Bombardier benefits from new staff competency technology

Bombardier Transportation UK is seeing big benefits following the introduction of the RailSmart Employee Development System (EDS) from digital software company 3Squared.

The multi-national company began the process of moving from inefficient paper-based competency assessment systems to EDS, 3Squared’s tablet-based mobile app, in 2017.

John Hickling, Bombardier’s Learning Development Manager, said: “3Squared’s EDS enables our Team Leaders and Depot Managers to truly manage the competencies of their own people. The business benefits through sound compliance and governance.

Bombardier is introducing EDS throughout its UK Services Execution depots and Heavy Maintenance facilities. EDS will eventually be used by around 2,000 UK Bombardier employees and contractors.

“Already we’re making big savings in time taken to complete assessments,” said John. “We’ve seen some taking up to 75 percent less time to complete from end to end.”

James Fox, 3Squared’s Commercial Director said: “EDS has become an established part of competency management for 3Squared’s customers, who include passenger and rail freight operators as well as suppliers to the industry.

James added: “EDS is smart, simple to use software designed to help lower business risk and reduce incidents. It is a digital record of staff competency assessments that enables users to deliver targeted training and support, route and traction knowledge, incidents, medicals and support plans while offering a paper free and improved view of competency data.”

John said staff reaction has been very positive, particularly amongst Depot Managers, Trainer/Assessors and staff being assessed.

“The move away from pen, paper and clipboards to tablet PCs and paperless administration is one of the popular aspects of the system and progresses our digitisation imperative,” he said.

“We wanted to change because our existing Competency Management Information System needed replacing. EDS provides all the functionality and the level of visibility we need coupled with an effective and intuitive reporting engine.

“It gives us absolute clarity of information held against each employee and contractor through a secure personal account in EDS, a legal General Data Protection Regulation requirement.

“The system encourages us to only use the competencies we actually need and use frequently,” said John.

“In addition, the system allows us to make our workforce more agile by providing reliable information through which we plan transfers when projects end and new ones start. Workforce retention is high on our list of business priorities.”

Bombardier went through a manual data transfer process from its existing database to make the transfer as clean as possible.

John said they tested EDS while changes were being made and are now ready to go live across the whole UK Services Execution business.