Future Topic Telematics – Development of Organisational and Operational Structures in Infrastructure

The customer was a medium-sized public transport company operating trams and buses. In this company, the Telematics division acts as an internal service provider for the two modes of transport. The service spectrum ranges from operation of the traffic control and management systems up to maintenance services for infrastructure assets.

Infrastructure development and technological leap – challenges in a dynamic environment

The challenge was that significant changes concerning staff, technologies and procedures were soon in the offing. Due to the age-related retirement of key know-how carriers and the introduction of new technologies (e. g. train protection systems) the requirements for the organisation and processes were about to increase in a relatively short period of time. Above that, the company had to face exceptional strains by extensive construction projects and network expansions. Simultaneously there were “friction losses” both within the department and at the interface to operational units (control centre, timetable and duty scheduling, etc.).

The management of the public transport company actively addressed these issues in a project, which should find answers to individual questions such as:

  • How should the management structure be designed and which units have to be responsible for the assigned tasks?
  • Is it more useful to develop new technical know-how in the operational maintenance areas or to follow an outsourcing strategy?
  • Is the interface between public transport operations and telematics designed properly?
  • Which qualification requirements result from the new organisational structure?

BSL Transportation was entrusted with the task to develop a sustainable concept for the organisational and operational structure and to derive the anticipated future personnel requirements analytically. Particular attention should be paid to the interface optimisation between telematics and the operational units.

Leveraging staff expertise in a structured process

In individual discussions and workshops the strengths and weaknesses in the process of telematics and at the interface to the operational units were identified. Based on these issues, various organisational options were developed and assessed. For the future processes to be managed between telematics and operations, interface profiles were developed which illustrated the relevant core processes, IT systems and responsibilities.

On the basis of appropriate industry-specific benchmarks and of a differentiated analysis of the assets under management as well as of the estimates for the asset maintenance (strategy, frequency, time requirements) the future specific personnel requirements for individual maintenance groups and the skills mix required in each case were derived, while taking into account the age structure of the employees.

Accepted and actionable results

The resulting information and conclusions were openly and constructively discussed with senior management, selected employees of the operational units and the of works council and a concept ready for implementation was developed on this basis.

The project outcomes were an accepted organisational model, transparent calculations of personnel requirements based on harmonised assumptions and numerical data, as well as concrete proposals on qualification measures, the realisation of which the company has initiated after project completion.

19. February 2016