Category Archives: News

Corporate CEO turned Entrepreneur launches new support platform to help Business Leaders become ‘Brave Bold Brilliant’

Jeannette Linfoot, a corporate CEO turned Entrepreneur, has unveiled a dedicated support platform to help Business Leaders overcome challenges to growth and become ‘Brave Bold Brilliant’, following the success of her own Mentorship and Executive Leadership Development Programs.

Having established a £multi-million business portfolio, Jeannette Linfoot is the former-CEO of the travel division for Saga and MD of Emerging Markets for TUI and boasts a proven track record in working in senior leadership positions for other household brands, including Thomson, Thomas Cook and First Choice.

After exiting the corporate world in 2019, Jeannette has since leveraged her 30+ years’ of global professional experience to advise executive Boards and help business leaders overcome challenges to growth through business mentoring, masterminds, and board advisory work

Having helped many high-profile organisations – such as Accor Hotels, Virgin Atlantic, Manchester Ao and EY – achieve impressive results, Jeannette decided to launch a new business support platform that would enable more entrepreneurs and business leaders to benefit from her unrivalled approach to business strategy and success.

Officially launched on 19th April 2024, Brave Bold Brilliant is a dedicated business support platform which provides Business Owners, C-Suite Leaders, and Entrepreneurs with access to a library of online support resources, together with business mentoring, masterminds, and courses, including a proven Executive Leadership Development Program.

Already utilised by business leaders across the UK, Brave Bold Brilliant is on track to become one of the UK’s leading support platforms for both individual and business development, with resources spanning key topics ranging from strategy and planning through to imposter syndrome and growth mindset.

This follows the success of Jeannette’s dedicated ‘Brave Bold Brilliant’ Podcast, which is listed in the top 1.5% with a growing audience spanning in excess of 120 different countries worldwide.

Discussing the launch of Brave Bold Brilliant, Jeannette Linfoot said: “I genuinely believe that everyone has greatness within them and the potential to achieve success but sometimes they just need a push in the right direction.

Having honed and implemented the Brave Bold Brilliant approach into the businesses I have ran as a corporate CEO together with the many organisations I have worked with in an advisory capacity, I felt that – in order to reach more people and deliver a greater impact – I needed to develop an accessible suite of business resources able to help both individuals and teams to achieve their business objectives.

I am, therefore, delighted to unveil the official Brave Bold Brilliant site and hope business leaders and entrepreneurs across the UK find it both valuable and useful in their own journey to success.”

The launch of the Brave Bold Brilliant business support platform comes as Jeannette celebrates the 400thepisode of the podcast.

For more information, visit: http://www.brave-bold-brilliant.com/

NEW BOOK: ‘Rest. Practise. Perform. What elite sport can teach leaders about sustainable wellbeing and performance’.

‘Rest. Practise. Perform. What elite sport can teach leaders about sustainable wellbeing and performance’ is the new book from Karen Meager and John McLachlan.

The authors take the latest scientific and academic thinking and make it useful and easy to apply for everyone from the leader of an SME to the CEO of a blue-chip corporate.

Whether you grapple with the relentless demands of your leadership role or are struggling to balance your team’s wellbeing with delivering results, or are simply worried you, and those around you, may not be performing in a way that is both effective and healthy, this book can help.

Contemporary workplace cultures often shackle employees to a culture of ceaseless high performance and productivity. This results in lacklustre productivity, diminished creativity and a shattered workforce.

In contrast elite sports have honed time-tested strategies for sustaining peak performance, consistency and getting results without burnout or exhaustion.

‘Rest. Practise. Perform.’ is a practical and illuminating guide that offers a fresh perspective on leadership, unleashing an empowering, harmonious approach that’s inspired by elite sports’ proven disciplines.

Karen Meager and John McLachlan draw from extensive research and their deep understanding of leadership behaviours to provide you with a playbook for adapting elite sports’ winning techniques to your own team or organisation.

