Month: September 2021

An insight into the world of rail

Rail staff with iPad

Earlier this month, Jemma Foster was named runner up in the coveted ‘Young Rail Professional’ category at the Rail Freight Group Awards. Since joining 3Squared in 2018, Jemma has flourished in her role as UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) Designer and Business Analyst, and grown into a role model across the business, widely recognised across the industry for her positive go-getter approach and clear vision. 

The recognition caps off a successful year for Jemma, which has seen her play a key role in our work with High Speed Two (HS2) and one of their direct contractors, Skanska Costain STRABAG JV (SCS JV), who have been commissioned to deliver the tunnelling programme for the large-scale route between London Euston up to the M25. 

UI/UX plays a significant role in the project, which Jemma helps to oversee. The bespoke element of the contract with SCS JV has seen the UI/UX team develop several enhancements to its existing software including terminal management, cost control and supplier performance, supporting whole-life value measures across the project. Jemma’s involvement has helped to make this part of the contract a success to date and lays a solid foundation for the future delivery of the project.  

Following on from her well-earned recognition at the RFG Awards, we took the time to sit down with Jemma to discuss what drew her to working with the rail industry and any top tips she may have for those looking to forge a career in this exciting and fast paced industry: 

“If you had asked me four years ago what industry I would be working in after I left University, I can safely say that the rail industry would never have crossed my mind. However, after getting lucky with finding such an awesome company to work for in my first ‘real’ job, the team at 3Squared have done so much to not only introduce me to the world of rail but open my eyes to a world of possibilities as to how we can make improvements to the industry. 

“Before becoming part of the industry, my rail knowledge was pretty limited to my experience as a passenger and knowing friends with family members who work at Bombardier. It was a surprise to discover the wealth of areas within the industry and it remains one of the things I love, and which makes every day interesting. 

“I have since worked on UX projects, designing accessible apps to help passengers organise assistance in stations, in cab safety apps to warn of areas with low adhesion, and complex data monitoring software systems with Remote Condition Monitoring. There are so many different elements of the rail industry that are required to keep it moving, none of which I was aware of before working at 3Squared and talking to our clients. 

“I might be biased working at a software company, but I firmly believe that technology has the potential to make significant improvements to the industry. From digitising paper-based processes (which our RailSmart suite of products has its roots) to full logistics solutions, we can truly make a difference to the day-to-day jobs of our software users, all the way up to the passengers who can travel on safer and efficient railways, alongside helping the planet with the drive to reduce carbon. 

“This is what makes events such as the RFG Awards so exciting. Knowing that the awards champion the possibilities and opportunities the rail industry provides is incredible and benefits so many people, alongside inspiring new talent to join the industry who bring with them new thoughts and ideas.”

If you would like to find out more information about you could become a member of the 3Squared team, please visit our careers page here. 

Great British RailSmart Day – 29th September 2021

RailSmart EDS on laptop and tablet

Join us on the 29th September for an informative and interactive session where we will be demonstrating our RailSmart competency management system, EDS: Employee Development System, and showcasing exactly why and how you can benefit from digitalizing this crucial element of caring for and developing your staff.  

The day will feature a number of specific sections, each will provide invaluable content in their own right, and as a whole will help you understand how you could benefit as an individual or an organization from the application of EDS in your working environment.  

Get your free ticket on our Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/3squared-great-british-railsmart-day-tickets-169259049373 

 

Session one: What is competency management and why do you need it?  

12:00-13:00 

Competency management systems (CMSs) provide a framework and process through which an organisation manages health and safety in the workplace by ensuring that the requisite number of staff possess, maintain and review the necessary competencies at all levels.  

In this session we will discuss the benefits of introducing a digital CMS and how the proactive measurement of people’s competencies drives health and safety, and organisational efficiency.  

Securing competence and development of staff at all levels is a crucial element of simultaneously embedding and securing a culture that proactively manages safety, by making health and safety everybody’s business.  

We will conclude this session with a high-level overview of EDS.  Focusing on the principal elements of the system we will demonstrate how individual employees and managers are enabled to track and progress throughout competency cycles which underpin and enhance organisational efficiency and promote a culture in which everyone understands the role they play in their own and their team’s health and safety  

Session two: EDS for rail professionals, a deeper dive  

14:00-15:00 

According to the ORR* organisations “need an effective system for managing competence to help make sure that their staff have the appropriate skills [so] workers, supervisors, managers and directors have and keep the appropriate skills, helps ensure those members of staff make safe decisions and carry out their work safely, reducing the risks to themselves and to other people.”  

