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Five key takeaways: What did we learn from Peloton’s mission critical communications event?

Mission critical communication is a hot topic in the rail, construction, and infrastructure sectors right now. And this prompted our founder and MD, Luke Allen, to participate in Peloton’s recent webinar – which looked at the major data and digital assurance challenges facing contractors, engineers, and managers when working on highly complex projects. 

The virtual event, hosted by Peloton, also featured keynote dialogues from Matt Gough (innovation director for Mace) and Rhys Burton (principal programme controls manager at Jacobs) as they explored how emerging technology using real-time dashboard data can drive efficiencies in the rail sector. 3DRepo and Mission Room

Here we look at the five key takeaways from the event. 

Data silos are the killer of productivity

One major point which kept arising is the amount of resource wasted by the industry’s reliance on outdated or incompatible data silos. When discussing the potential impact of the Innovate UK-funded — AEC Production Control Room project — Mace’s Matt Gough quoted that up to 35% productivity gains can be achieved by reducing the time spent by staff doing mundane data tasks and reporting – up to 13 hours per person per week. 

When applied to large scale upgrades such as the TRU (TransPennine Route Upgrade) for example, that translates into multi-million-pound cost savings. 

Data-driven decision making is the future

Rhys Burton, from Jacobs, stated: “the railway is a living, breathing system. It can’t rest and recover after a project.” With that in mind, time spent on site needs to be well-considered, worthwhile, and able to deliver key data immediately for more robust decision making. 

By opening up new opportunities for real-time data sharing from shovel to boardroom —we can minimise the risk of delays and ultimately keep the rail network running more efficiently, and safely. 

The rail industry needs an agnostic approach  

As we touched on earlier, individual data silos are a huge drain on project resource. Presently there is no standard digital assurance approach on the software used across firms, contractors, and the wider industry that allow for a rich conversation and reliable decision-making process. 

The only way to improve these efficiencies and increase productivity is to take an agnostic approach moving forward. Data management needs to be thought about in a way that enables it to evolve and integrate across all touchpoints. 

Data gathering and management is costly, inaccurate, and time-consuming.

One of the biggest challenges the rail sector faces is the countless hours lost chasing through vast paper trails. All organisations have their own standards and processes in place — even at a regional, or national level. 

Projects such as the TRU can fundamentally produce over 1.1 million individual documents or products, and at present, there is no universal system or software in place to manage this efficiently. 

The eviFile system offers the ideal workflow system to overcome these data bottlenecks, bringing real-time interaction between construction teams, site supervisors, engineers, and discipline CRE’s. Capturing digital assurance data and supporting photographic evidence — which is stored on a secure electronic database —the output is then used to populate the ITP deliverables. 

The data collated and stored creates a digital version of the rail environment, allowing Network Rail and its contractors to plan, design, and even simulate in twin, before going to work on the live network. This incorporated with BIM standards keeps passenger and freight trains moving while delivering projects on time and improving safety across the board. 

Creating a data eco-system is crucial to a projects success  

Leveraging an application ecosystem and data warehouse that centralises access to data and encourages project teams to work together is the holy grail for the industry. 

Constructing a system that allows for a constant flow of information is the key to maintaining a manageable audit trail for accountability. The challenge is getting the industry to adopt a common approach using eviFile and Power BI that creates a golden thread of data. We can only deliver this proven high value into projects when we have the adoption curve of the people. 

If we can collaborate and standardise the architecture of the data used industry-wide, this will allow the whole rail sector to accelerate the implementation of technology to become an enabler of greater cost savings and safety improvements.

“more efficient communication and reporting throughout any project will result in significant savings both in time and cost – the ‘AEC Production Control Room’ project is targetted at determining what data to collect and how to improve visibility to the project team.”

“more efficient communication and reporting throughout any project will result in significant savings both in time and cost – the ‘AEC Production Control Room’ project is targetted at determining what data to collect and how to improve visibility to the project team.”

Duncan Mactear
Customer Strategy Director
eviFile Ltd.


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