SISCOG, a software company with a proven track record in solutions for optimised resource scheduling and management in transportation companies, has supplied London Underground (LU) with a fast and flexible expert system to help schedule and optimise the work of its 5000 Customer Service (station staff).
The London operator needed a system that could originate a scheduling solution where station staff preferences were maximised and scheduled work optimised. The system developed, based on the proven CREWS product already being used for more than 3500 train operators/drivers since 2008, was first put against a test trial of a Proof-of-Concept (PoC). The PoC convinced LU decision-makers by achieving significant savings, while catering for staff work preferences. Later on, the full system also proved capable of expediting the planning and optimisation time from 35 hours to 15 hours in one of the largest and complex station staff groups.
In addition to this double efficiency, LU scheduling experts are now autonomous to edit, manage and test the station staff labour rules implemented in the system, benefiting from an extra level of flexibility to build “what if” scenarios. Other requirements for the system were also met, such as a less error-prone and swifter User Experience, and integration with SAP systems.
For Steve Ashton, Head of Establishment Planning at TfL, “the system has allowed us to better validate and optimise our schedules whilst being more responsive to changing business requirements and we found working with SISCOG they were keen to understand our challenges and provide pragmatic solutions”.
The project approach was based on an “add value along the way” philosophy and dealt with as a partnership where there were not two typical client-supplier teams, but just one team. Developed through an agile methodology, this allowed for a constant alignment between SISCOG and LU.
In the words of João Pavão Martins, SISCOG co-founder and CEO, this project “was very rewarding for me and all of SISCOG staff directly involved. All requirements were met, and some even surpassed, and we delivered true palpable value for LU’s operational performance”.