Edinburgh Trams Case Study

SSG Insight

Integrating Agility with key maintainers CMMS platforms has enabled Edinburgh Trams to gain full visibility of planned and reactive maintenance.

Edinburgh trams red and grey logo

Edinburgh Trams is a multi award-winning operator of the city’s tramway. Its aim is to be an integral part of the future success of Scotland’s capital and the Lothians by providing a world-class, environmentally friendly, and socially inclusive mode of transport. Owned by Transport for Edinburgh (TfE), Edinburgh Trams recorded over 7.4 million customer journeys in 2019, with an estimate of 2,000 journeys per week. The first tramway to be awarded the ServiceMark accreditation by the Institute of Customer Service, the operator employs over 250 people and continues to develop its workforce whilst looking forward to the launch of services to Newhaven in spring this year. Thanks to the key role the operator plays in the city’s life, it received the Large Business of the Year award from the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in 2022.

The need

With multiple maintainers (or engineers) and numerous work orders to complete, the Edinburgh Trams team saw the need to move away from paper-based and Excel documentation. The main goal was then to capture, store, and control their daily operation events, as well as to raise the associated work orders in a more diligent manner through a centralised software solution. A need for enhancing all the maintainers assets such as M&E, Civils, and Vehicles was also required.

The operator was keen to ensure that required work orders were communicated more easily to the maintainers, as well as tracking any works carried out and completed, and report on maintenance KPIs as efficiently as possible.

In 2015 Edinburgh Trams selected the Agility solution from SSG Insight (then known as SoftSols), as their partner to develop their Asset Management Systems and track all maintenance.

The Solution

Initially, the team implemented Agility version 6 on premise and carried out an import of assets from their maintainers CMMS solutions. They subsequently began to utilise the Agility interface to log daily operational events and initiate work requests. To achieve this, email alerts were set up to notify maintainers of these requests when raised, and the approach was used to manage all work orders. At the close of service each day, a Control Daily Log report was generated and distributed to management which vastly improved the effectiveness of Edinburgh Trams’ operations whilst keeping track on maintainer actions.

By 2019, Doug Curry had joined Edinburgh Trams as the IT Manager and carried out a review of Agility to ensure that the system could provide a fully integrated solution in order to meet with the contractual and regulatory asset management standards required. Edinburgh Trams’ role was rapidly migrating from Tram Operator to Operator Maintainer; thus, they were able to identify some key areas for development and improvement.

Doug Curry explained:

“Moving from operator to operator and maintainer meant that we would be responsible for the management of key maintainer suppliers who previously reported to the City of Edinburgh Council. Disparate asset management systems across maintainers separate CMMS required integration, which provides Edinburgh Trams with an improved overview and management of assets and their maintenance.

It was vital for us to ensure the facilitation of ‘real time’ tracking of asset changes and enable full asset maintenance history visibility. To facilitate this, we upgraded to Agility version 9 and migrated to the hosted version of the solution. We had identified that we could take advantage of the many benefits of a modern SaaS platform, including near real-time (NRT), two-way communication through API’s and SFTP sharing asset, work request and PPM updates. This allowed us to integrate Agility with key maintainers CMMS platforms so that we had full visibility of planned and reactive maintenance while making sure that all Work Requests updated on maintainers systems were then reflected in Agility.

Likewise, we onboarded Bilfinger to the Edinburgh Trams Agility system in order to replace their existing CMMS and ensure we were given full visibility of all assets they maintain.

Tracking maintenance and assets in near real-time is extremely important for us at Edinburgh Trams and we have customised the dashboard and reporting interfaces to provide the Engineering team with the tools and NRT data they require to effectively manage assets and maintainers. Our management team have provided feedback throughout the initiative which has helped us to further improve our decision making processes.

Through Agility, we are also able to create effective schedules for our in-house teams. We are currently rolling out the mobile app which will provide another advance with how we utilise the solution. While out in the field the team will be able to see work instructions, risk assessments, safety critical information and more as they conduct key tasks such as cleaning, first use checks, and safety inspections. This will not only improve both the efficiency and quality of these works, but will, too, provide NRT feedback to our management team as they progress.

In the past few years, we have received what can only be described as a boom of data; as part of the extension of our network to Newhaven, we are currently defining assets using the BIM model which will allow us to access greater volumes of data than ever before and we will continue to work with SSG Insight to utilize this and further refine our decision making processes.”

The future

We asked Doug about the future for Edinburgh Trams and Agility:

“Rolling out Agility Mobile is our focus for early 2023 to support our teams on the ground carrying out essential tasks across the network, particularly as we look to launch the new extension to Newhaven this year. We are also looking to develop an integration with our ticketing supplier Flowbird system in Q3 2023 which will mean all 4 of our primary maintainers will be integrated with Edinburgh Trams Agility solution, providing real time updates on our assets.
I am looking forward to seeing what new developments SSG Insight bring out next. SSG Insight have been very receptive to ideas for development and it is great to come together with other operators within our industry and discuss how Agility could be shaped to support our future needs.

It has also been good to see more events since Covid like the Agility User Day which we attended last year. It was helpful to talk to users in our sector and others, and to attend the informative sessions to find out how we could further use Agility, as well as to hear more about the roadmap and concepts for future developments.

We are looking forward to continuing to work in partnership with the SSG Insight team, and to shaping the Agility solution to ensure it continues meet with our needs and those of our fellow light rail operators.”

To understand more about how we work with the Light Rail industry and many other industries all over the world, please contact a member of our global team today, info@ssginsight.com.

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