As the memorable 2020 draws to a close, it’s time to look back at what the last 12 months has meant for 3Squared…
With an unprecedented global pandemic hugely affecting both business and personal lives that none of us were expecting or prepared for, we take a breath and reflect on how 3Squared has not only got through it, but has managed to thrive throughout it.
Adapting to the ‘new normal’
Tim Jones, Managing Director, comments on the challenging, yet thrilling 2020 for 3Squared:
“This has been another landmark year for us at 3Squared, and like the rest of the world, we have had to adapt to a new way of working, not only to continue to operate effectively but to build even further on the amazing success we had achieved so far. We created Virtual Roadshows, webinars, online tutorials, virtual meetings and training sessions to seamlessly transfer to a remote way of working.
“Fortunately, we have always adopted a flexible approach to the work environment, nurturing a culture that encourages a positive work life balance and with so many of our work practices easily transferable to home, we didn’t stop for a moment to keep working hard for our clients.”
Our commitment to collaborative working has seen us obtain a series of important contract extensions throughout the year, demonstrating our successful way of working together with our clients to achieve the best possible solutions for them. We secured fantastic contract extensions with East Midlands Railway and LNER, providing them with continued support through our Employee Development System (EDS). We also signed a 3-year contract renewal with GB RailFreight, for continued and expanded use of our award-winning RailSmart suite of platforms. All these successes show our team’s commitment to constant improvement and our pioneering approach to the solutions we offer and our push towards innovation within the rail industry.
We led the consortium with Rail Operations Group and Freightliner to the successful bid for government funding to develop our innovative digital solution, Dynamic Freight Capacity Management (DFCM). We signed an amazing 3-year deal with Network Rail to supply our RailSmart Competency Management Solution, following a competitive tender process and seeing us secure one of our largest partnership deals in our company’s history to date.
In collaboration with RPD Inspire, we will be providing ETCS digital solutions for driver training on the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP). Heralded as the ‘flagship digital programme’ for Network Rail’s Control Period 6 (CP6), 3Squared will provide the digital solutions to support the development of familiarisation and training of drivers on European Train Control Systems (ETCS).
In perhaps the biggest achievement of the year, we won a contract with one of HS2’s direct suppliers, Skanska Costain STRABAG JV (SCS JV), to provide them with our RailSmart suite, with added bespoke modules, to ensure they have exactly the tools they need to carry out the huge task of delivering the tunnelling programme between London Euston and the M25.
This project has seen us launch our latest software platform – BulkSmart – offering an efficient way of managing a complex supply chain and takes our RailSmart suite one step further. The innovative BulkSmart tool supports the wider industry bringing the railway of the future into the present.
We are incredibly proud of the work of our team to bring this amazing new business to our door. The commitment of our people to constantly strive to offer new technologies and processes for new and existing clients, accelerating the journey to a fully digitised railway, is something we nurture and pride ourselves on as a business.
Developing the next generation of talent
Throughout the year, Managing Director Tim Jones, and Co-Founder and Commercial Director James Fox, have remained fully committed to investing in their people. Showcasing their continued support to help the growth and development of new skills and talent for the industry, by taking on a further 5 placements students from Sheffield Hallam University throughout 2020.
In addition, Lucy Prior was instrumental in the development of the Rail Human Library event, which was run digitally due to COVID-19 restrictions, allowing 3000 students to gain valuable insight into future careers in construction, technology and manufacturing and further pushing 3Squared’s commitment to STEM learning.
Overall, despite the working restrictions of the pandemic, due to the flexibility to work effectively remotely, 3Squared’s team has grown by 20% over the past 12 months.
This year has seen a number of high-profile accolades come 3Squared’s way – a testament to the hard work 3Squared has put into delivering high profile projects for the rail industry; named in the Northern Tech Awards as one of the fastest growing companies, picking up the joint award as the fastest growing SME at the Rail Industry Association Awards, being named in the list of Top Tech Yorkshire and most recently recognised in the 12 Clusters of Tech list for Yorkshire and Humber, has ensured 3Squared has once again had a year to celebrate!
To sum up…
Tim Jones finishes:
“We could not be prouder of our fantastic and passionate team and can’t thank them enough for how they’ve adapted this year, remaining completely committed to our efforts to enable the rail industry to become safer, greener and more efficient through digitisation.”