In a work environment such as a rail organization, crew management is a tricky and time-consuming endeavor. 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 major pain points for a crew manager?
Well, there are several pain points but here are some of the important ones:
- a lack of centralized data,
- inefficient use of crew 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 system 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 these, valuable data is subsequently delivered in real-time, via an easy-to-understand dashboard to a desktop or mobile device.
Cloud-based crew management system produces sophisticated analytics that is able to address these kinds of pain points and suggest actionable insights to help manage different 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 in the daily operation of freight companies.
The ‘Deadhead’ problem
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 the 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 deadheads 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.