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Increased efficiency through new processes

Green Cargo is one of the largest rail logistics companies in Sweden. With over 5,000 freight wagons, Green Cargo’s trains travel a combined 40 times around the earth – every 24 hours.

Increased competition led to organisational changes within the company. When staff numbers were reduced at Green Cargo’s wagon division, the company saw a need to revise job descriptions and processes for the team that manages wagon maintenance. The company needed to come up with new maintenance engineer role and a new approach in order to cut down on the number of administrative tasks and improve efficiency. ÅF’s assignment was to pursue the development of a new, uniform maintenance engineer role, document the new approach, communicate changes internally and externally and gain employee endorsement prior to the launch of the new role. Working with the wagon maintenance team, ÅF conducted an analysis of current processes and future needs, which highlighted those activities that added value and those that were particularly time-consuming. 

The overriding need to reduce the amount of administrative tasks and improve efficiency placed additional demands on processes and tools. Improvements were made to the method of following up quality in subcontractors, and a time-consuming invoice control process resulted in the demand for a new invoice control tool. ÅF’s assignment included supporting the development of the new invoice control tool by acting as an intermediary between users and developers. 

The new role involved allocating Green Cargo’s entire own vehicle fleet and wagons on long-term lease between four maintenance engineers. The maintenance engineers are responsible for the entire lifecycle of their wagon group, including maintenance planning, quality follow-up and delivery capability, as well as invoice control from the workshops.

Prior to the launch of the new role, the wagon maintenance team’s training needs were identified and those involved underwent a training plan. During the launch of the new approach, ÅF provided support with change management and administration of the new processes.

The systematic and documented approach has created structure and clarity in terms of what the wagon maintenance team is expected to deliver. The new processes require a period of induction, but the reduced administrative and time-consuming work will gradually give the maintenance engineers more hands-on time and time for development projects. The back-up system that has been created in the work reduces the team’s vulnerability, as they will easily be able to cover for each other. The process analyses are in themselves also a useful aid, as they facilitate knowledge transfer and make it simpler for people to get to grips with the work of the wagon maintenance team as required.

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