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Efficient and economic operational management

Employee assignment and payroll accounting

ABOUT BREMER STRAßENBAHN AG

Number of passengers:     approx. 300.000 a day
Number of vehicles:           343 trams and buses
Number of employees:      Approx. 2000
Main tasks:                         Tram and bus transport in Bremen
Trapeze products:              Trapeze System for employee assignment and wage calculation

 

 


 

The organisation
Bremer Straßenbahn AG (BSAG) is the municipal transport company operating in the German city of Bremen. Its modern trams and buses transport almost 300,000 passengers per day. Since 2000, personnel planning has been handled using Trapeze System.

 

The challenge
BSAG is a group with numerous subsidiaries, holdings and branch offices as well as a complex organisational structure. Their transport service is controlled from seven operations centres. Of more than 2,150 employees, some 1,500 hold vocational driving licences/passenger transport licences. When the decision was made to replace the old, own-developed personnel planning system with a state-of-the-art efficient software solution, the efficient use of the employees, their vacation planning and payroll accounting were at the top of BSAG’s wish list. Additional requirements were:

  • Mapping of the corporate structures
  • Integration with the existing systems, SAP R/3 and EPON
  • Reliable and quick processing, also of large data volumes
  • User-friendliness
  • Extensive functionalities

Following a public tender, BSAG chose Trapeze System seeing that this system closely complied with the requirements of the requirements specification and, above all, due to the vast functionalities that it offered. Initially, in connection with the implementation of the system, a pilot project was realised. The organisation of this was so practice oriented that the system was ready for use immediately upon purchase. In addition, super users were trained, the parameters for employee assignment were established, and the payroll module was set up with all relevant rules. The testing of the system was assigned to a faculty at the University Bremen. The requirements for the result of this expert opinion were based on the employees’ vision for the system. This contributed to ensure a high degree of acceptance among the employees. 

During a two- to three-month parallel operation of the old and the new software, a customised solution based on standards was established. The implementation was supported by experts from Trapeze that came up with innovative solutions and were also able to present alternative approaches, thereby avoiding extensive and unnecessary software modifications.

 

The technology
The system is based on a client/server architecture. On the one hand, data is accessed via Citrix and, on the other, via the Internet/Intranet using the Trapeze Crew Web module. The full integration in the IT infrastructure ensures smooth data transfer between Trapeze and the upstream and downstream systems. BSAG is particularly satisfied with the implementation of the interfaces required for this, soundly and cost-effectively designed by the Trapeze advisers. The individual services are taken over from the upstream timetable and duty scheduling system EPON. The employee master data are stored in the HR system from SAP. Generally, new employees are created in the SAP system. Both systems are automatically synchronized with each other on a daily basis as both systems maintain specified employee master data.

 

The practical experience
The use of Trapeze in the operations centres has led to increased efficiency as desired. As the drivers are assigned to the individual operations centres, it sometimes happened in the past that employees at one operations centre had to work overtime while drivers were available at another. In this context, the Trapeze system ensures transparency and, if required, employees can be assigned or seconded. 

Moreover, an employee pool was created using Trapeze and via this, special services can be performed by qualified employees. In practice, this results in large savings as specific tasks which, for capacity reasons, often had to be carried out on weekends – at high cost – now can be completed during the week and thereby more cost-effectively. Taking this approach one step further, it would also be possible to create a pool of particularly flexible employees and to all intents and purposes establish a “virtual operations centre”. A concept that BSAG plans to follow up on. 

Apart from flexibility and availability, the skills of the drivers are another important factor for the controllers to keep in mind. The Trapeze system offers controllers an extensive overview of all driver data and thereby contributes significantly to safeguarding the investment. The direct data transfer from Trapeze to SAP has made the costs more transparent for the controlling department as the payroll costs can now be allocated directly to the line costs. With Trapeze Crew Web all employees have access to their data via the internet from any location. Everyone can print his or hers personal duty schedule for the next weeks, make vacation requests, and view wage statements.

 

Result
The flexibility by change requests was a particularly positive feature of the cooperation between BSAG and Trapeze. The new personnel planning system was tailored specifically to the needs of BSAG. The employees’ acceptance of the new system was therefore markedly high from the outset. The system is now used by 75 employees who are all highly satisfied with the user-friendliness and the functions available. In times of intensified competition, ROI is the key factor. From this point of view as well, the implementation of the system has been a resounding success. 

 

The future
BSAG plans to implement a new version of Trapeze Crew Web which will offer better internal communication. Employees will among other things gain a better overview of duty details and it will be possible for them to request specific work hours and see colleagues shift plans online.   

“The Trapeze system has given us a clear insight into staff allocation. We can now run our transport business much more efficiently and operate at a lower overall cost”.

Klaus Prill, Software Administrator
Bremer Straßenbahn AG, Germany

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+45 87 44 16 00

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