Network Rail has announced a "multi-million pound contract" to implement ClickSoftware’s workforce management and rostering system, which will be implemented by outsourcer Capgemini UK.
By using automated workforce management and rostering to enable greater efficiency and further improve safety, Network Rail aims to help Britain's train operating companies minimise delays and disruption to services.
Working with ClickSoftware, Capgemini as project manager and prime contractor will initially deploy the new system to around 8,000 Network Rail signalling (operations) staff. After further evaluation of the process and consultation, the deployment will be extended to 15,000 maintenance workers.
The project aims to improve rostering processes among Network Rail's signalling and maintenance workers by more efficiently organising when and where they work on the rail network. The system will factor in compliance requirements, job priority and employee preference, said Network Rail.
The new system is also aimed at improving processes for Network Rail schedulers, supervisors and managers. The new rostering system will replace the current mixture of earlier-generation IT, paper-based and local spreadsheet-based processes. Network Rail says it is also "designed to increase productivity while further improving safety standards by incorporating comprehensive traceability facilities".
Neal Lawson, director of maintenance and operations services at Network Rail, said: "The new IT system will strengthen our ability to resource our signalling operations and maintenance activities effectively. This will allow us to deploy the right team to the right place at the right time.
"It will therefore enable us to make optimum use of our workforce and their skills, and to maximise the availability of track to the train operators, thereby helping rail passengers by minimising delays and disruptions to services."
Capgemini is responsible for the implementation of the ClickSoftware workforce management solution and for integrating the new application with existing Network Rail IT - including HR, payroll and finance and the Oracle E-Business Suite. Capgemini and Network Rail training specialists will work together to train employees in the use of the new systems.
Development work on the new solution is being carried out in the UK, Israel and at Capgemini's Advanced Planning and Scheduling Global Solution Centre in India.