Digitizing the Maintenance Management Operation : Exploring the Opportunities of an Information System in a Railway Maintenance Organization

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: The phenomenon of digitization is transforming industries worldwide by introducing new valueproducing opportunities. In the railway industry, market liberalization has resulted in increased competition. To remain profitable in this new market environment, rail operators need to transform and acquire new digital capabilities and tools. By digitizing information-intensive processes with an information system, railway companies can reduce loss of operation time and reduce total maintenance costs. At the same time, the limited research exploring information systems in maintenance management has made it challenging for companies wanting to digitize. Significant attention has been devoted to the separate topics, however research overlapping the two areas of study has been inadequate. The thesis aims to contribute with knowledge to bridge this gap in literature by investigating the opportunities a maintenance organization potentially can capture with an information system and the success factors needed to succeed. By conducting the thesis in collaboration with the Swedish railway maintenance company MTR Tech AB the potential uses of an information system have been identified and assessed. Findings indicate that there are three main business opportunities to obtain from an information system: support of the troubleshooting process, better planning of reactive maintenance and enabling the performance of condition-based maintenance. At the same time, the profitability of an information system was found to be directly linked to its degree of utilization. Our findings have therefore allowed us to conclude that the business opportunity to pursue is the one that is most likely to be carried out fully and successfully in the prevailing circumstances. Lastly, the findings conclude that the success factors needed to capture the desired business opportunities are a dedicated project group, clear communication and information sharing, as well as adequate personnel.

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