Multimodal 2023, 13th-15th June at the NEC Birmingham
Visit us at Stand 8052!
June will see us exhibiting at Multimodal 2023, where we look forward to joining organisations from across the supply chain and logistics sector. We’ll be showcasing our latest solutions and how they can support a myriad of organisations, from freight operators to supply chain companies.
Martin Gleadow, our Head of Customer Success, will be part of the ‘Rail’s Digital Future’ panel, joining Maggie Simpson, Director General of Rail Freight Group, alongside a selection of other great speakers. The panel will be held 11:34am-12:34pm, Wednesday 14th June at Logistics UK Conference Theatre. You can read more about this panel here.
Ensure you visit our team at Stand 8052 for an insight into our solutions, including RailSmart and PathPlanner, and discover more about our vision to Make. Change. Work. – a means to enabling digital transformation.
We’re delighted to join Rail Forum and five other Rail Forum members at this year’s Railtex. Railtex is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the latest industry advancements and join representatives from across the dynamic rail market.
Make sure to visit us at Stand D17 to hear how we Make. Change. Work., and learn more about our innovative RailSmart suite of solutions. RailSmart streamlines operations, drives efficiencies and overhauls users’ approach to the adoption of modern technologies.
Sheffield has always been a forward-thinking, innovative city, and we are proud to call it our home. From the city’s history as a steel producer, to the thriving community of SMEs, Sheffield has a rich history of innovation. Digital connectivity and its underpinning infrastructure support businesses and people in a myriad of ways, from remote working to travelling, streaming and more.
Shifting digital trends
The latest data from the government illustrates widespread internet usage across the UK, with 92% of adults in the UK regularly using the internet and the proportion of over 75-year-olds regularly accessing the internet nearly doubling between 2013 to 2020 – no doubt expanding further since this data was released in 2021.
Connectivity and usage have unquestionably been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We’ve seen trends for typical consumers shifting online, with the growth of platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, as well as the expansion of social media platforms like TikTok. Ofcom reports that ‘UK adults are now spending more than a quarter of their waking day online – the highest on record’.
Across industries such as our own, we’ve seen similar shifts reflected. Most notably, the move to remote working, with ONS reporting that between 2019 and 2022 ‘home working in the UK has more than doubled’.
Within the rail industry and wider transport sector, digitalisation and the ‘digital railway’ has been a key focus of discussion and development. Major infrastructure projects such as the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP), a project in which we are proudly involved in, are integrating digitalisation and innovative technology.
With these trends in mind, building world-class digital infrastructure to support people and businesses in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and across the UK has never been more important.
‘Powering connectivity in Sheffield’ roundtable
In February, our Technical Services Director, Ross Bray, was part of the ‘Powering connectivity in Sheffield’ roundtable hosted by ITS Technology and Insider.
The roundtable’s focus was directed on ‘Sheffield’s vision for a world-class digital infrastructure underpinned by high-quality, futureproof full fibre services’, and brought together representatives from the city’s digital space, as well as the more traditional industries that Sheffield is known for.
It was certainly interesting to hear a broad range of perspectives from Sheffield businesses. For instance, manufacturing company Gripple shared the challenges they face in the manufacturing sector. It was clear that no matter our size, sector or location, we face a central challenge: how to connect people better.
Technical Services Director, Ross witnesses the tangible benefits digital connectivity can provide on a daily basis, whether that is in the solutions 3Squared delivers, or the ability to work from home whilst staying connected with the team.
Ross’s career path has meant he has always been an advocate for digital connectivity and the benefits it provides, even prior to joining our team.
Ross and the rest of the 3Squared team are eager to see the growth and change that connectivity can have for Sheffield-based businesses like ours, as well as for people across Yorkshire.
The new way of working
The digital world we live in impacts the way businesses work internally, as well as the way we collaborate with other organisations.
