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Not Another Scorecard

Over my 22 years of involvement in the rail industry, I’ve seen scorecards come and go.  Common sense tells us the act of measuring something does not make it better. However, the actions that are driven by measurement can move a company toward improvements. How can you measure progress without somewhere to start?

Google defines a scorecard as “a statistical record used to measure achievement or progress toward a particular goal”.  I would argue that in the rail industry, we use scorecards more as a tool for measuring the results of specific actions. Scorecards are an important vehicle to drive change. If your measurements do not inspire new development, then they are only a drain on morale and time.

We should think hard about how we are using scorecards and ask ourselves these questions:

  • Why am I measuring this?
  • What action is this supposed to drive?
  • Who should be responding to this data?
  • Does this scorecard show me what I want to see instead of what I need to see?

Wi-Tronix recently released a beta version of a Shop Scorecard to help customers manage missed repair opportunities for Wi-Tronix and other connected devices.  Knowing where our business and shops stand is the first step to bringing positive change for a reliable and healthy fleet.  This visibility will help to identify gaps in training, support, parts and priorities.  Of course, to reach these goals, we must start by asking that all important and very powerful question: Why?  The chart below highlights a shop or systems releases with defects active in critical systems. This is important because it brings visibility to areas needing special attention to keep equipment running.

*Compiled from shop scorecard raw data

Here are some questions I could ask about the above scorecard data:

  • Why are releases with failed Wi-Tronix communication increasing?
  • Why is the shop process breaking so many systems?
  • Why do our processes allow the risk of releasing so many failed devices?

Asking these questions can drive the actions needed in order to change and reduce the risk of failed event recorder’s or DVR’s when needed most. Without action, this is only a pretty chart and useless data points.

Remember if a scorecard does not show you enough information, or the information you want to see, then you need to ask – why do you really need it?

Damon Hill

Sr. Customer Success Manager

Damon is a Senior Customer Success Manager for Wi-Tronix, where he uses his years of rail experience helping customers be successful.
Prior to his work with Wi-Tronix, Damon spent 20 years at GE Transportation, working through the ranks of managing locomotive repair, quality and Fleet Program Management. First as a Lead Technical Director (Shift Manager), then Shop Quality Leader, he eventually became the Fleet Program Manager over 1,674 GE locomotives running on the UP line.
Damon has experience in data and margin analytics using SQL, SAS and Python. Additionally he has automated many of these analytic processes using SAS, Python, Access and Excel.
A Mr. Fixit of sorts, Damon enjoys working with his hands and continuous learning. He spends his spare time, woodworking, woodturning as well as laser and CNC engraving. Well versed in electronics repair and programming, Damon can be found fixing things for his family and friends when he’s not working.

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Wi-Tronix User Conference in Chicago May 21-22

Bolingbrook, Illinois – March 27, 2019 – Railroad industry leaders and innovators will gather May 21-22 in downtown Chicago for the Wi-Tronix User Conference, where they will have the opportunity to network with other rail industry professionals. Wi-Tronix personnel...

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