1. Combine technologies & synchronize initiatives
The right combinations of technologies are key. Combining predictive maintenance with 3D printing/additive manufacturing, for example, can boost overall asset health, as well as improving the stock of essential spare parts. Similarly, combining IoT devices with video gates and AI will deliver more accurate insights than by using IoT devices alone. It’s also critical, however, to ensure synchronization with initiatives already underway. Several rail operators are applying advanced technologies to specific situations and challenges—but few are grouping them under one umbrella.
2. Align technologies with business processes
Alignment of technologies with the relevant business process is essential. Predictive maintenance should be aligned with procurement for example, because procurement has insight into demand and thus is key to defining asset availability. To fully optimize asset availability, however, operators need to build an ecosystem around the asset. Collaborating transparently with OEMs, IT platform providers, parts manufacturers, IoT partners and others will give all parties the insights they need to optimize collectively, while building trust in data by focusing on IT/OT security.
3. Retrain workforce and redefine roles
Managing a fleet according to sustainability targets on a corporate scale requires full visibility into an entirely new set of criteria—and that knowledge needs to be embedded into both processes and mindsets. Upskilling the workforce for the digital age will help break down siloes and siloed thinking and support smooth and effective change management, as well as the successful redefinition of roles. Embedding XR technology into training programs for engineers will help accelerate progress across a wider range of challenges, for instance. And a workforce trained to deal confidently with big data can be better prepared to recognize the relevant insights it yields and reject distractions.