Transitioning from working for a rail infrastructure provider to a startup on the supplier side

Tim Flower, Account Director UK, 31.05.2022

Who are you and what are you passionate about?

I am Tim Flower and I am the UK Account Director for KONUX. I have a huge passion for improving railway operations and my personal mission is to drive transformational change in maintenance through engineering excellence and the use of technology.

What is it that you do at KONUX?

My role is to drive sales in Network Rail, understanding management, engineering, and section manager pain points and providing meaningful solutions. When doing this I consider the railway as a system, proposing answers that not only involve KONUX but also considering how other suppliers can help resolve the root cause of maintenance issues. My ethos is focused on making sure the customer gets the best solution possible. When discussing pain points I always consider what KONUX can do today to help, what we can add to our roadmap to build for the future, but also what other suppliers can we collaborate with to provide a holistic solution.

Why did you decide to switch to the supplier side?

I spent 18 years with Network Rail so I felt it was time to explore a more commercial role that would provide me with a more rounded skill set. We achieved some huge technological advantages in my time at Network Rail including plain line pattern recognition, roll out of intelligent infrastructure onto 40,000 assets, maintenance scheduled tasks optimisation, and development of the insight tool and I wanted to see if I could transfer that innovative approach into a smaller company that would have the flexibility to rapidly deliver new products.

What excited you about KONUX?

Many things – working with the team with Network Rail it became clear that KONUX had developed an amazing product that I loved working with. But it wasn’t just about the product – it was about the team that we were working with. Markus (the Account Director) and Petra (the Customer Success Manager) were an absolute pleasure to work with, continually producing incredibly high-quality results through the trial phase that demonstrated the KONUX device was able to find many more failure modes than I anticipated. The engineering approach taken by the device team was superb as well, taking on all the feedback received from the technical authority and actioning it – in my opinion the approach taken to obtaining product acceptance was one of the best I have seen. Finally, it was the leadership team – the combination of Andreas’s experience across multiple rail companies and Max, alongside the other founders having built the company from scratch gave me a really compelling reason to join. Finally, Adam joining has only enhanced this, with his vast experience in startups, government and at Airbus bringing a new energy to the company.

What does it take to work for a startup?

Understanding the culture of the company and how your own personality and ways of working fit into this is paramount. At KONUX we have over 30 nationalities coming together to a common goal, which in itself is incredible. This diversity drives innovation and has really helped me to grow as a person, taking more time to think about how we operate together to create an amazing team ethic. Things are fast moving so you have to get on board with the cadence, be prepared to challenge, and be challenged to make sure everyone understands and works together to deliver our collective priorities. The biggest thing that struck me is how friendly everyone is – I felt part of the KONUX team from day one and I love getting across to Munich to see everyone both on a working and personal level – the approach to working hard and playing hard too is something I am fully on board with!

Which opportunities does it create for someone to join KONUX?

It provides you the ability to stretch yourself every day. Coming from a traditional railway company to a startup has provided me with the opportunity to massively broaden my skillset, improve my commercial acumen and push me out of my comfort zone. Every day at KONUX is different and I love the freedom I have to run the UK account alongside my superb team. The training budget given to every team member is amazing – it provides you with full control over your own development which is incredibly empowering. Working in such a diverse team teaches you a huge amount about yourself but it also drives creativity and innovation – helping me to think differently to resolve pain points. KONUX Labs enables us to rapidly test ideas, failing fast where necessary but driving new product development at an amazing pace. The ability for anyone to have an idea, feed it into the pipeline and rapidly see results is incredibly engaging for everyone involved. Product and Engineering are encouraged to spend 15% of their time on non-core projects, driving true innovation into our products and processes.

What has been your favorite KONUX moment so far?

Being shortlisted for the Innovation prize at the Rail Business Awards – I was incredibly proud to make it that far, even though we didn’t win, and it was fantastic to be able to share the evening with the people from both KONUX and Network Rail who had collaborated to enable us to enter in the first place.

Tim and our customer team are looking for new colleagues. If you are convinced of the KONUX Solution and looking for a new challenge, you should browse our open positions and get in touch!