Discover how to apply the incredible rhythm of the rest, practise, perform cycle and explore how it can revolutionise you and your team’s productivity, performance and wellbeing.

‘A game-changer. I wish I’d read it sooner. This should be in every leader’s toolbox.’

Aaron Phipps MBE – paralympic champion

‘Rest. Practise. Perform.’ …

Sheds light on the pitfalls of contemporary workplace cultures that emphasize relentless high performance and productivity.

Provides time-tested strategies for sustaining peak performance, ensuring consistency and achieving outstanding results.

Presents a fresh perspective on leadership inspired by proven sports disciplines.

Expertly adapts elite sports’ winning techniques to enhance team or organizational productivity, performance, and overall well-being.

John and Karen’s approach is grounded in research and professional practice that spans 20-plus years. Both Karen and John hold Masters degrees in psychology and health research. Karen’s specialist research area is mental health and burnout in organisations, and John’s is what organisations can learn from elite sports performance.

The goal of ‘Rest. Practise. Perform.’ is to help leaders and organisations find a working rhythm that delivers top performance whilst also prioritising people and their health.

Available from all good bookstores and via Amazon.

For more information see: www.monkeypuzzletraining.co.uk/rest-practise-perform 

BOOK DETAILS

Author: Karen Meager and John McLachlan

Pub Date: 21st February 2024

ISBN 13: 978-1-915483-27-0

RRP: £16.99

Format: Paperback; 216 x 138 mm

Extent: 176pp

Category: Management and Leadership

Laytons ETL’s John Gavan hands compliance baton to disputes partner Ben Thorogood

The City of London-based international law firm Laytons ETL has appointed partner Ben Thorogood as its new Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP). Mr Thorogood takes over from partner John Gavan, who held the role from its inception 11 years ago.

As COLP, Mr Thorogood will be responsible for ensuring Laytons ETL’s compliance with the terms of its authorisation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and for ensuring that the firm, its managers, employees and interest holders comply with any SRA regulations which apply to them.

Ben Thorogood joined Silverman Sherliker, which merged with Laytons in 2017, as a paralegal in 2012. He trained with the firm, qualifying in 2015, and was appointed a partner at Laytons ETL in 2022.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Thorogood said, “I am grateful for the immense contribution made by John Gavan during his tenure as COLP.

“I am committed to providing the firm, and those engaged within it, with the support required to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards, and to maintain an effective and dynamic legal practice.”

The firm’s previous Compliance Office for Legal Practice, John Gavan, is stepping back to focus on his practice which spans the firm’s corporate, employment and tax groups. A former main board director of a FTSE 350 company, and previous chairman and managing partner of Laytons, Mr Gavan has advised both employers and employees on share incentive schemes for over 30 years, and specialises in matters where corporate law, corporate governance, employment law, and tax interact.

His tenure as COLP spanned the pandemic, and the associated challenges of adapting compliance procedures to new remote working practices, and, in 2021, the firm’s integration into the international professional services group, ETL Global.

Mr Gavan said, “It has been an honour to serve as Laytons’ first Compliance Officer for Legal Compliance, and to play my part in maintaining, through one of the most turbulent periods in post-war history, the exemplary professional standards for which our firm is known.

“I can’t think of anyone better than Ben to take over the role and I am sure he will be more than capable of tackling whatever challenges may come his way as the world changes, working practices continue to evolve, and the regulation of our profession adapts accordingly.”

Michael Kashis, Managing Partner CEO at Laytons ETL, said, “’After 11 years of dedicated service, since the role was introduced, John Gavan will be stepping down from the role of Compliance Officer for Legal Practice. We are deeply grateful for John’s unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to ensuring our compliance and upholding the highest legal standards.

“Ben Thorogood brings a wealth of experience and a strong understanding of compliance requirements to this position. We are confident that Ben as COLP will continue to uphold our firm’s standards of excellence and integrity in this new capacity.”

