Norwegian Railway Services gets more accurate reporting, faster response times that close the loop on maintenance and frees up teams to focus on a competitive future.
CHALLENGE: Maintaining service excellence in a competitive market
Keeping travelers happy – and trains operating and running smoothly – is an every day challenge for Norwegian Railway Services (NSB).
And it’s the seemingly little things combined that make a big difference in the passenger experience. Like having the passenger information system up and running.
Facilities that are clean and in working order. Doors that open and shut properly.
“Continually chasing new, better and efficient ways of doing things to improve our workday is vitally important to our teams – and our customers,” said Eirik Venberg, Locomotive leader at NSB Trafikk & Teknikk.
Delivering seamless operations and high-quality service is especially important as NSB faces increased competition from other train service providers for the first time in its 155-year history.
Behind the scenes, NSB drivers, conductors and maintenance team work in tandem to keep the trains in peak operating condition as they support 60.5 million passenger journeys each year across Norway’s most important traffic arteries.
That calls for modern workflow that enables conductors and drivers to quickly and easily communicate issues to the NSB technical support team. And it requires a modern user experience that frees teams to focus on critical issues and tackle more work in the same amount of time. All of that is much easier now that NSB has streamlined maintenance reporting and tracking system from Neptune Software.
Almost overnight, user interaction skyrocketed and 80% of all errors were reported using the app. Eirik Venberg, Locomotive Leader, NSB
APPROACH: Build a robust app that keeps phones available for critical issues
The technical maintenance team knew it needed to provide the train personnel a way to report errors that didn’t require a phone call, a process that took considerable time on both ends of the call.
“We were looking to improve the accuracy of notifications and capture more details than could be provided in an ordinary phone call, all while making sure that drivers with urgent requests didn’t end up waiting unnecessarily in the queue,” said Eirik. “And we needed a seamless way for this information to be documented into our SAP maintenance application.”
After a competitive bidding search, the team found the solution it was looking for from Neptune Software, which they brought in part because of their expert knowledge of the SAP HCM application, among others.
Led by technical support, the project team included representatives from the drivers and the operations center within the development team, as well as Neptune consultants who could help optimize the solution from the outset.
NSB approached the project in three phases. They began by creating a desktop app for the tech support team that streamlined their interaction with the SAP system, making error documentation much more efficient.
Phase 2, which enabled the team to view the status of all reported errors via tablets was released in September of 2017 and tested through the end of the year.
“Having error status readily available on tablets was a big step in making the SAP world more efficient for our users,” said Eirik. “The third phase of the project made the workflow mobile and we were surprised to see that without any advertising or promotion, people began using the system. Almost overnight, user interaction skyrocketed and 80% of all errors were reported using the app.”
RESULTS: 75% of errors are reported through the app – and are addressed faster
Previously, NSB drivers had to place a phone call, have the maintenance response operators enter it into the SAP system, and then wait until the next time the train was back in the workshop for it to be fixed. That’s not the case anymore.
“We’ve seen a big change in the notifications workflow. Where before, all errors were reported to us through the phone, today, we estimate that 75% of errors are reported through the application and they’re able to be addressed faster,” said Eirik. “That kind of quick response frees all of us to focus on more critical work –
and provide a better passenger experience.”
In one case, a driver reported an error while stopped at a train station, and noticed that within 30 seconds it was being processed in the system. Within five minutes the mechanic was on the train attending to the issue. In just ten minutes, the issue was fixed, documented and closed. And the train continued its journey on time.
Additionally, drivers can now track the system errors for their trains across the entire repair process, can easily identify issues those have not been fixed, and have the opportunity to add more information to help get the issue resolved.
“With Neptune, phone calls have dropped by 45%. That’s a win-win story,” said Eirik.
Plus, the maintenance workflow continues to evolve. Since the initial project launch, NSB’s maintenance providers also have the Neptune app, creating a truly closed loop between the train conductors and drivers, the tech team, and the maintenance provider for even greater efficiency.
Moving forward, the team is also paving the way for more predictive maintenance, where the system can be linked to onboard sensors and automatically recorded and ticketed, a process improvement that will make name maintenance more responsive and efficient.
The kind of efficiencies achievable with Neptune platform for mobile, desktop and on and offline experiences for SAP are exactly what’s needed to help businesses like NSB address increased market competition – and the improvements mean that everyone benefits.
Customer Industry: Rail and bus transportation
Geographic Reach: Norway
Functionality Scope: Mobile, web, and desktop
Number of Users: 50 users/plans to increase to 200 user in 2019
System Version: SAP HCM, SAP MRO
Devices: Samsung phones and tablets,
as well as iPhone and iPad
Implementation Timeline: 3 months
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