Top way to improve efficiency for bus operators (communication)
By David Eason July 30, 2018 Reading time:
The Secret of Any Successful Bus Operator
It is widely accepted that effective communication within any organisation is essential for its functioning.
The beneficial flow-on effects that can be achieved through enhanced communication are extensive. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are proven to successfully facilitate such communication and have resulted in many positive outcomes.
TIME SAVINGS = COST SAVINGS
Wasted time on performing activities manually translates to wasted costs – a dual negative outcome.
Using a single ERP system across your entire bus organisation has the ability to limit this by making interdepartmental communication seamless.
Because all of your company’s vital information is managed in the one system, every staff member can access it and employees can obtain the information they need directly instead of interrupting their colleagues and breaking their workflow.
For example, with an ERP system in place, payroll would be able to access shift schedules and driver sign-on and off times to generate driver pay.
They would not need to request this information from the operations department to effectively perform the requirements of their job, as the entire process is automated. This further ensures that when face-to-face interactions are conducted, they are more meaningful and less disruptive.
An ERP also allows for the standardisation of processes (5), so less time is wasted performing duties inefficiently.
Having a single streamlined process can also make the education of new staff members easier and less time-consuming.
A solution that is specifically built for and utilised by the bus industry will give you an additional time saving in terms of the configuration and maintenance of the solution for your operation.
A solution tailor-made for your industry and business type will require far fewer customisations out of the box than other generic ERP systems, allowing you the benefit of a faster implementation and cost savings.
FACILITATES PROBLEM-SOLVING & IMPROVES THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
Processes, such as those involved in decision-making, are made easier with an ERP system due to its ability to enhance communication between different departments (5).
This is achieved by integrating all of your operational information into a single database, which can be easily accessed through a consolidated interface and analysed to produce business intelligence and make informed decisions (5).
This enhanced flow of communication is in real-time.
For instance, operations can see which buses are available for dispatch and those that are unavailable due to maintenance or repairs as any vehicles off road are excluded automatically.
The system’s ability to monitor and alert staff of potential problems prior to their occurrence furthermore contributes to its problem-solving capabilities.
As an example, an ERP for bus operators should have the capability to flag a driver fatigue regulation breach before it happens.
Furthermore, such a system can be used to monitor and predict inventory demand, request required parts, allocate costs, disseminate information with external organisations and estimate key financial metrics (1).
A further benefit of working with an ERP solution that focuses on your industry is that the people implementing and supporting your successful use can provide insight based on years of experience. This means enhanced workflows based on the unique needs of the bus industry and transportation services.
CREATES COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Empirical evidence suggests that companies are able to gain competitive advantage through the use of an ERP system (3)(4).
This edge is a result of the integrated system’s ability to eliminate the duplication of both effort and data, increase the efficiency of processes, improve productivity, better facilitate communication and enhance an organisation’s preparations for competitive market changes (1).
TRANSACTIONAL COST BENEFITS
Transactional cost benefits through the use of an ERP system are also possible.
This is because an ERP system replaces a multitude of separate computer applications with a single, streamlined system that functions across the entire operation (2).
Going from many to one software system means you will save on licenses, maintenance fees, firmware updates and the need to have multiple in-house ‘power users’ for different systems.
By using an integrated ERP system, bus companies can gain a multitude of benefits including those attributed to saving time and costs.
Most of these result from the system's ability to significantly enhance communication by streamlining processes. Ultimately, an ERP system creates a more efficient and effectively functioning organisation.
 Abu-Shanab, E., Abu-Shehab, R., & Khairallah, M. (2015). Critical success factors for ERP implementation: The case of Jordan. The International Arab Journal of e-Technology, 4(1), 1-7.
 Bendoly, E. & Kaefer, F. (2004). Business Technology Complementarities: The Impact of The Presence and Strategic Timing of ERP on B2B E-Commerce Technology Efficiencies. Omega, The International Journal of Management Science, 32(2004), pp. 395-405.
 Kwahk, K., & Ahn, H. (2010). Moderating Effects of Localization Differences on ERP Use: A Socio-Technical Systems Perspective. Computers in Human Behavior 26 (2010) , pp.186–198.
 Salmeron, J. & Lopez, C. (2010). A Multicriteria Approach for Risks Assessment in ERP Maintenance . The Journal of Systems and Software 83 (2010), pp.1941–1953.
 Yazgan, H., Boran, S. & Goztepe, K. (2009). An ERP Software Selection Process With Using Artificial Neural Network Based on Analytic Network Process Approach. Expert Systems with Applications 36 (2009),pp. 9214-9222.