DIRTEA appoint former Huel COO Grant Coetzee as CEO

DIRTEA, the market-leading functional mushroom brand, is proud to announce Grant Coetzee as its new CEO.

DIRTEA, the leading functional mushroom brand online and the UK’s no.1 Mushroom Extract Powder, Coffee, Matcha, and Super Blend products, welcomes Grant Coetzee to its team as its new CEO, supporting the strategic growth and global development of the business.

A seasoned leader with extensive expertise in building global brands, consumer businesses, and high-performing teams, Grant joins DIRTEA after five years as COO at Huel, where he was instrumental in helping scale the business x16 fold, from £9m to £144m.

With a proven track record of driving organisational growth and international expansion in the consumer goods space, Coetzee’s appointment marks a significant moment for DIRTEA. As CEO Coetzee will collaborate with DIRTEA founders Simon and Andrew Salter, concentrating on scaling the business, catalysing global growth, fostering innovation, and enhancing DIRTEA’s market-leading presence, to steer the brand towards even greater heights. Commenting on his appointment, Coetzee states, “I am delighted to join DIRTEA, a mission-led rocket ship, aimed at enhancing the world’s global wellbeing through the power of mushrooms. I have a passion for overall health and fitness, aiming to improve life quality for people. DIRTEA is a fantastic gateway for people to do that, using the functional properties of mushrooms to transform lives. Andrew, Simon, and the DIRTEA gang have done an incredible job in building a really cool science-backed lifestyle brand. I see huge potential in our mission to globally address the true potentials and health benefits of our DIRTEA mushrooms.”

“Grant is an exceptional leader and a veteran executive in driving growth, and we’re excited to welcome him to DIRTEA during a period of remarkable expansion for our business,” says Andrew Salter, DIRTEA Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer. “As the demand for functional mushrooms continues to grow globally, Grant’s proven track record positions him perfectly to propel the DIRTEA brand whilst enhancing our connections with our loyal community.”

Successful in creating one of the world’s fastest-growing wellness brands and communities, as well as showcasing the power of functional mushrooms on a large scale, DIRTEA is renowned for its best-selling, high-quality product range. Including dual-extract mushroom powders and super blends which are derived solely from the fruiting bodies of scientifically researched functional mushrooms, the DIRTEA range offers a wide variety of health and wellness benefits including improved focus, calm, immunity, and energy.

Bruton Knowles Expands National Valuation Team with New Scotland Associate Appointment

Gillian Park has joined Bruton Knowles as an Associate within the Asset Valuation team with over 20 years of experience in the surveying sector.
 
MRICS Registered Valuer Gillian Park has joined Bruton Knowles’ National Valuation Team as an Associate, delivering valuations for Public Sector clients of the national chartered surveyor in accordance with CIPFA, IFRS and RICS.
Gillian joins the team from City Property where she worked as a Valuation Surveyor undertaking Red Book valuations for Glasgow City Council’s and City Property Glasgow Investments’ (CPGI) asset portfolio. Her expertise span across surplus property disposal, leading negotiations for both market and off market transactions, and she has experience in Estate Management and Due Diligence Surveying.
Gillian said: “I’ve been aware of Bruton Knowles and their reputation for some time, when I saw that they were growing their National Valuation Team I was eager to pursue the opportunity. I am very pleased to be joining the company and to be working with their valued Public Sector customers. Everyone here, including my manager Helen, has welcomed me aboard with open arms.
“We provide so many fantastic services to the Public Sector and while I have joined Bruton Knowles with a great number of years of experience under my belt, I’m looking forward to developing my knowledge even further while working on some exciting projects.”
Placing high value on family and social connections outside of work, Gillian is thankful for the strong emphasis that Bruton Knowles places on work-life balance: “In the last few years the way people work has changed dramatically and it’s great to see Bruton Knowles reflect this in their central values. The company is more than happy for employees to work where comfortable; it shows that they place trust on team members, which was hugely appealing to me.”
Head of Public Sector, Helen McLeod-Baikie, added: “It’s been a great pleasure to welcome Gillian into our Asset Valuation team as we expand our offering in providing Public Sector advice nationally. Within days of starting Gillian has proven herself to be a valued team member by getting stuck in, bringing in fresh ideas and delivering a high standard of work.
“It’s clear Gillian is passionate about both her role and the wider industry, and we can’t wait to see her flourish here at Bruton Knowles.”
Bruton Knowles has extensive expertise and in-depth market knowledge of local and national property markets throughout the UK. Utilising its team of motivated resourceful surveyors, the firm provides the very best commercial property advice. www.brutonknowles.co.uk.

