Often seen as a bellwether of economic health, the rail industry operates in an environment dominated by government regulation, unionization and traditional corporate cultures that are resistant to change. Today, leaders in the industry are focused on safety, increased “fluidity and velocity” as measures of operational efficiency, improved track-miles, reduced dwell (cycle-time for locomotive repair) and seeking differentiation through customer service. At the same time, CEOs must look for opportunities to practice environmental/green stewardship and evolve models for more agility in syncing freight capacity with commodity demand.
Over the past 15 years, Argo has earned its reputation as a global leader in rail efficiency. Through countless engagements and projects within the rail industry around the world, we have built a practice that reflects our understanding that operational improvements can only occur when appropriate cultural changes take place within the client organization.
Our approach helps Railroad clients focus operations for better alignment with strategy achieving sustainable results by:
- Maximizing asset utilization of rolling stock and physical plant.
- Improving overall labor performance while increasing retention and streamlining training efforts.
- Creating and rolling out standardized processes across multiple locations.
- Improving “on-time” by addressing network bottlenecks and improving scheduling.
- Optimizing new capital projects to ensure that they produce promised benefits.
- Engraining safety, environmental, and operational work practices into organizational culture.
Our global team of consultants has a depth of technical operational expertise and a proven track record of leading and implementing successful transformations. Our people bring a wide range of professional experience from some of the most operationally excellent companies in the world.
We diagnose areas of waste, variability, and inefficiency in the operating system and then redesign, and implement, not just the new production system, but also the management structure that improves the bottom line and ensures accountability and sustainability. By working hand-in-hand with our client’s employees, we ensure the buy-in from the senior leadership team all the way to the front line employee, leaving behind a new culture, mindsets and behaviors.
We look deeply and broadly, not just at operational processes, but also into all functions and dynamics to leverage opportunities for improvement, including Marketing & Sales, supplier influences, inventory, setup reduction, standard work, back office and interfaces between departments.
For businesses reliant on heavy assets, an effective enterprise asset management program focused on people and operational improvement can significantly improve asset utilization rates while reducing long-term capital costs. In our experience the greatest asset utilization improvements come from changes at the shop level and the involvement of the employees working there. Read our white paper Improve Asset Utilization and Reduce Costs Through Better Enterprise Asset Management to learn the four steps of EAM implementation and how to realize the benefits of an effective EAM initiative.