Reflections on a fantastic time at Railtex

Last week we travelled northwards to the bustling city of Birmingham to set up camp at Railtex – which combined with Infrarail made it one of the rail industry’s biggest events in the UK this year.  We were primed and ready for three days of engaging discussion, new opportunities and some fun.  The fact that so many of us hadn’t been able to enjoy face-to-face discussion with people outside of our own immediate working groups for the last year and a half, provided that additional frisson of excitement to proceedings!

We were pleased to be a part of the RBDCommunity’s ‘Eagle Lab’, set up specifically to help small to medium enterprises (SMEs) showcase their products and services.  This helped us to make the most of our time at the event and engage with people that were interested in SiteSentinel, our online worksite induction platform.

We were also able to offer delegates a SiteSentinel tour – showing them how the system delivers relevant, up to date, high quality induction information using text, photos, video and illustrations.

We have primarily implemented SiteSentinel at train depots and stations, but our time at Railtex also opened our eyes to other possibilities in a much broader range of scenarios – everything from construction to the charity sector.  If we hadn’t been able to spend time with such a diverse and dynamic community, we may not have so readily considered these areas.

Founder of Lucid Communications, Paul Townsend said “Exhibiting at Railtex really made us feel a part of the wider rail community again.  It’s been a tough period for everyone, and it was invigorating to come together with this vibrant sector to properly start considering how we all safely move forward whilst still continuing to innovate.  We were delighted by how many people took a copy of our white paper ‘Professional Inductions, Safer Sites’ and we also sincerely hope everyone who was lucky enough to get a Lucid polo shirt is now wearing it!”

Thank you Railtex – until next year!

Announcing our stand at Railtex on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC Birmingham

We are delighted to be exhibiting at Railtex this September 2021 at the NEC Birmingham on Stand K80 in Hall 12; and after the year we’ve all had we’re looking forward to engaging in some good old fashioned face-to-face discussion!

This year’s event will be the 15th edition of Railtex and it has joined forces with key rail sector conference, Infrarail, meaning the show will service both the infrastructure and rolling stock sides of the sector, therefore creating the ultimate show for the rail industry.  

Founder of Lucid Communications, Paul Townsend said “Throughout the last year and a half the rail industry has worked hard to keep rail services safely moving up and down the country.  Railtex presents a fantastic opportunity for everyone to come together to celebrate what we’ve achieved and consider how we will all safely stride forward into an altered landscape with a whole host of new challenges.”

At the event we will be showcasing SiteSentinel, our online worksite induction platform, which also incorporates a test and administration interface.  The system is designed to consistently deliver relevant, up to date, high quality induction information using text, photos, video and illustrations.  SiteSentinel ensures an easily accessible audit trail of worksite safety inductions for all staff, visitors and contractors.

Please come along and see us – we’d love to meet you!

We’ve beaten our personal best – with an unprecedented number of Site Sentinel online worksite safety inductions in one month!

We’re thrilled to announce we’ve smashed our own monthly inductions record – delivering 2,145 online worksite inductions to rail personnel in the month of May 2021 – our highest ever monthly figure.  Pre-COVID we delivered an average of 2,000 inductions per month in 2019 – indicating the rail industry is firmly back on track!

Founder of Lucid Communications, Paul Townsend said “We’re delighted to have beaten our own induction record.  Not only is this fantastic news for Lucid, it’s also a heartening indicator that the rail industry itself, as well as all the subsidiary industries and individuals that support the sector, are picking themselves up after one of the toughest times we may ever see in our lifetime.”

The SiteSentinel platform provides an online induction, test and administration interface.  The system is designed to consistently deliver relevant, up to date, high quality information using text, photos, video and illustrations.

SiteSentinel ensures an easily accessible audit trail of worksite safety inductions for all staff, visitors and contractors.

Bristol and Paddington join the growing SiteSentinel station family!

Photo by Lucid

We are delighted to announce that we have been commissioned by both Bristol Temple Meads and Paddington train stations to implement SiteSentinel, our online worksite induction platform.  SiteSentinel will train the wide variety of daily station visitors in what they need to know to stay safe and vigilant whilst on site.

Both Bristol and Paddington stations have a constant flow of visitors; from contractors completing repair and maintenance jobs to the army of ‘Here to Help’ volunteers who are present every single day to guide and support passengers.  Currently contractors complete an on site paper based induction whilst volunteers are provided with a briefing pack.

Implementing SiteSentinel at both Bristol and Paddington will mean that all station visitors will receive their induction using the same online induction platform, which can be completed at a time and location convenient to them.  SiteSentinel will also direct different induction content to different visitors, meaning each individual user will only see the information that is relevant to their visit at the station.

Both stations have chosen SiteSentinel to streamline their induction process following its hugely successful roll out at Reading station, which remains the biggest SiteSentinel station implementation so far in terms of the range of different content available for different users.

The SiteSentinel platform provides an online induction, test and administration interface. The system is designed to consistently deliver relevant, high-quality information using text, photos, video and illustrations. SiteSentinel provides an audit trail of site inductions for staff, visitors, and contractors.

To focus or not to focus, that is the question.

shallow focus photography of magnifying glass with black frame
Photo by Shane Aldendorff on Pexels.com

It’s safe to say that almost every small business has been through the process of defining exactly what service or product it provides.  In fact, most market savvy businesses will go through this process multiple times, to stay afloat and keep up with the pace of change.  Questions asked are likely to include whether a business should… 

  • Focus on a core service or product?
  • Broaden the offering and capture a bigger share of the market?
  • Specialise in one industry or have a general understanding of many?
  • Offer a one off service or something that needs an ongoing contract?

The answers to which are all critical for any business to know.

One thing we have learnt in almost 20 years of trading is that small companies must excel at something!

In our case, we are a digital agency.  More specifically, we’ve refined that down to providing ‘eLearning and digital comms’ for the heavy industries and transportation sectors.  Even more specifically, our specialist topic areas are non-technical skills, railway communications and site induction via our online platform SiteSentinel.

We’ve also learnt that it’s important to say what you don’t do!  This builds credibility and helps clients frame your offering. In our case, we don’t do Public Relations; we don’t do Marketing Communications; and we certainly don’t do print campaigns… 

…except for the fact that we’ve just done a print job! Our offering – digital comms and learning – is pretty well defined, so why have we dipped our toe in the print pond? The answer is simple: it made sense for the client.

The rail client wanted a set of cards designed and printed that workers could use to learn about non-technical skills.  The project was required within an existing programme of work that we were involved in and we were well placed to deliver it.  We used our knowledge of non-technical skills in the rail industry and combined that with our experience of creating and delivering eLearning programmes, to design the set of educational cards.

And now comes the critical part… we then brought in a partner company and leaned on their specialism – printing!  In this case the excellent print management company Birch Print – who printed a beautiful set of client-ready cards.

So, what’s the moral of the story?  Defining what you do, and don’t do, is key to attracting customers and making sales.  However, sometimes a job might come along that you are well suited to – just with a little expert help.  So it would seem that specialising, whilst remaining open to possible new opportunities through collaborating with trusted business partners, provides the best of both worlds.