SkyPeople Training soars as it helps aviation industry tackle cabin crew shortage

A specialist training provider is seeing demand take off as it helps the aviation industry tackle a huge global shortage of cabin crew.

According to Canadian flight crew training company CAE’s 2023 Aviation Talent Forecast, almost 600,000 cabin crew staff will be needed globally over the next 10 years.

Ryanair alone has unveiled plans to recruit 10,000 staff over the next decade as it expands its fleet with hundreds of new aircraft.

SkyPeople Training has seen dramatic growth in demand this year for the hands-on programmes it runs for students from colleges and universities across the UK which are educating the next generation of cabin crew.

So far in 2024, SkyPeople Training has worked with more than 40 UK colleges and universities and more than 25 airlines across the UK and Europe. The number of college and university students attending its sessions so far this year is approaching 1,000 and has nearly trebled compared with the same period in 2023.

SkyPeople Training, which delivers courses across the UK and internationally, has expanded its bespoke aviation training academy in Manchester as a result of the increase in student numbers attending the facility, where it also provides training for existing cabin crew and pilots employed by passenger and cargo airlines worldwide.

Its training includes theory and practical sessions on how to tackle a number of emergency situations on board, such as firefighting, smoke-filled cabins and evacuations.

It has recently added a new classroom at its academy as well as a mid-exit door for the Boeing 737 Max jet, with an entire replica Boeing 737 flight deck due to come later in the year.

The business is accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority as a cabin crew training organisation and security training provider, with a rating of ‘outstanding’.

This accreditation enables SkyPeople Training to provide the Attestation of Initial Cabin Crew safety training. All cabin crew working on UK-registered aircraft must possess the qualification.

SkyPeople Training also supports airlines by developing their training manuals, designing their training courses and delivering the product directly to their crew.

It has won recognition from industry experts in crew training, with invitations to deliver keynote speeches at events in the United States, Portugal and Vietnam.

Mike Lawson, SkyPeople’s training, project and outreach manager, said aspiring cabin crew benefit greatly from the hands-on experience they gain at the company’s academy.

“Recruitment is a significant challenge for airlines, and our academy is helping them to plug the gaps in their workforce,” he said.

“There’s an evolution in the way cabin crew training is delivered, shifting towards being competency-based. Historically, entrants had to take a paper examination and undergo an assessment.

“Hands-on experience is now seen as an increasingly necessary part of the curriculum for students looking to embark on their cabin crew careers. Providing that in our academy helps get the students ready for a professional working environment.

“This type of practical training is also beneficial for those already working in the industry who are seeking to gain the Cabin Crew Attestation or looking to grow in their careers.

“It’s an attractive career that provides long-term, meaningful opportunities. Our track record over more than a decade, combined with the recent additional facilities at the academy, means we are in a strong position to help bridge the gap between education and industry.

“Our close ties with a number of leading carriers enables us to help students find cabin crew roles once they successfully complete their courses, as they can register their interest in jobs that become available through our links with airlines.

“In 2023, we mentored a group of final-year aviation management students at Manchester Metropolitan University, getting them industry-ready and linking them to employment opportunities.

