IVU.suite at PostBus
An integrated planning and dispatching system for ten operating regions
|Transport services||152 million passengers per year, 117 million vehicle kilometres|
|Operations||Regional and urban bus transport|
|Objectives||Redevelopment of planning, Standardising processes, Efficiency gains, Securing competitiveness|
|Special features||Several operating regions with differing processes, Automatic Personnel Dispatch in regional transport, Establishment of centralised processes and technical leadership, Linguistic diversity of regions|
|IVU products||IVU.timetable, IVU.run, IVU.duty, IVU.vehicle, IVU.crew, IVU.pad|
PostBus and its three-tone horn are part of Switzerland’s cultural identity, and it is also the country’s leading public bus company. With over 4,000 employees and more than 2,200 vehicles, its yellow buses carry around 150 million passengers over 117 million kilometres every year. To schedule and deploy vehicles and personnel, PostBus had previously used a software solution that was developed in the late 1990s especially for the company, but had since become outdated. The planning process was largely decentralised: a total of 16 planning centres in ten operating regions created the corresponding vehicle workings and duty schedules for driving personnel. Each region had its own working procedures that had evolved over time and were adapted to local circumstances.
In light of increasing competition in the Swiss public transport market, PostBus envisaged not only a redevelopment of its planning system but also an overhaul of its existing structures. Processes were to be standardised across Switzerland and unified for all regions. This included new, clearer definitions of planners’ and dispatchers’ roles as well as the establishment of centralised technical leadership.
The subsequent use of optimisation algorithms was also envisaged. PostBus expected to achieve improved working procedures and significant gains in efficiency, with the resulting lower costs helping to secure the future competitiveness of the company.
"IVU.suite has enabled us to roll out a solution throughout Switzerland and to establish uniform standardised processes. Nevertheless, we are still flexible where necessary. It allows us to considerably increase our efficiency, reduce our costs and thereby ensure that PostBus retains its competitiveness in the future."
After a two year market study and tendering phase, PostBus decided to use IVU.suite to deploy an established standard system that could be implemented without the need for any customised development. The Swiss company received a standardised solution for all planning and dispatching tasks with the products IVU.timetable, IVU.run, IVU.duty, IVU.crew and IVU.vehicle – including the administration of stops and timetable planning, vehicle scheduling, duty scheduling and vehicle and personnel dispatch. Numerous interfaces ensure that the IVU software seamlessly connects to the surrounding systems, as well as to PostBus’ reporting system and quality control.
PostBus, with its comprehensive route network, will benefit in particular from the Integrated Duty and Vehicle Scheduling (IDV). The system synchronises the vehicle’s run times with possible breaks and reliefs for drivers and thus provides efficient and resource-saving vehicle runs and duties.
Furthermore, the Automatic Personnel Dispatch (APD) allows the creation of balanced and fair duty schedules for drivers. It also supports the standardisation of processes across all operating regions. Due to its flexible and editable rule system, it automatically takes individual circumstances for payroll rules and working agreements into account based on central guidelines.
PostBus is also gaining a system for more inclusive engagement of driving personnel in scheduling, thanks to IVU.pad.employee. In the future, drivers will be able to view duties on tablets via a browser-based employee portal and will also be able to send requests to the dispatch.
Through their use of IVU.suite, PostBus has been able to establish a Switzerland-wide process and system infrastructure for integrated planning and dispatching of vehicles and personnel. Conditions that vary across regions are comprehensively covered by the standard solution and no additional development efforts were required in the core system. Both planning processes and planning quality have improved thanks to the IVU solution. A foundation has been laid for the system’s further development and for the subsequent introduction of the optimisation.