Month: July 2020

3Squared launch RailSmart Virtual Campus to accelerate the digital railway

RailSmart Virtual Campus on laptop

Leading software company 3Squared, provider of technological solutions to the rail industry, is pleased to announce the launch of its RailSmart Virtual Campus, in response to the rapidly evolving needs of its customers and to support rail bodies across the UK to bring the digital railway to life.

The campus, the first of its kind for the Sheffield-based SME, will enable RailSmart customers to access a blend of training tools including eLearning modules, virtual instructor led training, micro simulation and other interactive content. It will also be harnessed by 3Squared for the onboarding of its customers to their RailSmart product portfolio, as seen in its recent success in onboarding Network Rail to support rail passengers across the UK.

This significant milestone follows on from a successful year for 3Squared, following their recent signing of coveted contracts with HS2, Network Rail and RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board). RailSmart, 3Squared’s flagship product, is a driver for operational efficiency and simplifying information management. It provides the industry with a suite of software applications to help improve operational efficiency, reduce incidents, mitigate business risk and overcome complex rail challenges.

Bespoke elearning opportunities

The innovative product is built on top of the industry leading commercial SAP Litmos cloud based Learning Management System (LMS) platform, which is currently used by over 22 million learners worldwide. The LMS will also be integrated into 3Squared’s award-winning competency management solution, RailSmart EDS. Using the LMS, customers will be able to create bespoke eLearning content, schedule distance based instructor led courses and include them as interactions within competency cycles and development plans. Through the EDS, assessors will also be able to view employees eLearning results and course completion information.

3Squared have chosen to use SAP Litmos due to its enterprise grade reliability, accessibility and cutting edge features, such as its machine learning assessment capabilities, that can analyse video observations for correctness and sentiment.

John Hickling, Client Partnership Director at 3Squared, commented:

“With the Coronavirus pandemic forcing everyone to work remotely we felt it was the perfect time to launch our RailSmart Virtual Campus. 3Squared’s innovative rail products save our customers time and boost efficiencies, and the Virtual Campus ensures that clients can get up to speed with our products quickly and easily from the comfort of their own home.

“Technology is radically transforming the world of transportation and we are excited to be at the forefront of the step change across the industry, and showcasing how digital innovation can truly deliver value to rail customers across the UK.”

Get in touch if you would like to request a demo of the RailSmart Virtual Campus.

A year in the life of 3Squared

A year in the life of 3Squared

As we head into the second week of the new financial year for 3Squared, we take the time to pause, reflect and look back at key milestones from across the past 12 months. And what a momentous 12 months it has been.

Starting the year in style

The team kicked the year off in style with the news that 3Squared’s RailSmart technology product was named “Highly Commended” at the annual Railway Industry Innovation Awards on 28 June 2019 – quite the coup to begin the year with. This was shortly followed by the first of 17 new appointments to be made this year, with Lucy Prior MBE joining the team as Business Engagement Director in August 2019.

Investing in their people

Throughout the year, Managing Director Tim Jones, and Co-Founder and Commercial Director James Fox, have remained fully committed to investing in their people. To reaffirm its belief in its people, the team have been able to showcase their continued support to helping the growth and development of new skills and talent for the industry this year, by taking on a further five placements students from Sheffield Hallam University. The students gain valuable experience in a thriving business and get a taste of what life would be like after they graduate. In addition the team, led by Lucy Prior, were instrumental in the development of the Rail Human Library event. This event was due to take place in partnership with ‘Get Up to Speed’, an initiative that attracts over 3,000 students from across the North, East and Midlands, encouraging them to take an interest in the Construction, Technology and Manufacturing sectors. Scheduled to take place during the second week of the Coronavirus lockdown, Lucy and RHL founder Tracey Baber rallied the industry to run the event digitally through Twitter and Facebook, in turn generating some fantastic results and positive engagement.

Committed to the North

Picking up awards has become something of a habit, as towards the end of 2019, 3Squared was named as one of Yorkshire’s Top 20 Technology companies and at the end of May, they added a finalist position in the Northern Tech Awards Top 100 Fastest Growing Technology Companies to their growing list of accolades. Building on their strong bond with the region, 3Squared further committed their future to the North in early 2020, as they invested in and moved into a shiny new office space in central Sheffield on a 10-year lease.

Investing in the future

As the team continued on their growth mission, an investment of over £1m was made to further enhance 3Squared’s RailSmart products. These developments will add increased functionality and improved user experiences, which existing customers will be able to take advantage of including East Midlands Railway and LNER, who renewed their RailSmart subscriptions in May and June respectively.

