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On May 6th, we attended this year’s RAILcph conference in Copenhagen, and we want to thank all of you who were able to join us. We had a great day with inspiring conversations and thought-provoking presentations and keynotes.

The day ended with a keynote held by Per Jacobsen, CEO of Banedanmark, and Flemming Jensen, CEO of DSB, respectively. The speech treated the subject of the future of rails, and how the growing digitalization can be utilized in creating the ideal railway.

Amongst other topics, Per Jacobsen addressed that there lies an unreached potential in the digitalization of rails, including predictive maintenance. From his point of view, the industry needs to broaden its horizons and collaborate with other companies who can assist them in the process. He furthermore addressed the various initiatives made by Banedanmark, including the new signaling program and the overall upgrade and renewal of all railway stretches. If Banedanmark by 2030 can execute these initiatives as well as the other ideas they have in the making, he believes that Denmark will have the ideal railway.

However, infrastructure owners such as Banedanmark are not able to succeed with digitizing the railways on their own. Therefore, for this to be realized it is crucial that the industry embraces cooperation. They must cooperate with suppliers and consultants who can deliver the services needed to fulfill the vision of an ideal railway.

Optimization of internal processes is key

As it is the case with Banedanmark, many infrastructure owners have realized that if you want to succeed in creating a railway suited for the future, you need to incorporate digital solutions. Especially, you need to rethink your strategy for maintenance. By integrating sensors and intelligent software, you will be able to optimize your approach to maintenance. However, it is just as important to keep the focus on optimizing the internal processes within the organization. IoT and Big Data cannot stand alone, and if the data collection processes are not acknowledged, there is a high risk of failure.

It is crucial that you explore the entire value chain and current processes before you set out to digitize your organization. You need to identify exactly which parameters add value to your organization and what you need to change in order to optimize your processes. You also need to decide on what you need from it in order to succeed. Otherwise, your organization will end up with a patchwork of different tools that do not collaborate which creates an issue with quality assurance. Eventually, this will lead to a heavier workload and a high risk of losing valuable data.

One way you can establish your value chain is by partnering up with a consultant who can devise a 360-degree analysis of your organization. The overall purpose of this analysis is to identify your strengths and the areas that need improvements. Based on this analysis, you can get a good sense of how digitalization can help you to create the railway of the future – and exploit the unreached potential.

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