I saved Transport for London £300K a year by installing a new system to manage assets remotely. Want to know what I did? Read on…

 

Previously, at London Tube stations, fire engineers had to visit sites where contractors were operating to manually deactivate sensors and prevent them being triggered by dust or smoke created during building works. At the end of the shift, they had to return to turn them back on. Call-out fee for engineers were expensive and with 30 to 40 of these isolations taking place each week, a cheaper solution held out the prospect of major savings. If you also included the times engineers were called out to reset fire alarms that were set off maliciously or by accident, those savings were greater.

I ran an 18-month project to develop and install a new IT system to shut down and reactivate individual units remotely from one central location. Put simply, that meant ensuring each fire sensor at a Tube station could be linked from its fire panel to that station’s WAN switch, across the WAN to a central location, from where the fire sensors could be controlled from a workstation using proprietary software, developed using Agile.

 

The project I ran was responsible for:

  • developing the IT solution,
  • steering the solution design through TfL’s rigorous approval process,
  • maintaining communications with a range of affected stakeholders such as staff and Unions
  • managing the installation of the hardware needed across the Tube network and
  • co-ordinating introduction of the system into the new control centre, including organising staff training sessions.

 

It wasn’t all plain sailing but after 18 months, I achieved success with a system that paid for itself in just over a year, went on to make additional savings and modernised how asset management was carried out.

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