Porterbrook Leasing Company is a railway rolling stock lessor, based in Derby and London.
Decent Group designed and built a complete mobile digital inspection system for use on Porterbrook’s fleet, developed on the FileMaker Platform. The system was aimed to remove Porterbrook’s previous reliance on a combination of an outdated electronic, and a paper-driven process.


Streamlined inspection process for rail leasing company

To ensure its assets are being maintained correctly and kept in an acceptable condition, vehicle inspections are an important, and continuing requirement.

However, as Porterbrook’s vehicle fleet is substantial and spread widely across the U.K., it became increasingly clear that those staff performing the vehicle inspections could not afford to waste valuable time conducting inspections using inadequate or labour-intensive mediums.

Driven by this strong business need for a new system that was both mobile and easy to use, Porterbrook produced a functional specification for its requirements and engaged the services of Swindon-based software developer, Decent Group. The brief was to develop a reliable and stable mobile inspection system, one that would move Porterbrook away from their current mixture of data capture mediums.

Decent Group soon designed an iPad-based application, which empowered the inspection engineers to record vehicle inspections, including any defects found, digitally on iPad. This could then send the captured information back to Porterbrook’s Oracle based asset management solution (AMS), in order that it could be held with all other data pertaining to the vehicle. The need for digital imagery was also catered for; FileMaker Go integrates with the internal iPad camera, so an inspector was able to attach pictorial evidence of any specific maintenance issues that needed to be logged.

“Our new FileMaker Go-based inspection system will enable us to protect our asset investment, whilst ensuring we continue to provide our customers with quality, impeccably-maintained rolling stock,” comments Kevin Eley, Engineering Applications Manager at Porterbrook.

“The new system has achieved absolutely everything we wanted it to, and minimises the equipment our inspection engineers need to carry. Since implementation, the speed of our vehicle inspections has increased, allowing for a greater number of inspections to be carried out on vehicles when required.”

“Decent Group have been professional throughout the entire project, providing valuable consultancy and has assisted us to implement a cost effective FileMaker solution, which integrates with and complements our existing Oracle system.”

With its new FileMaker solution, Porterbrook now has a far easier task of recording inspection information. What’s more, new users can easily be trained thanks to the intuitive and non-ambiguous design of the application. This will allow further deployment of this hassle-free, paperless way of working.

Contact Decent Group to find out how your business could reap the benefits being enjoyed by Porterbrook.

  • • Time saving – faster vehicle inspections
  • • Paperless system – no repeat data entry required
  • • Reliable and stable system, auto syncing back to server
  • • iPad inspection system with integrated camera – less equipment to carry

About Porterbrook Leasing Company

Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited (“Porterbrook”) is a leading player in the rail leasing market and has a rolling stock fleet of over 6,000 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes over 4,000 passenger vehicles. Porterbrook has been highly successful in winning new train orders since privatisation, investing in over 2,000 new passenger vehicles and more than 2,000 freight locomotives and wagons, and in the refurbishment of much of its in-fleet equipment. The company also provides ongoing train maintenance services.  In October 2014 the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), Allianz Capital Partners (“ACP”) on behalf of certain insurance companies of the Allianz Group, EDF Invest and Hastings Funds Management

Phone: +44 (0)1332 285050     Email: enquiries@porterbrook.co.uk     Web: www.porterbrook.co.uk 

About Decent Group

Decent Group makes ‘business systems that work’: software that’s a perfect fit for the processes it’s designed to support. Decent Group is recognised by FileMaker as Platinum developers and engineers powerful but straightforward software systems to solve businesses problems in all industry sectors. PC, Mac, Mobile and Cloud solutions are all designed to give the ‘perfect fit’ at sensible prices.

Phone: 01793 250198     Email: info@decentgroup.co.uk     Web: www.decentgroup.co.uk/dg

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