In this session we will take a much deeper look into EDS, and show you how organisations across the rail community and supply chain use EDS to do exactly what the ORR recommends. Citing use cases from across signalling, rolling stock manufacture and maintenance and train operations we will demonstrate the positive impact and benefit that EDS has provided to our clients. This will specific element of the day will show you how EDS can provide a consistent CMS framework that suits all organisations, whilst providing the necessary personalisation to ensure that your own unique use cases can be accommodated.  

Background:  

Here at 3Squared, we are proud to count over 25000 individuals as users of our Employee Development System, EDS. EDS is a competency management system that sits at the heart of RailSmart, our suite of digital tools that enables our clients to harness the digitalisation of processes to become safer, more efficient and more sustainable. Used by Network Rail, passenger and freight operators, vehicle and wagon manufacturers and maintainers, EDS has been developed as a SaaS product for the railway industry, but it is a system that offers carefully tailored content to ensure that it is intuitive to use whilst addressing the specific and complex needs of each client in relation to their unique risk profiles.  

For more information on EDS and the importance of digital competency management tools please see further information on our website: https://3squared.com/blog/building-back-safer-the-important-role-that-competency-management-plays-in-keeping-the-railway-safe/  

You can also find more information about competency management in our article featured in ‘Inside Track’ (p.52-54): https://issuu.com/raildirector/docs/it_july21_fullmag_jh/52  

*Source: ORR, RM3 2019 

HS2 unveils the ‘beating heart of HS2 in London’ at its London logistics hub

HS2 London logistics hub

HS2 has today revealed the colossal logistics operation that is taking place at HS2’s logistics hub near Willesden Junction. The 30-acre site will be the beating heart of the logistics operation for HS2 in London, and will be where earth from the 26 miles of tunnel will be processed and critical construction materials, such as pre-cast tunnel segment rings, will be delivered. The hub has been constructed and will be operated by HS2’s Main Works Civils Contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV).

The construction of HS2’s London tunnels will require 5.6million tonnes of earth to be excavated. After being processed at the site near Willesden Junction, it will be taken by train to three locations across the UK – Barrington in Cambridgeshire, Cliffe in Kent, and Rugby in Warwickshire – where it will put to beneficial reuse, filling voids which will then be used as a basis for redevelopment, such as house building.

Last year, 3Squared secured a major contract working on HS2, alongside one of its 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.

Tim Jones, Managing Director of 3Squared, said:

“It is fantastic to see the hard work and effort coming to fruition in this large-scale logistics operation, which will radically improve efficiencies and operations across the wider UK transport network. Joining the HS2 project has marked an exciting chapter in 3Squared’s journey, and we look forward to continuing to work with SCS JV and providing our technological skill and expertise, as HS2 progresses.”

Read the story on the hub and what it means for the project in full, over on HS2’s website here and find out more information on 3Squared’s involvement in HS2 here.

Claire Booth joins 3Squared to lead on client support expansion

Claire Booth, Head of Customer Support

Leading Software Application Support Management expert Claire Booth has joined rail technology consultancy 3Squared in the role of Head of Client Support, as part of the award-winning company’s wider strategy to build on the success of its client support department and take it to the next level.   

With 14 years’ experience in Customer Support Management and 24 years in software support, Claire joins 3Squared from Proactis, where she was Head of Customer Support for nearly a decade. Claire is passionate about the world of technology and innovation, and the transformative power it holds to streamline operations and develop new ways of working, honed through her expertise.  

At 3Squared, Claire will be managing a team of four, and will focus on all elements of customer support and service; from technical investigations to deployment of new technologies across the support operations, to making changes to client reporting and creating an open forum for clients to engage and provide feedback. It is an exciting role for the business, with its client support function playing an integral role to its wider operations.  

Since their inception in 2002, the Sheffield-based consultancy has scaled its work both in the UK and internationally, to deliver innovative ground-breaking technological solutions for its customers and become leading specialists in the development of mobile and web apps for major clients across the construction, rail, and manufacturing sectors.  

With long established strategic partnerships with key technology providers, 3Squared aim to create integrated and robust solutions that cater to companies’ individual needs. The future for the company’s support department looks even brighter with Claire’s rich experience brought in.  

Claire Booth commented on her new role: “I am excited to join 3Squared at a landmark point in their journey. I feel like I am already at home and can’t wait to work alongside and collaborate with some of the greatest minds in the UK rail technology space. Customer support and service is the backbone of any client facing operation and I look forward to working with our talented team, to take the department to the next stage and continue to provide our customers with a gold standard, market leading service.”  

James Fox, Commercial Director and Co-Founder, said: “We are honoured to have Claire on board to drive forward and evolve our client support department. With her vast experience and warm personality, she is a real fit for the business, and we look forward to seeing how she will drive the function forward in new and innovative ways.”