2022: A Reflection

As we near the end of 2022, it is time for us to take stock and reflect on the year’s experiences, our achievements, the lessons we have learned and plan for what is to come in 2023.

There is no denying that this year has certainly been action-packed, with several key achievements made across our organisation. First and foremost, a recent milestone we are proud to have achieved is our recognition as winners of the First of a Kind (FOAK) competition, organised by the Department for Transport and Innovate UK.

This recognition will enable us to further develop our PathPlanner tool to improve freight operations and unlock network capacity across the UK rail network. To be recognised in such a prestigious competition is a real milestone for 3Squared and something we are extremely proud of.

Following on from the above, a key focus for us next year will be the further development of our PathPlanner tool, led by Jason Durk, Principal Consultant.

PathPlanner is an innovative software solution designed to help freight operators run additional trains. It does this by utilising over 7 years’ worth of historical train records to help planners quickly identify available paths, which can be bid to Network Rail through the Very Short-Term Planning (VSTP) process – therefore allowing them to take advantage of much needed spare, and potentially wasted, capacity.

You can read more about PathPlanner and its intended roll out over on Jason’s ‘Meet the team’ here and an interview Martin Gleadow, Head of Customer Success, had with RSSB on their podcast at the start of the year, here.

Back in April, we were also selected for the Department for Transport’s ‘Transport Research Innovation Grants Programme’ (TRIG). These grants are designed to support feasibility and proof of concept projects, that will foster innovation within the UK transport sector, generate growth and cultivate links between the policy teams in the Department for Transport and innovators across the UK. Read more on the project and what it means for our industry, here.

It has been positive to see the continued uptake and usage of our products across the UK rail sector, including RailSmart and EDS. We started the year with a rebrand of the RailSmart product suite, to streamline the brand aesthetic and enable us to keep up to date with the rail industry’s evolving demands for seamless, efficient and easy to use tools and technologies.

This year also marked a return to a ‘new normal’ as we emerged from the pandemic into the world of hybrid working. It has been great to interact with colleagues in our Sheffield HQ, yet also retain our work-life balance through providing staff with the opportunity to work remotely. It is safe to say that this model of working is going well, and we look forward to continuing with it next year.

After two years of remote events, it was also enjoyable to get back to the world of face-to-face events this year. From Rail Live, to RIA and RFG hosted events and much more, to get out and about to events across the UK has been fantastic, as Graham Cooper, our Head of Product & Marketing, addressed in a blog earlier this year.

We are also proud to not only have retained staff this year but grow the team. We have made a number of key hires this year, from Martine Dodwell-Bennett joining the team as Divisional Director, to the expansion of our marketing team in the form of Graham Cooper as Head of Product & Marketing, Ross Bray as our Technical Services Director and Marie Hanby as Marketing Manager. Bringing in knowledge and expertise from other sectors continues to be a strength for 3Squared, and we are excited to grow the team further in 2023.

Finally, we would like to take the time to thank every single employee, client, partner, and peer that we have either met or continued to engage with, this year. Without your continuous support, we would not be the organisation that we are proud to be today, with an open, innovative, and enthusiastic culture at our core. We wish you all a fantastic festive break and look forward to seeing what 2023 has in store.

If you would like to hear more from the 3Squared team on how they can help make change work in your business in the year ahead, get in touch today.