Rail organizations are constantly striving to optimize asset performance while ensuring reliability and improving the overall condition, security and safety of their networks. They must balance conflicting demands, between investing in the new and maintaining the old in order to deliver a better service and an improved customer experience.

Years of inadequate investment in existing assets can see reactive maintenance take the lion’s share of the maintenance budget. This impacts performance, from an increase in breakdowns and delays to wasted fuel and passenger crowding. At the same time, environmental, safety and regulatory compliance requirements are becoming more stringent, while climate change, urbanization and shifting demographics must also be accounted for in future planning.

When it comes to balancing investment in both aging infrastructure and new expansion to satisfy growth, tough unbiased decisions need to be made.

Enter Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

Accurate information about the assets you are accountable for, their performance, associated risk and cost of ownership is a must. Once informed, you can bring robust options and transparent business cases to the table to satisfy the needs of your stakeholders, from government authorities, regulators and politicians to environmentalists and customers.

Adopting holistic asset management principles enables a culture shift. It puts you firmly back in the driving seat and back in control.

Embrace the New

Development of the "connected" smart rail ecosystem is within reach for some organizations. This is enabled by the increase in computing power, new capabilities to process large amounts of data in real time and the affordability of the supporting technology.

And while it can be very easy to get caught up in the excitement of technology advances, it would be remiss to not tackle some of the potential legacy issues that could impede your adoption of the New.

When scoping your initial EAM initiatives seek to build a strong foundation by prioritizing these six areas for success:

1. Create a compelling case for change

Communicate, engage and co-create with your C-suite and business leaders across all divisions.

2. Align your leadership and skills

Take time at the outset of your EAM journey to truly co-create the vision and roadmap with leadership and employees.

3. Develop your data analytics capability

Embed data analytics throughout your organization to help develop asset strategies, lifecycle programs, operating regimes and robust investment plans.

4. Become a master of your asset data

Establish strong data governance and links across relevant business processes to gain the real-time 360-degree visibility.

5. Integrate your capital delivery process

Educate your capital delivery and supply chain teams on your asset management requirements.

6. Adopt an insight-driven approach to change

Take care to build in a tracking capability so you can measure each transition as you move to a high-integrity asset management culture.

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To be successful in the New, stay focused on business outcomes. Keep it relevant for those involved. And continue to generate insights that facilitate bold, frank and transparent conversations with your staff and your supply chain.

About the Authors

Alden Cuddihey

Managing Director – Rail and Transit Global

Michael English

Managing Director – Rail and Transit NA

Pierre-Olivier Desmurs

Managing Director – Rail and Transit EALA

Lesley Hamilton

Senior Manager – Rail and Transit NA


Rail transport is reinventing for the digital age
Technology Vision 2018

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