Name: Jack Chivers
Title: Product Owner
Joined Willow: December 2018
Fun Facts: I was a Karate Instructor for four years and got to travel throughout Europe for this role. I was lucky enough to visit Sweden, Serbia, Greece and Norway.
What led you to Willow?
The opportunity… I saw a product and company that was on the cusp of something new and exciting. From my initial interviews, it was clear that Willow was sitting on technology that was going to be ground-breaking – technology that will completely transform the built world. In particular, I was greatly excited by what Willow was working on in the rail asset management and maintenance industry, and the more I discussed this product with the team at Willow, the more I realised that Willow have the knowledge and expertise to execute on an asset management and maintenance solution for rail.
What are your skills/expertise?
I am very much a “people person,” which led me down the path of product ownership. After spending a significant amount of time working in hospitality and childcare, I made the transition to technology; beginning in a sales-based role and moving on to product building and owner roles. As a product owner at Willow, I’m heavily involved with the development team and manage a number of different stakeholders including customers, executives, engineers and developers. It is very similar to project management and requires a clear understanding of technology as well as the vision, what product needs to be built, why it needs to be built and how it is going to be executed.
What projects are you working on?
Since starting at Willow, I’ve been lucky enough to work exclusively on WillowRail. WillowRail is a joint venture between Willow and Strukton Rail – Europe’s leading rail maintenance organisation. WillowRail is a rail asset management and maintenance solution which integrates once disparate and isolated systems into a single, intuitive platform. By combining leading linear asset management, advanced spatial intelligence, powerful performance indicators and advanced mobile response, WillowRail creates a holistic forward-thinking digital rail network.
Last month, I spent a week in the Utrecht with the Netherlands-based Strukton team working on some exciting new WillowRail developments. We’ve been very focussed on creating an amazing platform for the management and maintenance of rail assets and are really excited to delve into predictive maintenance moving forward.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities within the global rail industry?
I see two major opportunities. The first is the opportunity to increase performance of rail networks. WillowRail couples Strukton’s expertise in rail asset management and railway domain knowledge with Willow’s application of advanced technologies and software innovation, allowing owners and operators of rail to have all the information required to make critical decisions at their fingertips. This allows real-time management and maintenance of rail networks, which will subsequently improve performance.
The second is the opportunity to drive cost savings for owners and operators of rail networks. With multiple proprietary systems, owners and operators of rail networks are faced with a sea of data, making critical decisions difficult. If the proprietary systems used in rail maintenance can be unified into a single platform that enables speedy fault detection and forecasting, reactive responses can be reduced and associative costs lowered.
WillowRail is already addressing these opportunities and unlocking the cost and time saving benefits for owners and operators of rail.