The Digital Craftsmen Will Initiate Imperative Change

Christmas is the season of joy, happiness and extreme peak loads on all means of transportation. For DSB, the primary priority during this season is keeping all trains dispositional and operating. This puts a heavy workload on the maintenance staff and requires innovative ways of maximizing their time spent on maintaining rolling stock. These factors have led Christian Bøgelund, project manager at DSB, to figure out how to simplify the administrative duties of the DSB maintenance staff – which involves employing innovative, digital tools.

Fresh Equipment For the Toolbox

Christian approached a new trend which might fix this problem. This new trend is called the digital craftsmen. Like a toolbox contains a hammer, screwdriver, and a saw, it will now be expanded with a tool that is often spotted in the hands of infants, youngsters, and innovative workers: you guessed it, it’s an iPad! Besides being useful for defeating your friends in Candy Crush and browsing Tinder on a bigger screen, this iPad can become the craftsman’s best friend. It will allow her or him to find maintenance instructions, perform troubleshooting and register reparations on the trains. It digitalizes the notepad and brings the pc into the toolbox and can be grabbed to-go. Like a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

Christian Bøgelund, project manager at DSB

The Multi-Beneficial Project

According to Christian, the ease of performing the work, and cost minimization caused by putting the iPad inside the toolbox, will be tremendous. Even though this will not transform the trains into hyperloops, Christian expects that the quality of the work performed will increase significantly. By mobilizing knowledge and data by moving it to the point of repair, workers will decrease the number of interruptions caused by seeking out the right information.

The digitalization will also impact travelers, who are going to experience more trains on the rails since they will move faster through repairs because of the increased amount of data available to the maintenance staff. Christian hopes that this form of digitalization will draw more youngsters to the industry.

Work made simple!  

There we have it – digitalization that significantly improves the work routines, quality of the performed work and increases the availability of information to the maintenance staff that needs it. Currently, staff who perform the work Frederik does, need to print and fill out a ton of paperwork, that in turn needs to be handed into a supervisor, who then has to scan and file everything. But from 2019 it will be over! And currently the new system is being tested and it frees the maintenance staff from being linked to computers with horrible user interfaces and daily walks back and forth from the train to the computer. Christian is confident this new system will be a much-needed value-adder to the daily work of craftsmen in DSB.

A Noticeable Investment

More than a 1000 employees have to be equipped with the tablet, so it is a huge cost for DSB. Like any other engineering project with this size of the investment, Christian needed to develop a business case. They discovered throughout the process, that the infrastructure needs to be updated in order to develop a mobile back-end structure for such a large company with a change involving 1000 employees. But he did the math and found that there is a bigger cost reduction potential associated with the investment. So he is assured that the costs will be covered by the savings.

 

The Change Process

According to Christian essential success criteria for this project is that firstly, employees need to adopt the new tools but secondly, they have to create a culture of learning, where they share knowledge about using the tools. Workers must pass on all the information to create a knowledge bank that can educate the technology-newcomers. Christian is very serious about this change management process being handled in the correct way, and his opinion is that the applications itself are worthless if employees refuse to adopt it. The organizational changes that a tool like this fosters is of equally great importance as the tool itself. It would be very easy to buy a 1000 tablets, hand them out and leave it up to the craftsmen to use and adopt them. But if they don’t understand the value and WHY they should use these tools in their daily work, as they use other tools, the investment will be wasted and the travelers will never feel any impact. Christian sums it up by explaining how this project depends on the way technology interacts with the human beings using it.

No doubt, public transportation will be of greater importance in the future. With the increasing density of traffic on the roads and in the cities, especially during Christmas, this is evident. Since we can’t keep building new bridges and roads, especially in densely populated cities, the problems need to be solved by increasing the efficiency of public transportation. Leading the revolution of digitalization in DSB, Christian Bøgelund Christiansen is one of many who spearheads a new working culture, where technology and data are actively used in smarter ways to increase the quality of work performed. Thank you, Christian.

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