“In addition, this June we will be hosting our second Travel & Tourism, Aviation and Cabin Crew Lecturers Conference, which will be an opportunity for college lecturers from across the UK to join us for a day of CPD training delivered by ourselves and our airline partners, including Aer Lingus UK, British Airways and Ryanair’s recruitment partner Cabin Crew International.

“The recent investment to expand the academy demonstrates our confidence in the future of the business and our commitment to providing the most up-to-date training to enhance safety and competence across the industry.

“We’re extremely proud of our facility, which through continuous improvement we believe makes it the best independently-owned training centre of its kind in the UK, if not Europe.”

Donna Feeny, Head of Travel, Food and Drink at Leeds City College, said: “Our strong employer partnership with SkyPeople allows our students to experience first- class industry training. The skills they learn during their training fosters a seamless transition into a career in aviation.”

SkyPeople, which has eight permanent team members and a flexible network of 80 trainers, was acquired last year by Manchester-headquartered EDM, which manufactures and assembles training simulators for sectors including civil aviation, defence and rail industries.

Hiring Hub and hireful link up to power growth

Recruitment marketplace Hiring Hub has struck an agreement with technology provider hireful to power growth for both companies and help more employers find the right candidates to fill job vacancies faster.

The partnership and platform integration will allow users of hireful’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to post roles directly on to Hiring Hub’s platform and gain access to its rated and reviewed network of specialist recruiters.

Headquartered in Strixton, Northamptonshire, and with offices in Spain and South Africa, hireful supports more than 400 organisations with its ATS software, recruitment workshops, training and recruitment process audits. The company, which has 60 staff, works with clients including Heron Foods, Kidney Research UK, Haribo and Fulham FC.

Its technology streamlines and automates the recruitment process, reducing the time spent on administrative tasks such as advertising jobs, scoring and shortlisting of candidates, interviewing and onboarding new hires.

It also includes a variety of features as standard to help support employers’ diversity and inclusion goals, including diversity capture, anonymised and disability-confident applications and ongoing performance monitoring.

The platform is designed to make life easier for employers and provide organisations of all sizes with the tools, insights and capability to compete with larger rivals in their sector.

In December, hireful secured a seven-figure funding package from SME Capital, facilitated by Leyton Capital Advisors, to support its growth strategy and expansion plans.

Hiring Hub, which is based in Manchester and operates across the UK and Europe, connects businesses with boutique recruiters through its marketplace platform to help employers find quality candidates quickly.

Companies post their vacancies on the platform and set the fee they are willing to pay a recruiter, and recruitment agencies pitch to work on them. This enables employers to manage recruiters centrally online, widen their candidate search and swiftly find off-market talent via specialist head-hunters.

The platform is used by employers such as Dodd Group, Sega Amusements and industrial and consumer goods company Henkel.

Simon Swan, founder of Hiring Hub, said: “The team at hireful are dedicated to making the lives of HR and in-house recruitment teams as simple and straightforward as possible, an ethos that very much aligns with our own.

“This partnership is a great fit for us as an organisation and, more importantly, it will deliver real value for the users of both our systems. It will increase the options available to employers using hireful when they are looking to quickly widen their candidate search, fill a specialist role or have a vacancy that has proven particularly challenging to fill. That is when we can add real value.

“We are looking forward to helping hireful users to find and hire quality talent using our award-winning recruiter marketplace.”

Adrian McDonagh, co-founder of hireful, said: “We are excited to be partnering with Hiring Hub.

“By combining hireful’s technology with Hiring Hub’s expansive recruiter network, we aim to set a new standard for efficiency and effectiveness in connecting employers with top-tier talent. Recruitment has always been about hiring first-rate talent, and our customers will benefit from the support of Hiring Hub’s network.”

Hiring Hub is backed by Manchester-based private equity firm MonacoSol, which last year invested a multimillion-pound sum to scale its sales and customer operations in the UK and overseas. MonacoSol is the private office of software and technology entrepreneur Richard Beaton.

