teeth in the industry, he brings that experience to a decade of managing Asset Management Solutions implementation and consultancy. With an eye for real-world application, he ensures clients achieve workable, modern solutions with proven outcomes.

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