Outsourcing Railway Digitalization

By continuing the series of articles about Digitalization Strategies for Railway stakeholders, we hereby advice the way in which the Outsourcing Railway Digitalization tools can generate significant benefits.

With the objective of working more efficiently and profitably, outsourcing is presented as a practice in which one company pays another to carry out certain processes in which the second one specializes. In this way the main companies can focus on their business strategy, while specialists in certain areas, who are fed daily by improvements in their field, carry out exceptionally focused projects for the first.

Nevertheless, the fear of losing control or the effort needed to integrate the solution into his huge organisation can make the Operator to step behind. Additionally, they may fear the risk of delegating such an important project, the Digitalization of their rolling stock or other assets, to an external company.

We could let the fear of change paralyze us. However, what if outsourcing accelerates the system’s improvement and gives us the necessary push to reach better results? As demonstrated by Adam Smith, specialization is the key to increase operator’s efficiency and to improve the service provided.

Why outsourcing?

Carrying out your Digitalization project takes a lot of time and effort. The development of Assets Condition Monitoring tools means the whole process developing, from scratch to implementation. It entails the search additional sensorial items if needed, or their design and manufacture if they are not in the market. It requires the creation and maintenance of the software with all the programming that it entails, users management, etc. Many technical profiles, technological and communications knowledge and railway know-how is required.

If you decide to collaborate with a specialized company, your work will be done more automatically, with shorter deadlines. Furthermore, nowadays Railway Digitalization solutions are in constant evolution. Therefore, it is more probably that a third party is specialized and updated in new solutions.

At smart motors®, with our solutions that combine Outsourcing and Consulting, we integrate into the organizational structures of our clients, to provide support in the day-to-day business of the company. For this integration to be successful, we provide the best technological talent, professionals who have been specially trained and have experience in the railway and IT sector. For our professionals, embarking on a work experience of such magnitude is very exciting.

How to choose an outsourcing partner?

A. It is of paramount importance to analyse the wide range of existing solutions before making a decision. Before outsourcing, it is mandatory to define the main lines and priorities of your Digitalization strategy. When you search the outsourcing company, it must be clear the objective of the project and the results expected. Do as much meetings as needed in order to establish your requirements.

B. In our experience, satisfied clients have worked with companies who count with the best technicians, compromised and aware of innovations as well as railway experienced.

C. The outsourcing company must provide solutions already in use, existing tools that have been successfully used by other Operators. To work with a company that has the idea but not real work developed can be a risk.

D. The solutions have to provide savings: improve the service, decrease costs or generate new resources to improve the productivity. Make a business case to ensure that the project will provide benefits.

E. Ask other operator which have started a Digitalization of rolling stock and other assets to get to know their opinion and feedback.

How to set a successful communication between companies?

In order to obtain the best results, it is essential that the Railway Digitalization is a bilateral process where provider and customer work hand in hand. This must be transparent and constant and every time a new demand arises it must be communicated to the outsourced company so that it can be integrated to the pipeline.

Nowadays, we frequently face the challenge of understanding and collaboration between companies and even between  departments of the same company. It is a fact that low communication and not sharing the same goals reduces drastically the efficiency of common projects. This is something frequent in the Railway Industry due to the size of the companies, with thousands of workers and the many responsibilities that lay on them. The Outsourced company has to go beyond and create the links with all the Departments involved and foster dialog between Departments when the project requires it.

smart motors® offers support and proactive attention. We creates a team leadered by a Project manager who directs projects either from the client’s offices or from our own office independently. Our team will streamline interaction with the customer in order to achieve the best execution of the project and make sure that the results are transferred to the operator.

What are the benefits of outsourcing Railway Digitalization?

The benefits are clear, by the division of labor and specialization we achieve:

– Streamline maintenance and operation costs by turning fixed costs into variables
 Our customer are Operators and do not compete. It create synergies by which one Operator can take advantage of the developments made for other customers.
– Increase the quality of the outsourced service
– Improve the efficiency by focusing in the main activity
– Integrate innovativative solutions
– Guarantee the project completion and reduce  implementation time.

With more than 10 years specialized in the sector, smart motors® offers you monitoring solutions adapted to your needs. Foster operation and maintenance improvement, by making use of information in real time and optimizing resources to provide a better service at a lower cost.

If you would like more information on the work we do at smart motors® and how we can help your company in the Digital transformation, please visit our website here or contact us at info@smartmotors.org.

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