How digital transformation helps us achieve compliance in the rail industry

Few industries face as much regulatory oversight as rail. The Office of Rail and Road continues to set targets involving safety, performance, asset management and environmental control.  To stay compliant, railway teams must have visibility over their operations, but still find themselves asking:

  • Do we have a comprehensive picture of what’s happening in our day to day
  • Is our daily, weekly and monthly data a true representation of the business landscape?
  • Will this data help us to make robust, evidence-based decisions?
  • Do we have the right visibility to assure our work is done to standard?

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The challenges of gathering evidence

We have seen from myriad industries that data can inform game-changing decisions. This could be anything from allocating resources to improving timetables or reducing health and safety risks. But the rail industry needs more evidence than most. This includes assurance, operational, technical, environmental, and business data. It’s challenging to gather all this information in one place because of the large number of moving parts to the delivery of project work and the maintenance and renewal of the railway assets. Teams also face the ongoing struggle of delivering outputs against a landscape of constant change. We have the data and we have the tools. Linking them up is where the trouble lies. In many cases, this comes down to overcomplicated processes and personal attitudes. For example, many organisations may rely on too broad a range of tools. Each tool may perform one task well, but it struggles to integrate with others. When users get frustrated with this complex arsenal of tools, they resort to old, manual data collection methods.  This invariably leads to human error.

One holistic solution

Rather than relying on multiple tools like Excel and others to perform one task, we turn to a comprehensive solution that connects others and can link to other systems as required. eviFile, or Evidence File, leads with compliance by creating one set of standards to be replicated across multiple projects. As a digital transformation enabler, eviFile is both a management system and project delivery tool. Combining these two key functions achieves efficiency and corporate governance, helping rail teams meet their targets on assurance, delivery and reporting in the most simple and efficient manner possible.

Demonstrating assurance and compliance through recorded evidence

Businesses cannot claim they are truly compliant without a proven audit trail. eviFile connects all this information and brings it into  one place, helping teams to demonstrate effective assurance and governance, and manage their projects and departments using hard evidence. Key data is made easily available in the form of:

  • Stage Gate evidence: managing each phase of a railway development project from discovery to scoping, development, testing, launch, and implementation.
  • Standards compliance statements: demonstrating effective compliance and assurance across the whole lifecycle.
  • Project-on-a-page and hierarchical summary business reports: custom-made insights including quality-assured assets, snags and defects, and cross-project reporting.
  • BIM information: managing complete connectivity of data from the cloud to assist in highlighting issues with live collaboration tools.
  • Health and safety files: managing the collection and collation of the H&S file and providing the opportunity for automation hand over.
  • Handback reports: digital assurance, golden thread data, and automated population of asset and project data.

Why compliance is a key part of digital assurance

Risk management and control comes in three basic levels: first-line management control, second-line corporate oversight, and third-line independent challenge and assurance. eviFile has been designed to naturally weave automated digital compliance into its features to support the ‘Three Lines of Defence’ approach to corporate governance. . For first-line management control, the platform supports route and project compliance monitoring. This spans inspections and safety conversations, as well as personnel functions like management reviews, advisory visits and self-assessment. Evidence is readily available for second-line corporate oversight, including engineering verification, deep-dive reviews, and functional topic management. And the digitally captured and verified data affords external audits for third-line assurance — greatly improving your performance against the  RM3 Risk Maturity Model. eviFile is compliance first, and offers the right tools and services in one solution to achieve it. In turn, this helps railway managers achieve a more efficient transition to digital: focusing on visibility and evidence-gathering.

Automated compliance assurance is key for every facet of the business

Being able to demonstrate – simply and efficiently – delivery, assurance and compliance provides a clear competitive advantage for CP7 frameworks. It also positively impacts a broad range of stakeholders, from improving staff engagement to keeping customers happy by minimising service disruption through quicker and more accurate delivery. Planning and control becomes more effective as each team member can see exactly what stage the project is, while monitoring is simplified by automated Stage Gate evidence production. Compliant projects are safer ones. Digitising data collection and reporting to deliver hard evidence on deliverables results in faster completion, lower carbon impacts and better margins. Using a tool like eviFile virtually eliminates the risk of human error from using manual data-gathering, such as Excel spreadsheets. It also integrates disparate systems to encourage information-sharing and expedite key phases of the project. Compliance and assurance should never be left to chance. Hard evidence should not be a nice to have, but a guiding principle.

Interested in discovering how eviFile can improve productivity and ensure compliance for your upcoming projects?

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