As Vice President of Customer Success at Wi-Tronix, I can attest to the necessity of efficiency to ensure success. Efficiency is not an option; it is essential in the rail space to reduce silos, improve the flow of information, and improve communication. But what does efficiency look like and how can we ensure that our railways maximize it?

Efficiency, or the lack thereof, can exist in every sector of the rail industry. From parts production to maintenance to actually running trains, there are so many places that we can look to to cut down on time and resources. Looking specifically at inefficiency in operations, we see that it can cause unnecessary crew starts, train delays, and most importantly, negative crew morale. Additionally, vertical silos cause a lack of connection; breaking down those silos and integrating data is key to increasing efficiency and performance. Utilizing data, new technologies, and innovation can help increase communication, meaning that things get done the right way the first time.

At Wi-Tronix, we use technologies like smart remote monitoring, visual intelligence, and predictive diagnostics to predict and reduce inefficiency in our work. All of this technology allows for increased monitoring of train performance so issues can be addressed sooner. Locomotive readiness is key when solving inefficiency. You should know everything about your locomotives—exactly where they are, how much fuel they have onboard, and when the most recent inspections were. Efficiency-inspired technology goes beyond never having issues (that would be unrealistic)—it’s about identifying the issues we see early on and allowing them to be isolated and corrected with minimal setbacks.

When dealing with customers, knowledge is the efficiency gold-standard. Efficiency allows you to be more productive and truly focus on the customer. The faster you are able to answer their questions, the quicker you can come up with a solution that works for both parties. When solving inefficiencies, make sure you’re connecting all your information, and you’re using a platform people are familiar with. Making connections with customers a conscious priority at all times really works wonders.

It is important to remember that locomotive optimization will drive network optimization. Being a reliable company, having that train depart on time, and communicating with customers implies trustworthiness and creates an eagerness to work with your company. Network optimization happens when a human interface—a human connection—is able to bring data into information to drive insights to drive outcomes.
Efficiency is a chain reaction that starts with a system that is calibrated to ensure that the people in it know what’s happening, so when trouble arises, it can be dealt with as quickly and easily as possible. Investing in efficiency is more than investing in operations—it’s investing in your people, your customers, and your industry.
To watch me talk about this topic, check out my video from last week.

Originally published on LinkedIn, July 25th, 2018.