Shortage of skilled workforce in rail workshops
Bettina Bernhard


Post from 13. July 2022

The shortage of skilled workers has been a serious challenge for the rail industry for a number of years and will become even more acute in the coming years unless something is done about it immediately. In the last article we looked at this issue in more detail, focusing in particular on the operators and owners of rolling stock who are responsible for the maintenance of their fleet. In this article we focus on the area of workshops, which are feeling the effects of the staff shortage as well. Without trained specialists (e.g. welders, electricians, mechatronics, engineers, etc.), the specified ECM2 process requirements cannot be implemented – a problem that affects all workshops.

Qualitative and resource-saving work in the workshop

Achieving the desired capacity utilisation is one of the primary goals of workshops – and also ensuring customer satisfaction through excellent quality. Unexpected staff absences or bottlenecks in spare parts jeopardise the achievement of these goals. On the shop floor, it must be possible to react quickly to such incidents. An essential role is played by optimal personnel planning (considering the available qualifications), the on-time procurement of spare parts and the reservation or allocation of these to the individual orders.

Many companies still use Excel sheets for the planning of workshop orders, the documentation of the work carried out on the vehicle and the subsequent invoicing. Switching to a software solution specialised in these processes is often seen as a hurdle. Companies associate this with a high expenditure of resources and often do not see the added value behind it.

Boom Software has been developing software solutions for the rail industry, including rail vehicle workshops, for more than 25 years. This has resulted in the standard product BOOM Rail Workshop – the software solution for efficient, digital workshop management which focuses on operational maintenance. The standard product already maps the entire workshop process. Thanks to our Total Customizing approach, individual adaptations can be implemented faster and easier than with other software providers. With Rail Workshop, you plan your resources on the basis of qualifications, training and availability. Boom Software’s workshop management provides the respective users with the information they need to implement the activities (ECM specifications, vehicle history, process descriptions, tasks and assignments, …). Mobile working on the shop floor enables easy and fast communication to the technicians, reducing unnecessary travel and thus increasing productivity.

Digital shop floor management does not replace qualified personnel, but it helps companies to plan, implement and document the entire process efficiently by providing the information relevant to the personnel at the right time and enabling a faster reaction to unexpected events. It is thus an important tool for ensuring competitiveness in today’s world.

Do you have further questions?

If you are looking for a digital workshop management system or would like advice on the possibilities in your company, please contact our railway experts ( In a non-binding discussion, we will present you with a solution that is suitable for your company.

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