Removing the paper burden: Westlin Rail's Success with Gather

"The auditor was left speechless by Raildiary’s real-time outputs and we passed with flying colours"

Tom Clark

Operations Director

Removing the paper burden: Westlin Rail's Success with Gather
Westlin Rail
Project Type
Business Wide
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Westlin Rail are a contractor predominately providing services across Scotland’s rail network, committed to delivering efficient and reliable services to its customers. With a strong focus on innovation and customer satisfaction, the company has established itself as a leading contractor in rail and are continuously finding ways to improve processes and ways of working.

The Challenge

As a company undertaking a multitude of projects and schemes across Scotland, Westlin faced a major challenge. Their shift reports, crucial to monitoring progress and resource allocation, often weren't available to the right people at the right time. The quality and consistency of these reports, filled out manually by supervisors after each shift, inevitably suffered. This left office-based teams in a frustrating loop of chasing information.

Westlin Rail's delivery teams came up with a creative solution by switching to WhatsApp groups, but even this wasn't enough. Alongside tracking activities, progress pictures, and working times, capturing safety-critical information on resource and hours worked was an essential part of their data gathering process. They knew they needed a more streamlined solution to gather all the necessary data across all shifts each day.

Removing the paper burden: Westlin Rail's Success with Gather

The Solution

To combat these problems, Westlin Rail implemented Raildiary, a digital-first approach to shift reporting. This innovative solution allowed supervisors to easily fill out reports using their mobile devices, ensuring timely and accurate data collection. With Raildiary, supervisors could efficiently track activities, record progress pictures, and capture safety-critical information on resource allocation and working hours. This streamlined process not only improved the quality and consistency of the reports but also eliminated the frustrations of chasing information for office-based teams. Additionally, Raildiary incorporated fatigue management features to address the well-being and safety of the workers, whilst also enabling proactive commercial management by providing real-time insights into project progress and resource utilisation.

Removing the paper burden: Westlin Rail's Success with Gather
"The app on my tablet is fantastic, it takes me so much less time at the end of the shift to fill all my information in and I don’t get people chasing me when I’m off. I am really looking forward to using Raildiary on upcoming jobs." - David Horner, Works Manager

Digital-first approach

With an increased workload and new contracts in the pipeline, it was clear that Westlin needed implement a digital solution to collect data from site and set the standard moving forward.

The limitations were obvious. Storage problems, manual entry was prone to errors and time-consuming but most importantly, the data wasn’t being utilised to it’s full potential. Tom Clark, Operations Director, wanted a system that he could reply on and essentially do in seconds and minutes, what was previously taking his team hours and days. 

Raildiary was implemented to streamline the whole process. Works Managers and Supervisors across sites in Scotland now use the app to capture working times, resource and activities on every single shift. Raildiary has transformed the way data is collected out on site. Westlin have been able to focus on using the data, rather than chasing it!

“We were audited last month on our safety and fatigue management. The auditor was left speechless by Raildiary’s real-time outputs and we passed with flying colours.” - Tom Clark, Operations Director

Proactive commercial management

Understanding delay and change on site for SME-sized contractors is important, and knowing about variations on time each month is really important. Westlin have really upped their game using data from Raildiary. Moving away from paper has resulted in the commercial team spending less time spent chasing supervisors for information that either hasn’t made it back to the office yet.

Raildiary has also allowed Westlin to improve communication with their client, Network Rail, using data collected from the app to proactively communicate issues and delays. Real-time information coming back from site paired with actionable insights has improved their relationship!

Fatigue management

With Network Rail's updated fatigue management standard implemented in October 2022, the industry is was pushed to become more proactive in managing labour hours and fatigue. Previously, Westlin Rail - alongside many other rail contractors - relied on paper records to track labour hours, making it difficult to collate and manage alongside the HSE spreadsheet. This outdated process was rapidly snowballing into a cumbersome, almost full-time job for the company. 

However, with the introduction of Raildiary, this process has been streamlined and automated, changing the way the company collects and manages its workforce data. Raildiary's innovative real-time insights and dashboards extract key metrics from the data already being collected by supervisors as part of their standard shift report on the Raildiary app. 

This automated process allows senior managers to access key metrics in real-time, enabling them to make informed decisions based on accurate and up-to-date information. The focus has now been shifted from reactive, to proactive.  Raildiary has revolutionised the way Westlin Rail manages its workforce, making it easier and more efficient for the company to monitor and manage employee fatigue levels and working hours, ultimately improving safety and productivity.

In conclusion, Westlin Rail's implementation of Raildiary's application has had a profound impact on the company's operations. By adopting a digital solution to streamline data gathering, Westlin Rail was able to improve safety protocols, enhance productivity, and make more informed decisions. The company's shift from paper-based records to a digital system eliminated the limitations of traditional record-keeping methods and allowed for more efficient data management.

The real-time access to key metrics enabled by Raildiary has empowered senior managers to make proactive decisions, leading to more effective communication with clients and improved overall efficiency. Westlin Rail's success with Raildiary is a prime example of how technology can be utilised to transform operations and streamline processes.

Moving forward, Westlin Rail can continue to leverage this innovative digital solution to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing industry. The company's adoption of Raildiary has not only helped them overcome challenges related to data gathering and shift reporting but has also positioned them as a leader in the rail industry. Overall, Westlin Rail's success story with Raildiary highlights the importance of digital transformation in improving efficiency, productivity, and safety in the rail industry.