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Transport Organisation in Canada Improves Productivity & Efficiency with Marval MSM

Incorporated in 2003, the Nipissing-Parry Sound Student Transportation Services (NPSSTS) consortium arranges and coordinates transportation services for students of its school boards. They service approximately 19,500 students, arrange transportation services, supply route descriptions to the operators, and coordinate payment for services provided. NPSSTS ensures the operation of 400 routes covering 850 runs, resulting in more than 26,000 kilometres travelled each day. They also monitor all safety issues that relate to student transportation, including school bus safety training and programmes, and facilitate the resolution of complaints related to student transportation.

The Challenge

The team at the NPSSTS devised a strategy to develop better streamlined processes, improve the management of their daily operations and be able to track and report on transportation issues and requests. They wanted to ensure that the system was robust and able to record incidents in a complex environment to mitigate the effects of incidents. A decision was made to procure and implement Marval MSM IT Service Management (ITSM) software.

NPSSTS oversees the transportation activities of the operators and school boards in their coverage area, and it is crucial that the system responds appropriately when a reportable event occurs. Reportable events or incidents can be anything from a bus being late due to road construction, bullying, bus cancellations due to inclement weather, road closures, driver complaints, or a child not getting off the bus at their designated stop. NPSSTS also receives a large number of service requests from the parents, such as a request to change the pick up or drop off location, walking distance reviews, accommodation reviews, closer stops, etc.

A consistent structured approach was required to ensure that nothing was lost or forgotten, and that all calls and emails were tracked and responded to in a timely fashion. Management was now aware of high priority issues, and response and resolution times were tracked to measure how well NPSSTS was responding to incidents and service requests. Marval MSM ensures all reportable events and service requests are tracked, prioritised and handled according to standard operating procedures.

MSM’s versatile classifications enabled NPSSTS to configure MSM to meet their needs. NPSSTS is able to track routes and equipment, such as booster seats and video surveillance units. This enables the staff to quickly identify the appropriate vehicle when a need arises. Other key features that the NPSSTS has been able to address in their service delivery were the ability to prioritise requests and to log Major Incidents. In addition, communication was improved as automated notifications would be sent from MSM to the various stakeholders including; operators, school administrators, teachers, students, and parents with regard to what is being done to address their issues or concerns.

The Result

After 18 months of using the product, NPSSTS realised how effectively MSM allowed them to recognise and identify areas of concern, enabling them to meet their objectives.

This achievement was possible through MSM’s incident trending analysis. This analysis is conducted to investigate the different patterns and trends of incidents and service requests, in addition to the regularity of recurring incidents. With this knowledge, NPSSTS has the ability to formulate an appropriate strategy that can best cater to these incidents.

NPSSTS now runs regular reports such as:

  • Total Incidents/Service Requests – By Region/Date/Month/Year/Operator
  • Mean Elapsed Time – Response by Priority
  • Mean Elapsed Time – Resolution by Priority/Type
  • Total number of Incidents/Service Requests – By Type/Route/ Board/School
  • Breached Incidents/Service Requests – Response by Priority/Type
  • Time on Hold – Time spent in 3rd Party Pending

Plan for Growth

NPSSTS is looking forward to using the MSM software as the tracking system for their upcoming Stop-Arm Violation pilot programme. The project includes the installation of cameras that will capture the licence plate of vehicles that drive by and ignore the extended stop sign of a school bus. With the help of MSM, NPSSTS will be able to monitor trends and changes in the rates of violations. This will not only provide them with detailed information about routes and regions that are more prone to violations, but it will allow them to assess the effectiveness of the pilot programme and awareness campaign.

In the near future, NPSSTS is planning to implement Change Management to address business needs and manage issues such as declining enrolment, changes to the capacity of the school bus, redesigning and amalgamating routes, and planning releases for end of year and fine tune it over the summer period, instead of tuning during peak times in the school year. Capacity and Availability planning would help them ensure they are meeting the needs of their four member school boards and the communities they serve.

Mark Sherry, of Marval North America, concludes, “Working with NPSSTS has been one of our most unique applications of MSM to address a business need. It always amazes me the creative applications our customers come up with for our product.”

“Today we have a reporting tool that allows us to drill down into the data, and we can look at it different ways. This helps us understand our business better, which leads to us making productive improvements.”

Dan Jolette, General Manager, NPSSTS

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