“Connect and collaborate”: Early Career Network launched by Institute of Economic Development

The Institute of Economic Development (IED), the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners working for local and regional communities, has launched its Early Career Network: a dedicated platform to enable those in the early stages of their economic development careers to connect and collaborate.

The network’s mission is to create a pool of resources to help members’ progress their careers and build their knowledge of the opportunities available within the economic development industry via networking events, accessible channels of communication, and other activities including talks with experts on economic development.

As well as a dedicated on LinkedIn group, meetings will typically run on a monthly basis and take place online. These meetings will be accessible via a link shared exclusively to members in the network’s WhatsApp group chat, and include:

  • ‘Talks with experts’ – a series of interview-style sessions with speakers from the economic development sector, as suggested by members of the network.
  • Spotlight sessions – where members of the network take time out of the meeting to explain and describe what their day-to-day roles consist of, as well as sharing industry and events information. This will allow for networking and further understanding of the opportunities within the sector.
  • Bi-weekly admin meetings – run by a core group of five volunteer members, these meetings will take place to enable the ongoing running of the network and for members to touch base if they would like to. This group, which will rotate, will also own communications platforms and publish content.

Micaela Benvenuto, an Economic Development Consultant at Mickledore, is one of the volunteer members driving the network.

“We are really excited to launch the Early Career Network, which brings a valuable opportunity to connect with others in the early stages of their economic development career, and already we have 40 members,” she said. “Not only will members gain on-the-ground industry insights from other members, they will be able to expand their professional network which could lead to new business partnerships and/or potential career opportunities. Members can also build their personal brands and professional credibility by being a part of a network affiliated with a well-renowned organisation such as the IED.

“From my perspective, it is helping me to explore different areas of economic development and connect with peers of the sector to understand how we can better partner up to intervene in ways that may produce positive outcomes.”

The network is open to anyone who is a member of the IED and in their early stages of their economic development career or aspiring to join the sector, including students. Those who do not hold an IED membership but are interested in joining the network are encouraged to communicate with admin@ied.co.uk and attend one of the network’s meetings and/or be co-opted into the group for an agreed period of time.

Claire Hill, Economic Growth Officer at West Lindsey Council, said: “Having worked across the private, not-for-profit and public sectors, I have arrived in economic development later than others. The professional networks I have already established are outside of this area of work. The Early Career Network therefore seemed an ideal opportunity to connect with others in a similar position, and further my understanding of the wider work happening in this field.”

“I am excited by the opportunities this network brings, especially in terms of learning from my industry peers and staying up-to-date with the latest developments,” added Martin Owen, Planning/Regeneration Consultant at BE Group.

IED Executive Director Nigel Wilcock commented: “The Early Career Network is a fantastic initiative to unite professionals in the early stages of their career across the economic development sector. It is built very much on the principle of co-creation between members of the network, and we are excited by its potential to inform and inspire the progression of up-and-coming economic development professionals.”

More information about the Early Career Network, and its membership, can be found here.

With nearly 1,400 IED members overall, professionals are drawn from the public sector (local authorities, universities and government departments) and the private sector (consultancies supporting economic development in its widest sense). For higher education the IED offers student membership for full or part-time students working towards a qualification in a relevant discipline but who are not in employment.

New Port Partners and Matellio Forge Strategic Alliance to Boost Client Success with Enhanced Technology Advisory and Software Solutions

New Port Partners, a premier advisory firm specializing in tech-sector business performance improvements, and Matellio, a leading product development and digital transformation services provider today announced a strategic partnership to guide clients through complex business transformations.

“Joining forces with Matellio represents another step New Port Partners has taken to provide clients a comprehensive suite of business transformation solutions,” said Dan Mondor, co-founder and managing director of New Port Partners. “We’re thrilled to combine our strategic advisory experience with Matellio’s comprehensive technology advisory and software development capabilities.”