Instead of complicated logistics and hours of travel, we can connect online at the click of a button. This enables more efficient, effective communication across businesses and clients, changing the face of project delivery. It also enables more opportunities to engage with people.
Remote working can empower people to join the workforce, including parents and people with disabilities, which supports equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). We pride ourselves on offering more opportunities in Sheffield, such as through our partnership with Sheffield Hallam University. We are also excited to get involved with new projects supporting EDI in the fields of technology, innovation and rail.
From the roundtable discussion, it is certain that the hybrid approach we and many other businesses take is here to stay. Nevertheless, we all require the necessary infrastructure to successfully support this new way of working.
The digital railway
Here at 3Squared, we know that digital connectivity underpins everything – from developing software to putting it into action.
Digital solutions for the rail industry require data, and a lot of it. To maximise the benefits of our solutions, we need to share huge amounts of data with a diverse set of people located across the country.
Real-time data collection will play a pivotal role in the future of the rail industry. The insights coupled with such data will improve performance, efficiency, safety, and sustainability.
To make this future rail network a reality as with the new way of working, we require this same effective digital connectivity infrastructure across the UK.
We would like to thank ITS Technology and Insider Media for hosting the insightful roundtable and the Sheffield business community representatives for a great discussion.
Would you like to learn more about 3Squared and our solutions? Get in contact today via [email protected]
3Squared is excited to join other business, community and local authority representatives in Sheffield at Insider and ITS Technology Group’s ‘Powering Connectivity in Sheffield Roundtable’ on 15th February 2023 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
The roundtable will be focussed on ‘Sheffield’s vision for a world-class digital infrastructure underpinned by high-quality, futureproof full fibre services.’
3Squared is joining rail industry leaders and suppliers at TransCityRail on 9th February 2023 in the Midlands.
With infrastructure investment in the £ billions, delivering on one of the UK’s major rail projects requires collaboration and what better way to get together with leading innovators than on the ground at this key industry event for the Midlands.
It is only by listening and rising to the challenges of our clients in the Rail industry that 3Squared continually expands the capabilities of its software to help suppliers and contractors deliver on their projects safely, productively and efficiently, while ensuring the markers of compliance are satisfied.
We look forward to meeting you at TransCity Rail and hearing about your projects, challenges and vision.
If you would like a chat, you can email Jason Greig, Sales and Account Manager, on [email protected] to arrange a suitable time.
With thanks from 3Squared to the sponsors and organisers at TransCityRail, we wish everyone an enjoyable day.
Rail Live is a key event in the industry calendar, with delegates from across the UK rail sector heading to Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre in Warwickshire, for an action packed two days full of exhibitions, panels, insights, collaboration hubs and more.
The 3Squared team have always enjoyed attending Rail Live over the years and heading along this year will be Martin Gleadow, Solution Architect and Graham Cooper, Head of Product and Marketing. We recently sat down with Martin to get his thoughts on what he is looking forward to at the event next week and the benefits 3Squared are reaping from the new world of events in 2022:
What are you most excited about seeing at this year’s Rail Live?
As well as catching up with people I’ve not seen for a while and enjoying networking events within the programme hosted by Rail Forum, I am also looking forward to seminars on productivity and sustainability as well as live demonstrations of rail, operations and the Network Rail Village showcasing a wide range of topics.
And of course, the British Transport Police (BTP) dogs will be there again – last year I met a gorgeous puppy just starting out on his training and look forward to hopefully seeing him again!
Why would you say it is a key industry event and what makes it so special?
Rail Live is an event like no other, being held outdoors in an operational railway location. It attracts companies from across the sector, with representation from every level within an organisation from apprentice to executive.
Sometimes with conferences and exhibitions you tend to only get a specific sector or role represented, but with Rail Live everyone is there in a very informal setting. Last year I met Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s Chief Executive, over a bacon sandwich, as well as people just starting out on their rail career.
How has the event evolved since you first started attending?
