West Midlands Metro Case Study

SSG Insight

West Midlands Metro have overcome their multiple document challenge and transformed their asset and maintenance management with Agility...

The Background

West Midlands Metro is gearing up for significant expansion in the coming years to enhance connectivity across the region. With plans to triple its current network of 42 trams linking Wolverhampton to Birmingham, the aim is to reach new communities and improve accessibility. Safety and sustainability are paramount values for the Metro, with regular maintenance being crucial to ensure a reliable and secure service for its customers.

Peter Buckingham, the Metro’s Document Controller and Agility Project Support, stresses the importance of an efficient, all-in-one solution for maintenance and asset management. He highlights the need to streamline the process by consolidating documentation into a centralised system. “We previously operated with a fragmented and outdated combination of systems, which, while functional to a degree, were not optimal for our needs as we continue to grow.”

With over two decades of experience at West Midlands Metro, Peter has fulfilled diverse roles within the organisation, ranging from tram driving to data processing. Alongside him is Sylwia Bownik, who joined the team more than a year ago and has seamlessly transitioned from an operational role to become a valuable member of the infrastructure team as a System Administrator.


The Solution

Initially, transitioning over 100 engineers to a new system encountered resistance due to their familiarity with older methods of working. However, after thorough explanation and detailed training, the engineering team recognised the potential for the new system to streamline asset updates and reduce time-consuming tasks. This understanding led to a seamless transition, with the new system becoming an integral part of their daily routine.

The complexity of vehicle maintenance, coupled with the necessity for stringent regulatory compliance and audit trails, underscores the importance of Agility. In the event of inquiries from Local Authorities or on-site inspectors, Agility facilitates quick and effortless retrieval of relevant data.

Each tram is worth around £2 million, each with over 900 assets needing to be registered, given the substantial value and the multitude of assets associated with them, the need for efficient and user-friendly operational systems is vital. Peter highlights the significant improvements brought about by Agility in their workflow, particularly in centralising asset data for easy analysis and assessment.

“The benefit of Agility is the user-friendly system, specifically the dashboard widgets on the home dashboard are easy-to-use, you can click through, and everything is there, all the figures regarding outstanding work orders, breakdowns, and much more. We have configured this dashboard screen for different users so they can see the information that is relevant to them. This has been crucial in getting some of the team to make the transition to use Agility, when they login, they see everything they need to get their job done, making it easier and quicker, and ensuring they do not have lots of other info they do not need. All of which helps us to understand where we are, what needs to be done, where we can make improvements, and more.

The integration of site maps within Agility enables engineers to swiftly locate system assets and assigned vehicles, facilitating efficient maintenance processes. Additionally, Peter continues: “Our tools, equipment, and calibrations are all recorded on Agility, and we have control room logs which can create a helpdesk request in Agility for work to be carried out.”


The Future

Following a successful transition to Agility, West Midlands Metro is now in the process of migrating the Rolling Stock team and their processes to Agility Mobile. This move aims to enhance productivity and ensure consistency across all operations.

Peter noted that “It has been an interesting journey to understand the intricate workings of our data processing methods including specific formats, groups, or codes, and figuring out the best ways to manage them. Over time, the capabilities of Agility have become increasingly apparent, highlighting its potential to support us now and in the future.”

We enjoy working with the team at SSG Insight from our account manager who is in regular contact, to the technical support team and more.”

In this exciting period of growth, the Agility solution aims to provide support for all potential operational, asset and maintenance challenges ahead. The data it generates will be instrumental in enabling the team to deliver a safe, secure, reliable, and sustainable service for the communities and people who rely upon it now and for the future.

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