Finishing the year with a string of new contract wins

The good news kept on coming in June, as 3Squared closed out their financial year with a string of new RailSmart contracts. In a consortium with Rail Operations Group and Freightliner, 3Squared were successful in winning the RSSB Dynamic Train Planning Competition, securing funding to develop an innovative solution to help rail freight plan short term paths more effectively. Less than one week later, 3Squared signed a three-year deal to supply RailSmart to Network Rail following a competitive tender process. Looking ahead, Network Rail will be harnessing RailSmart to proactively manage and improve the capabilities of its operational staff. Finally, they closed out the year with the landmark announcement that they will be working with one of HS2’s direct contractors, Skanska Costain STRABAG JV (SCS JV), who are delivering the tunnelling programme for the route between London Euston up to the M25.

Tim Jones, Managing Director, comments on 3Squared’s landmark year:

“We have had a really busy and eventful year at 3Squared but it is only when you stop to reflect and list everything we have achieved that you really appreciate it. What is even more amazing about this, is that the majority of this work has been completed during the Covid-19 lockdown as the team and our customers work remotely and quickly adjust to the new normal.

“Our success is testament to our brilliant and passionate team and the collaborative relationships we have with our customers has enabled us to make the progress in the way that we have. We are excited for the coming year and beyond, and look forward to sharing more of our good news with you in the future. Thank you for your continued support.”

3Squared secures major contract on HS2

Rail Staff

Sheffield-based 3Squared has been awarded a major contract working on High Speed Two (HS2), generating new jobs within the South Yorkshire region. The railway technology company are working with one of HS2’s direct contractors, Skanska Costain STRABAG JV (SCS JV), who are delivering the tunnelling programme for the route between London Euston up to the M25.

The three-year contract will see the company supplying its RailSmart software, alongside some bespoke modules, to form a supply chain management system, giving visibility of the complex freight supply chain, and providing live performance, cost management information and operational control data in real-time.

In April, the Government gave approval for the next stage of the HS2 project which has meant HS2 contractors now have the go ahead to start building the new low carbon, high speed railway. HS2’s Main Works Civils Contractors (MWCCs) are now leading the transition from scheme design and preparatory work, to full detailed design and construction, and this progress has unlocked a huge amounts of new contract opportunities for the construction sector.

3Squared are now working on one of an estimated 400,000 supply chain contract opportunities that are being created for UK businesses which will support thousands of jobs on site and many more around the country. This work package has meant that in a time of economic uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 3Squared have not only managed to retain its workforce but in 2020 have expanded, creating thirteen new jobs at its head office in Sheffield, three of which were staff that have been employed following work placements or apprenticeships. The contract award has also enabled 3Squared to further strengthen its relationship with local academia as it takes on 5 placement students who are all on their final degree year with Sheffield Hallam University.

The Sheffield based firm has recently made a £250,000 investment commitment to the North by pledging its long-term allegiance to the Sheffield city region by opening its new flagship headquarters in the heart of the city. This investment triples its office space giving the company plenty of room for future growth.

HS2 Ltd’s Commercial and Supply Chain Director, David Poole, said: “HS2 will play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery following the pandemic, and this contract award is just one of many that is helping create and sustain jobs around the country. Not only can HS2 support SMEs and regional economies near Phase One of the railway between the West Midlands and London, but it is also playing a pivotal role in the Government’s wider ‘levelling up’ agenda.”

The bespoke part of the contract with SCS JV will see 3Squared develop a number of enhancements to its existing software including terminal management, cost control and supplier performance, which will support whole-life value measures across this project.  These features were specified and designed by Legge Infrastructure Services, a construction and transportation strategic consultancy and the appointed rail freight logistics lead sub-contractors working on behalf of SCS JV.

Tim Jones, co-founder and Managing Director of 3Squared, said: “We are delighted to play a part in the construction of HS2, a scheme that will bring much-needed capacity to the UK rail network. The capabilities of our RailSmart platform combined with the pioneering and innovative BulkSmart enhancements, will deliver significant benefits to the project and deliver a solution that could be of benefit to the other phases of HS2, all major infrastructure projects and any bulk material suppliers.

“This contract award has not only led to the creation of new roles within 3Squared, but it has also supplemented existing job roles.   We are an employer that truly believes in investing in its workforce; actively improving our own diversity and inclusivity is high on our agenda and part of our culture.  We are proud of the fact that we share both HS2’s and SCSJV’s commitment to celebrating diversity.”

To date, over 2,000 UK registered companies have won work on HS2, and over 9000 jobs have been supported. It is estimated that around 95% of contract opportunities on the project will be won by UK based businesses and around two thirds of those will be small and medium sized businesses.