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Last week our team had the chance to attend Rail Live 2022, the UK’s largest outdoor rail exhibition, as our foray into the sector continues. The event itself was terrific. An open-air trade show on a beautiful summer’s day in the scenic Warwickshire Countryside, close to the home of William Shakespeare. Also present at the show, hailing out of Loughborough in the local area, were our long-term clients - DWG Infraco.
DWG Infraco are ground engineering specialists operating in a variety of sectors - from rail to aviation. We’ve had the pleasure of supporting the business in its current endeavours, which slowly bled into their activities in rail – making them Re-flow’s very first rail clients. In fact, it was their company Director, Mike Andrews, who first suggested we attend Rail Live, believing that Re-flow had the potential to bring huge benefits to the rail sector.
As we explored the two-day show, we had many opportunities to speak to existing clients, connect with the frontline companies maintaining our nation’s rail infrastructure, gain valuable industry insights from the many interesting panels being hosted, get slightly sunburnt, and most importantly, we got the chance to sit down with DWG Infraco’s “Re-flow super-user”, Ansel Zabula.
AZ: "We've been coming to these shows for quite a long time. For us, it's not really about short-term sales. These shows are all about making contacts and building relationships that turn into projects and work down the line. So, long-term, it's good because you've got the footprint. You know people see you and start to recognise your presence in the market, so these shows are good for our exposure."
With three years of experience at DWG Infraco under his belt, Ansel's position at the company is an interesting one. He describes himself as an all-rounder. His official role is that of Project Manager, however Ansel's also involved in various sales and operations processes – paving the road to his advancement to the role of Operations Director Designate as he slowly gains a comprehensive overview of the company at large.
AZ: "In a nutshell, DWG is about bringing back life to infrastructure that’s failing or is dying in that sense. So, it's a life extension company in terms of construction. We bring our services to the railway industry, airports, highways, wherever it's failing. We come in to put more life into it."
That, in summary, is DWG Infraco’s mission statement. Giving a new lease of life to highway, rail, and airport infrastructure using their range of innovative products and services. Without giving away any trade secrets, we asked Ansel what exactly this entails in terms of their work in the rail sector.
AZ: "A big one is track bed stabilisation. So, you got a track that goes over concrete, and that concrete has started to fail; it's become loose. We'll come in and use our resins. We'll inject it into the ground, solidifying the concrete and restabilising the site and tracks. On top of that, we also handle loose rails. We have a product - Spike Fast - and when rails become loose, we can drill through the timber, put in our product and in about twenty minutes, we can re-drill, put the screws back and re-install the rail."
For DWG Infraco, these projects can be highly complex. Numerous studies, surveys and checks must be meticulously conducted before work can begin, and jobs need to be planned and scheduled months in advance. In addition to this, Ansel has also got to keep track of existing jobs with teams working at multiple locations, managing progress and keeping track of all their equipment, vehicles and operatives. A colossal task to handle alone, without a solid framework to support it. Luckily, that’s where our field management software comes in to the bear the brunt of these processes.
AZ: "We've been using Re-flow now for some time. It's been a big help for us. When a job comes in, we put it all into Re-flow - job specs and cost data. Everything gets stored there. Then, once the job is live, we use Re-flow to schedule who's going to each job, the plant and equipment they are using, and every specific task they're to carrying out. Each individual gets sent this through the app, and they can send data back through forms, inspections, site safety checks, and timesheets. Everything uploads onto the system, which is easy to track from a central point. It made everything easier because we can keep track of it all with Re-flow. We always recommend Re-flow because we've seen how efficient it is. So, in our talks and conversations with other companies, we always recommend they try Re-flow."
Having worked with DWG Infraco for some time now, we're impressed to see how they’re taking full advantage of Re-flow’s potential. Initially, we set out to support their work in highways and civil engineering – sectors where we’ve had years of experience and a firmly established presence. Seeing them using our field management software in a rail setting, however, especially working on major projects such as HS2, has filled us with excitement and optimism to expand into the sector. We hope to provide these same benefits for many more businesses in the rail industry who are looking to sustainably evolve and streamline their operational processes.