The square peg and round hole syndrome

December 5, 2021
Learn about the "square peg and round hole" syndrome in the rail industry.

The square peg and round hole syndrome

How the world has evolved in the one year since the UK locked down with tragic deaths and economic woes affecting day to day lives. People and businesses can be resilient though and we’ve seen success stories emerge - workers getting the taste for working from home and deciding the new normal is the long term norm. Office companies, used to supplying commercial enterprises with desks and chairs, have adapted to supplying screens and PPE. They’ve realised too that with remote working becoming a norm, the home office is a fruitful avenue to wander down.

Technology has been at the fore of the last year’s events. The Track and Trace app, which some have described as not fit for purpose, has led to new public behaviour patterns. The face mask, once the preserve of doctors and dentists, is now worn everywhere and consumer behaviour has changed with retail being hard hit.

Debenhams has hit the wall, with John Lewis, that British department store icon, not far behind with losses from store closures. Its revenue is now generated online through its app with digital sales increasing by 70% which has helped stave off closures.

Amazon and Apple are posting record profits - Amazon because its online model is so slick and Apple because everyone wants a desktop, a MacBook or an iPad for the new working day.

At Raildiary, in Manchester, we do wonder if city centres will ever return to how they were? We don’t think they will, given that the aforementioned John Lewis is closing its prime Oxford Street store in London, with residential conversions expected.

Cities will have to repurpose away from retail dependency and become an attractive place for leisure, cultural and culinary pursuits.

Our hymn to city centres and towns is connected too with what we do at Raildiary.

What companies have clearly demonstrated in the past year is an ability to adapt. They’ve had to adapt or face extinction. Digitalisation has been the knight in shining armour riding to many business rescues and without the internet, had this happened in 1980 for example, the collapse would have been even greater.

Our rail construction app, oddly perhaps, has been part of this trend.

The uptake of it accelerates daily and that’s due to many reasons.

One reason is its versatility.

Another is the burgeoning growth in rail investment in the UK.

If you’ve been following our blog page, Facebook and LinkedIn channels, you’ll have seen the positive stories of railway innovation and investment in the UK and globally.

From the plans for a rail tunnel to Northern Ireland from Scotland, to new links between Manchester and Sheffield, or Newcastle to Northumberland, rail has not been sleepwalking in the past year.

Of course, the mammoth rail construction project is the HS2, which we’ve written about extensively on our blog page.

Far from it.

What we’ve found is that those companies who’ve adopted our technology, which is rail specific, have found other useful strategies with it - the square peg, round hole has been subverted.

Put simply, Raildiary creates data collection and analysis tools tailored to the needs of the rail construction industry. Our market-leading software helps rail contractors across the globe to deliver projects on time, win future work and get paid in full.

We take a more sanguine view of the future of travel and retail after lockdowns ease. We do expect, like many economists, that there is so much frustration with a year of virtual solitary confinement at home, that the public can’t wait to board a train, wander a city centre and spend money.

Coronavirus has created many victims and casualties, but there have been economic winners and those who will win again in the next year.

Rail construction has been one example and many rail leaders and contractors are seeing that the old way of doing things will never return and the present and future will be digital.

We can be part of your present and future - contact the Raildiary team today for a demo.

The square peg and round hole syndrome

Oliver Donohue

Snr Account Manager

Snr Account Manager

Raildiary LinkedIn
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