“The rapid rate of innovation in the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) sector creates both challenges and opportunities for our clients” said Amrit Singh, Chief Strategy Officer of Matellio. “We have developed hands-on experience building, customizing, and integrating powerful solutions leveraging 5G technology, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, cloud and edge computing, and AI/ML models. While technical competency is critical for implementation success, job number one is sense-making: which business problem(s) should be prioritized, what are the root causes, and what is the optimal solution(s) within each client’s unique context. We’re thrilled to team with New Port Partners and jointly optimize clients’ investments in core and advanced technologies, from strategic planning through solution deployment and benefits realization.”

Through this strategic partnership, New Port Partners and Matellio will offer clients a seamless experience, guiding them from initial business strategy through the implementation of cutting-edge solutions to increase both revenue and profitability.

For more information on how New Port Partners and Matellio are driving business transformations, visit www.newportpartnersgroup.com and www.matellio.com.

About New Port Partners

New Port Partners advises public and privately held companies on performance improvement and company-wide business transformations. New Port Partners founders are former tech industry CXO executives of Fortune 500, NASDAQ listed, and private equity companies. Collectively they have created over $6Billion in incremental shareholder value. For more information visit www.newportpartnersgroup.com

About Matellio

Matellio works together with clients to navigate the intricate journey of product development and digital transformation, becoming an essential catalyst for their innovation, growth, and sustainability. Led by former industry operators, we focus on accelerating time-to-market for early-stage SaaS / PaaS companies and driving outsized ROI for mid-market companies seeking to optimize enterprise applications. For more information, and to learn how we’ve helped clients including HPE and Siemens, visit www.matellio.com.

Network Rail Embraces AI: Oakland’s Partnership Marks a New Era in Rail Industry Innovation

Oakland, a leading Microsoft Data and AI SolutionsPartner, are collaborating with Network Rail to address the challenges of knowledge management within the rail industry.  Leveraging the power of AI, Oakland has developed a solution to revolutionise how Network Rail harnesses its wealth of information and insights.

Network Rail has just started their new financial period (CP7) – committing an investment of £44 billion in the UK railway infrastructure throughout 2024 to 2029. This significant investment aims to achieve ambitious goals, including a 20% reduction in delays, a 30% increase in capacity, and a 70% decrease in carbon emissions.*

Like many complex organisations, Network Rail faced challenges when it came to managing valuable information and how it was stored across various formats such as PDF and video, meaning there was an opportunity to better leverage these as data sources. Acknowledging the broader challenges faced by Network Rail, Oakland identified an opportunity to leverage AI to share insights from past projects before and throughout the lifecycle of new projects. This proactive strategy is designed to prevent issues later in the project timeline, improving overall efficiency and effectiveness.

The project harnesses generative AI capabilities to allow users to interact with the language model through a dynamic chatbot interface. This solution enables users to pose queries and receive tailored responses drawing from Network Rail’s extensive library of thousands of learned lessons and valuable data sources. Powered by cutting-edge AI algorithms and Azure AI Services, it represents a significant advancement in knowledge management not just in the rail industry, but with the potential to be deployed across all sectors.

Having worked together for over a decade, at the heart of the partnership with Network Rail and Oakland thrives on a shared goal of innovation and operational excellence, driving industry-leading solutions and best practices. 

Jack Evans, Principal Consultant at Oakland, adds

“Network Rail saw knowledge management as a prime candidate for AI. By placing AI at the heart of the solution, they can unlock a wealth of possibilities to make a real, positive impact for years to come. This is a game-changer for sharing and leveraging knowledge across the organisation.”

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, Network Rail remains steadfast in its dedication to innovation to improve collaboration in the organisation and seek efficiencies. Implementing AI-driven knowledge management solutions reflects the commitment to harnessing cutting-edge technologies to propel the rail industry forward.

Mo Momodu, Programme Manager – Rail Infrastructure Centre of Excellence, shares;

“The deployment of generative AI capability within the learning from lessons library will transform the way we harness knowledge, enrich insights, and encourage cross-industry learning”