FileMaker Go mobile system streamlines inspection process for rail leasing company
Porterbrook Leasing Company, a railway rolling stock lessor, has now implemented a complete mobile digital inspection system for use on its fleet, developed on the FileMaker Platform. The system, designed and built by FileMaker Platinum Partner, Decent Group, was aimed to remove Porterbrook’s previous reliance on a combination of an outdated electronic, and a paper-driven process.
Active in the UK rail industry since it was privatised in 1994, Porterbrook specialises in the leasing of new and used passenger and freight rolling stock for use within the domestic rail market. To ensure its assets are being maintained correctly and the 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 FileMaker Go 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.”