VR FleetCare is the leading Finnish headquartered rail maintenance outsourcing company. VR Fleetcare was formed in 2019 out of VR Maintenance. It is now an independent subsidiary of the state-owned VR Group. It has already begun its digitisation journey with preventative maintenance systems. In its next phase, it is looking to replace its legacy ERP solution. The company selected Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise and chose Infor partner Midport Scandinavia to help complete the implementation to more than 1,000 users.
At the start of 2020, the monopoly of the Finnish passenger market by VR Group ended. VR Fleetcare was set up to take advantage of this and provide services to the operators that subsequently emerged. The company has already won business from HSL (Helsinki Regional Transport), Karelia Trains Ltd. and HKL (Helsinki City’s Transport).
Growth brings new requirements
As the company grew, it needed to replace its existing solution and selected Infor after a competitive review. One of the core reasons it selected the Infor solution was the industry-specific functionality the software already contained. The cloud-based solution would mean that VR Fleetcare would always be on the latest version. Also, Infor OS provided a means to connect to other ERP and financial software in the wider group.
Jukka Rantanen, VR FleetCare programme director, commented: “The opening of passenger rail transport to competition in Finland has dramatically increased the requirements from our customers, especially the demands around how maintenance operations are packaged to maximize runtime of railway fleets and execute and report on activities at the individual component level.
“Combined with our need for scalability, as we expect substantially increased traffic volumes, we have developed a ‘modern operating model,’ shortened as ‘MoTo’ in Finnish. This demands a multi-tenant, cloud-based and easy-to-integrate ERP solution with deep maintenance functionality. This is what we have found in Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise and Midport. We have already seen the benefits of being able to plan within Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise for different scenarios such as the impact of COVID or changes in production.”
Digital Transformation at VR Fleetcare
VR Fleetcare may have a long heritage, tracing its routes back as far as 1862, but it is no stranger to digitisation. The company is focused on becoming a new breed of digital maintainer. Mikko Alanko, Sales and Development Director, Digital Maintenance Services, VR Fleetcare, outlines the strategy in a recent blog.
Alanko joined the company in 2017 with the remit to: “create a strategy for our digitalization path that was called ‘Smart maintenance’ at that time.” The company had already invested in sensors and analytics on wheel bogies and other rolling stock components with EKE Electronics’ help. It is now looking to bring cloud-based solutions to its internal operations.
Johan Made, Infor general manager for the Nordics, summarises: “In many ways, VR FleetCare has found itself in the midst of a perfect storm. The huge opportunity that has arisen from regulatory change has demanded a full digital transformation of the business, against a backdrop of the pandemic and customer demands that have never existed before.
“The ability of cloud-based ERP to respond to these demands and enable the delivery of new services will form a cornerstone of the VR FleetCare business in the future.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
While companies rush to digitise elements of their organisation, it needs a wider, more holistic look. VR Fleet management is now bringing its systems in line with those services it delivers to customers. As Alanko notes: “Those who lack the courage to thoroughly transform their business will never see the payback of their investment because the winners of the digital transformation – those revolutionary companies with a different business model – collect the fruits of this new digital world.”
VR FleetCare is continuing its digitisation strategy with this decision to replace an ageing ERP solution. It has opted for one that is cloud-based and is part of an open platform.
For Midport Scandanavia, this is yet another significant Scandanavian customer logo. It adds to an impressive list that includes ABB, Schneider Electric, Bombardier. Midport delivers consulting and project management services to financial, manufacturing, supply chain, and service organisations, specifically around Infor LN.
Jouko Hoikkala, Midport sales director, commented: “For businesses throughout the Nordic and Baltic countries, it is no longer a case of if but when they must embrace digital transformation,” said “Technology such as cloud-based ERP systems are, of course, an important cornerstone in these projects, but equally important is the need to develop processes and methods that will fulfill current business requirements as well as enable a solid platform for future development.”