Oliver Wyman

Rail & Surface Transportation


Oliver Wyman CAVOK provide operational and technical consulting services around Operations Improvement, Supply Chain, Maintenance Programs and Safety to passenger and freight rail operators.

With our expertise and industry best practice knowledge, using our own proprietary tools we are able to help our clients streamline their internal business processes, incorporate market-leading safety standards and restructure maintenance processes to reap significant business benefit.

We are specialists in all aspects of a rail business from locomotives, rolling stock, rail control systems through to infrastructure management and workshop optimization to enable operational excellence to the core business

We leverage synergies with our aviation and airline practices to build maintenance maturity, enhance safety, quality, and compliance with regulatory requirements, and offer supply chain optimization. 

We support clients with software implementations, business process assessment, Entry into Service and operational improvement through our experienced technical specialist and project management teams. 


We found Oliver Wyman CAVOK to be much more impactful than other consulting firms
Head of Strategy Global Freight Rail Line

Case Studies


Operational Improvement

At Oliver Wyman CAVOK, we collaborate with our rail industry customers to make operational improvements across their business leading to improved efficiency and cost management.

We ensure balanced and optimized operational requirements versus maintenance requirements for locomotives and rolling stock ensuring cost-effective operations.

A lack of standardization between depots can lead to reduced productivity and variance in performance.

We have a track record of increasing productivity through clearly defined process optimization, standardized industry best-practice procedures and improvements to production control.

As technology is ever-changing, we support locomotive and rolling stock entry into service, providing PMO and subject matter experts for fleet readiness assessments and ongoing maintenance requirements

We provide insight and implementation support for updating or replacing software solutions for maintenance operations.

We use lean techniques including Hoshin Kanri, Kaizen, and Value Stream Mapping to drive strategic planning, and continuous improvement to ensure goals are developed, communicated and implemented. 

Safety and quality management

Oliver Wyman CAVOK assists our clients in setting up Safety Management Systems and completing quality assessments across the rail value chain. Leveraging our aviation safety knowledge and expertise, we are able to develop, implement, and improve safety and quality management programs at our clients. 

A safe and profitable operator starts with effective intent-based compliance where the culture delivers superior safety performance.

Safety leadership starts with core safety values and beliefs and maintains a performance-based Safety Management System (SMS), an integrated risk management system that compliments effective compliance using tangible and intangible elements

We incorporate and promote the four pillars of SMS:

  • Safety policy and objectives
  • Safety risk management
  • Safety assurance
  • Safety promotion

An established quality management system will complement the safety of an operator and ensure safety is always maintained.

Maintenance programs

Oliver Wyman CAVOK develops and implements enhancements to OEM Maintenance Programs for Rolling Stock, collaborating with our clients to leverage operational and reliability data and machine learning to drive more mature Programs improving costs and maintenance effectiveness.

Cost, performance, and reliability are directly affected by the effectiveness and efficiency and maturity of a maintenance program.

Where maintenance programs are not achieving the desired maturity, costs will increase while performance and reliability will decrease. We utilize industry-leading machine learning tools to analyze and assess maintenance and operational data to optimize maintenance programs

We have successfully adapted proven aviation maintenance and reliability-centered maintenance principles to rail clients to enable data analysis-based maintenance programs to locomotives, rolling stock and ancillary assets and optimize availability

We hold a library of proprietary machine-learning tools to analyze historical maintenance and defect data to provide task effectiveness analysis and recommend optimized maintenance schedules

Our subject matter expert engineers collaborate with client specialists and stakeholders to ensure the output is engineered for success, presenting key deliverables for regulatory approval and adoption into maintenance systems.

Supply Chain Management

At Oliver Wyman CAVOK, our experts in Supply Chain management and optimization have the capability to help our clients enhance supply chain and material management functions, managing costs and increasing delivery performance.

Effective integrated maintenance and inventory management systems track and control components across maintenance, operations and supply chain.

If inventory management is lacking, tracking and control of components is difficult and can result in significant increases in cost, underutilization of assets, and inconsistencies across the operation.

Oliver Wyman can implement standardized vendor management processes. We improve warehouse management set up and processes to improve turnaround times and increase the effectiveness of inventory and stock on hand. We leverage our detailed knowledge of serialization and part tracking to improve component performance management. We can develop and implement leading warranty management programs ensuring cost recovery is maximized.

We map end to end forecast and stock processes to optimize these and enable consistently shorter lead times, improved availability and quality of components with reduced stock held.