Every organization on earth has some kind of strategy, goal and workflow. Every organization wants to succeed and to grow. And at the end, of the day, every organization relies entirely on its people to make those hopes and dreams happen. The phrase “your people are your most important asset’ has almost become a cliche, but it’s proven to be true time and time again.
A well-managed and satisfied workforce can make a tremendous difference to the culture of a company and to its financial results. An article by the Harvard Business Review emphasizes this point: “Today’s business leaders are often running a full-time sprint just to keep up with the day-to-day demands of business. This means that human capital—the single most important asset a company needs to take the next step in growth and innovation—is often under used, or under developed.”
In a work environment such as a rail organization, crew management is a tricky and time-consuming endeavour. The logistics of running a crew efficiently can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have the right tools to do it.
So, what are the Pain points for a Crew manager?
Some of these include:
- a lack of centralized data,
- inefficient use of crews and long layover times,
- a slow learning curve and
- manual notifications resulting in communication breakdowns.
But thankfully, in the digital era, cloud-based systems have gone a long way towards addressing the challenges of a multi-faceted transport organization.
For example, CloudMoyo’s centralized Rail Crew Management solution ensures that crew availability is tracked continuously in real-time, an automated pool order is created, and an optimal crew rotation plan is delivered that complies with a variety of crew union rules and Federal Railway Administration regulations. All of this valuable data is subsequently delivered in real time, via an easy-to-understand dashboard to a PC or mobile device.
Cloud-based systems produce sophisticated analytics that are able to address these kinds of pain points and suggest actionable insights to help manage crews of employees and contractors. Insights which help management to determine the right crew size for a region, assess the cost implications of different crew sizes, and monitor the effectiveness of a crew in a situation. These are the result of well thought-out analytics, and they make a dramatic difference on the daily operation of freight companies.
One critical pain point in a rail environment is the ‘deadhead’ problem. Deadhead is a train moved between cities with no passengers or freight, in order to make it available for service. These actions are a drag on all rail operators in terms of opportunity costs, food and accommodation for crew, availability of rolling stock and travel costs. Fortunately, with advanced and real time analytics on top of data from a crew management system, the modern railroad can now have a deeper insight into where and how these dead-heads are affecting them. Thus, we see that cloud-based systems are having a radical impact on reducing the amount of deadheading taking place on railways.
There’s so much more that is on offer from a cloud-based crew management perspective. Flexible crew profiles, configurable work hours and service cancellation rules are a standard feature, a performance assessment engine is invaluable, as is the ability to record attendance data for crew via biometric devices, to name just a few features. What’s more is that such modern crew management solutions also integrate with third-party accommodation/ hotel/ cab service providers thereby providing a 360 degree end to end crew management.
Ultimately, a cloud-based crew management system allows rail operators to standardize and automate their crew management duties, which gives them agility and flexibility, as well as improved control and execution speed on everything that they do. Efficient, hard-working and appreciated crews are the cornerstone of a great rail operation and cloud-based software, setup by experts in the field, can make all the difference in an organization.