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The true costs of moving people safely and reliably

November 10, 2020 By Kevin Price

Asset and work management involve rigorous practices across all industries, but is especially important in transit and transportation. The ongoing need to do more with less, as well as emerging challenges around health and safety protocols has created unprecedented demands for agencies around the world.

Download the guide: Moving people safely and reliably

Our blog post series reviews ways to rethink applied transit asset management (TAM) methods and practices to meet a new level of standards and expectations in the transit industry. This week, we’ll look at the costs of moving people safely and reliably.

Even when done right, maintenance takes time and money, but those costs can be much higher when done wrong. Downtime today results in much more than customer inconvenience. A recent report from Aberdeen states that most companies experience downtime and that it can cost millions of dollars per day in lost productivity. It also directly impacts services delivery, customer satisfaction, and brand perception.

When revenues are down and you're facing an unprecedented crisis, it's very tempting to cut costs—reducing spare parts inventory, reducing preventive maintenance, reducing on-site technicians—to focus and invest on the essentials. But transporting people reliably in a safe and clean environment is not sustainable in the long run unless you invest in a robust transit asset management system.

To make the right investment choice, transit agencies need to review their standards, protocols, and processes from the business side and not from the technology side. This gives them a much better starting point to set up for a modern asset and work management plan, which they can then pursue by conducting the following assessment of what they need:

  • List situational awareness needs for each asset and component to turn them into measurable KPI
  • Create a method to obtain quantified and qualified statements of condition for those components
  • Define a maintenance maturity plan to prioritize and properly fund more safe and reliable operations
  • Investigate the latest technology innovations available for the transportation industry to help track asset performance, prevent failure, anticipate actions needed, and automate as many tasks as possible

Worth the investment

Managing and maintaining equipment assets is a 24/7 job, and digital tools can eliminate unplanned downtime, mitigate risks, improve synchronized team efforts, and support organizational growth.

If technicians know what they need to do beforehand, they can address the actual defects immediately without going through the standard checklist. Thanks to real-time insights on vehicle assets as well as the surrounding equipment—whether they are signals, tunnels, bridges, or underground drains—digital technology can help identify potential issues before they become a problem and instantly identify the right engineer to perform the required job based on data from the staff qualifications and certifications database.

Find the right partner

The first step toward more cost-effective maintenance is to look for a technology partner that understands the challenges of transit and transportation asset management. In most cases, legacy and on-premises solutions no longer provide the flexibility needed by today’s transit agencies.

Look to cloud deployment and functionality built specifically for the industry to facilitate:

  • Automation, integration, and connection across internal and external systems
  • The adoption of existing and emerging tools such as AI, machine learning, and drone technologies
  • Rapid adoption of intuitive mobile applications

If you’d like to learn more about ways to rethink applied transit asset management (TAM) methods and practices we invite you to download our best practice guide on Moving people safely and reliably.

Read articles from previous weeks
- The maintenance maturity model for transit agencies
- Why becoming data-driven helps transit agencies move people safely and reliably
- Ensuring transit agencies are always ready for the next emergency

Filed Under
  • Asset management
  • Transportation
  • Infor EAM
  • North America
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