This will only be my second year at Rail Live, so it’ll be interesting to see what changes I notice from year to year. However, I understand from talking to rail industry colleagues that the event has done well at growing and evolving since it started as a rail plant show, to representing the entire supply chain.
What interesting updates from 3Squared do you anticipate delegates will be interested in hearing about at the event?
I’m looking forward to talking about the updates we have planned for our applications, the roadmaps we are putting together, and the longer-term visions we have for how digital technology can be an enabler for innovations and improvements in the planning, operation, and management of the railway. Hopefully these updates will also interest delegates!
Why is industry networking and collaboration so important at 3Squared?
Understanding what the wider industry is doing, the challenges people face, and what emerging trends are identified is key to understanding customers and ensuring our products meet the needs of the industry. There is no better way to do that than by talking to the people who operate the railway.
We don’t just want to react to changes though; we want to help, understand, and inform the future through collaboration across the supply chain to help rail deliver as much benefit to society as possible. Events like these are so important as they bring together a real cross section of people.
How have you found the new world of events (e.g., hybrid) since emerging from lockdown?
It has been great to get back to in person events. Virtual events helped to bridge the gap and webinars are a very useful tool but it’s hard to overstate the importance of face-to-face contact for really building relationships and learning more.
Plenty of lessons were learned in lockdown which will be applicable even as we relax restrictions, such as better experiences for those who aren’t able to attend in person, and I hope we continue to see technology used alongside traditional events to increase accessibility and inclusion.
How important is innovation to the future of a greener, digital rail network?
Innovation is vital when it comes to addressing the challenges of running a more efficient and sustainable rail network, but we need to be careful not to assume digital solutions will solve all problems. Done right, a digital railway will help to achieve this, but innovation needs to be a solution to a problem rather than just for the sake of innovating, and it needs to include people and process as the key components with technology acting as an enabler.
We look forward to seeing our friends and colleagues from across the industry at next week’s event! If you would like to arrange a meeting with the team, get in touch with us via [email protected]
Earlier this week, this year’s RIA Innovation Conference was held in Nottingham, with the rail industry coming out in force for the hotly anticipated event.
After two years of online and hybrid events, it was a fantastic opportunity for 3Squared to meet with friends and colleagues from across the industry. Representing 3Squared at the event was Martin Gleadow, our Solution Architect, and a well-known face across the industry.
Read more on Martin’s takeaways from the event below and the insights he gleaned about the future of the Great British Railways, below:
“The theme of the event this year was “Preparing for Great British Railways”, and it was fantastic to see some high-profile speakers at the event really backing this message. First up on Tuesday was Keith Williams, co-author of last year’s Williams-Shapps report, talking about the progress made by the Great British Railways Transition Team and how the culture of the organisation will be built to be representative of society and to embrace change. Emphasis was put on a need for openness and collaboration, with Great British Railways taking an ‘open by default’ view to data.
“Wednesday’s keynote followed this up with Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, talking about the importance of rail to the nation and the challenges of running a highly complex and highly visible system which delivers significant economic and social value, and how success comes from remembering this is why rail exists; to meet the needs of customers. Peter also talked about his time at Transport for London and how the innovation he saw happening with the data they made available really transformed his view of open data.
“Elsewhere there were representatives from across the industry sharing their experiences and innovation journeys, as well as opportunities for the supply chain and examples of successes. Stand outs for me were Toufic Machnouk talking about the East Coast Digital Programme implementing digital signalling on a key route in the UK, and Professor Sarah Sharples sharing views on her role as Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Transport and how she came to be working in rail.
“There were also workshop sessions both days, where on Tuesday I chose to attend an RSSB session on the Rail Technical Strategy and three of their current cohort of placement students ran through research they have undertaken into battery technology, sensors, and digital twins. The next day, I joined a Train Operating Company session, learning about how LNER and Transport for Wales approach innovation and use it to change behaviours and meet customer needs and desires.
