New technologies are becoming more and more important in the rail industry as big companies lead the way in introducing innovative processes, products and solutions.
Smaller contractors need to be able to keep up, but often they are choosing to sit back and let others test out new technologies before they take the leap. In the rail industry, in particular, people tend to argue “but we’ve always done it this way!” and struggle to see the value of new technology.
Implementing new solutions doesn’t have to be a costly, time-consuming exercise and if you pick the right ones, they will pay you back tenfold. Waiting too long to implement tech, on the other hand, could be detrimental to your business.
The Impact Of Being Slow To Adopt Technology
If you wait to adopt new technology, you’re essentially giving your competition a head start. Contractors who have the technology and innovation culture that you don’t will forge ahead; winning more work, delivering projects more successfully and building their reputation as frontrunners in the industry.
Good Money After Bad
Maintaining and supporting out-of-date systems is a poor investment. Making your team push through with an inefficient process wastes time and often causes additional issues and costs.
If there’s a better option out there, you should want it. And if you wait too long to get it, the money you’ve spent in between will have been wasted.
Inefficient processes, out-of-date systems and an inflexible employer all lead to team burnout and frustration. Your workforce is a valuable source of feedback and innovation; they do these tasks every day, they know what is working and what could be improved. If you refuse to listen to them and take action, they will soon look elsewhere.
Recruiting New Talent
The same can be said for recruitment. The rail industry needs to recruit 50,000 new workers by 2033 to replace retiring workers and adapt to changes in technology, but its reputation for being slow to adapt is working against it. Contractors need to look further afield and nurture a culture of innovation in order to bring in fresh perspectives.
The Cause Of Slow Adoption
Often, companies view new technology solutions as an unnecessary risk. They complacently assume that their current processes are good enough, without exploring other options.
Resisting change, Source: World Economic Forum
Stability Over Improvement
Keeping processes stable can be prioritised over making improvements, particularly in construction when teams are spread across different sites, projects and working times. The time and effort involved with implementing a new process is seen as disruptive; a short-sighted view that often misrepresents the overall value of the change. This mindset is a hangover from previous years when product implementation was, admittedly, a little messy and untested. Now, any technology providers worth working with, know how to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Generally, middle-managers and engineers are the first to embrace new technology, but for change to be effective it needs to be championed from the top. If leaders do not yet fully understand the value of innovation to project delivery and overall business, their initial resistance can drag on for months, even years.
How To Ensure A Smooth Transition
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that being an early adopter of new technology is worth investigating at the very least. So you’ll want to make sure you can roll it out smoothly.
Roll Out In Stages
Many Raildiary clients test our software on one project to start with, then gradually roll it out across the rest of the business. This gives you the opportunity to test and confirm the value of the product, and iron out any initial wrinkles before making the universal change.
As we’ve mentioned, your staff are an invaluable source of feedback. However, they can also be resistant to change. Be transparent with them throughout the process and explain not just what you’re doing, but why - what value it will bring to their daily work-life and the business as a whole. Ask for their feedback at every stage.
Invest In Training
Ensure a thorough training and implementation process is in place before rolling out new technology. For example, here at Raildiary, we offer a range of options including in-person training, day or night, a Knowledge Base and live chat services, and how-to guides and videos. We firmly believe that the success of innovation depends on widespread adoption and understanding, so our top priority will always be in ensuring that the entire workforce is enthusiastic about the product and understands its value.
In conclusion, the slow adoption of new technologies and processes in the railway industry can have significant dangers and consequences. The rail industry is an essential mode of transportation, and it is crucial to ensure that it remains safe and reliable for passengers and freight transportation.
While there are various reasons why the adoption of new technologies and processes may be slow in the railway industry, it is essential to recognize the potential dangers that come with this. Slow adoption can result in increased risk of accidents, reduced efficiency, and decreased customer satisfaction.
The railway industry must embrace new technologies and processes that have been proven to improve safety and efficiency. This includes implementing advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things. Such technologies can enable predictive maintenance, real-time monitoring, and accurate data analysis that can help prevent incidents and improve overall performance.
Moreover, it is essential to invest in workforce training and development to ensure that railway staff have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate new technologies and processes effectively. By investing in the workforce, railway companies can achieve higher levels of productivity and operational efficiency, leading to increased customer satisfaction.
The railway industry must recognize the dangers of slow adoption of new technologies and processes and take action to ensure they stay up-to-date with the latest advancements. By embracing new technologies and investing in workforce development, the industry can achieve a safer and more efficient railway system, benefitting both customers and companies alike.