“Outside of the formal sessions there was exhibition space and networking time, allowing me to see what a range of organisations have been up to and to catch up with people I have not seen for a while. All in all, it was a great couple of days and a valuable opportunity to meet up with representatives from across the rail industry to understand trends, challenges and opportunities and I would definitely recommend getting involved next year.”
If you would like to find out more information about how 3Squared could support you with your innovation needs, get in touch with a member of the team here or by emailing [email protected]
3Squared are excited to announce details of their exclusive in-person event with community group Rail Innovation Group (RIG) and rolling stock experts Porterbrook, at their office in the heart of Sheffield on Wednesday 17th November 2021, from 4pm – 6pm.
The event, titled “Creating a culture for innovation”, will delve into what creates a supportive, open, and creative culture, for emerging and established transport and technology companies. 3Squared are renowned across the industry for their diverse and welcoming culture, as exemplified in their recent ‘Highly commended’ recognition in the ‘People, Skills and Diversity’ category at the Railway Innovation Awards 2021 (curated by Modern Railways).
During the event, Martin Gleadow, Head of IT and Technical Innovation at 3Squared, will be discussing the key ingredients for a culture for innovation. Joining Martin will be Steph Klecha, Head of Digital Services at Porterbrook Leasing. Steph is responsible for Porterbrook’s Digital Strategy and will be looking into the data that is available from Porterbrook’s nationwide portfolio of trains. During the session, she will also talk about how Porterbrook are engaging the supply chain to drive data-led performance improvements for track and train.
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.
Session one: What is competency management and why do you need it?
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
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.
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.
Attending the last Rail Live event in 2019, we never thought the events of 2020 were just around the corner and it would be two years on when the next event would take place. The rail industry is one where networking, events and face-to-face relationship building thrives and Rail Live, a key event on the industry calendar, captures this.
In prime position at stand M58 down at Quinton Rail Technology Centre in Warwickshire, we were excited to see our friends and colleagues from the across the industry beyond the screen and face-to-face. The atmosphere was palpable, and it felt like a safe space to be in, with additional safety precautions from hand sanitizing stations and reduced numbers, to keeping a lot of the activity outdoors to advanced PPE; the event felt as Covid secure as possible. Credit must be given to the Rail Live organisers for the hard work that went in to making the event happen and a resounding success.
Our stand was in a fantastic location to meet with our peers from across the rail industry and discuss the latest innovations we are developing at 3Squared. We found there was a significant amount of interest in our PathPlanner system and of course, our RailSmart suite of products. To see interest in our products is always an exciting feeling and it was nice to have the opportunity to build an in-person rapport with the delegates and go into the detail behind how we construct and build our products and services. Given it was the hottest day of the year so far, our slushie machine also went down a treat with delegates flocking to our stand to escape the heat and chat to our team whilst they cooled down!
There was much to see and do at the event, and a particular draw was the innovative and attractive footbridge design unveiled by Network Rail. The circular bridge design is set to revolutionise how bridges are built over railway lines and are made from lightweight Fibre-Reinforced Polymer, which is successfully and widely used in the aerospace and automotive industries. You can read more about this innovative and groundbreaking design here – we can’t wait to see the positive impact this innovative design will have on the network.
Credit must also be given to the fantastic set up by across the Network Rail Village. We felt there was a real appetite from the body to engage with what is going on across the industry and find out about the latest technologies, and it was great to see leading industry figures such as Andrew Haines and Ian Prosser out and about, on the ground at the event.
All in all, attending this year’s event really highlighted to us just how collaborative and engaging the rail industry is to work in. People are at the heart of the industry and events like Rail Live serve to reinforce this. Thanks to those who took the time to visit us down at stand M58 and we cannot wait to see you at more industry events, in-person and virtually, soon.
If you would be interested in hearing more about 3Squared or would like a demo of our tools, then get in touch with a member of our team today.