5 Jun 2019 – Several customers are now testing the latest version of CrewPLAN from Omnibus – the system designed to automate the production of efficient crew schedules – and they’re already benefitting from its powerful new features.
CrewPLAN has an unrivalled pedigree with research-based algorithms that are robust and proven in use. Omnibus developers are finalising a range of enhancements to make the software even more dynamic, flexible and powerful.
CrewPLAN now uses a much more powerful methodology to make scheduling more dynamic. Enhanced functionality has been added to better tackle large and complex problems using a newly-developed iterative process.
New features include the ability for the user to be highly specific about the results that they want to achieve. Constraints can now be included to specify the types and average length of duties operators want to achieve, within set parameters, giving much more flexibility. There is also now an enhanced penalty feature to minimise but not totally eliminate undesirable features, such as changeovers during peak times.
Graham Atkins, Network & Schedules Planner for Yellow Buses in Bournemouth, is working with Omnibus to test the enhanced version of CrewPLAN. He says that it has already saved him and his company many hours: “The bottom line is that it all comes down to cost savings.”
Yellow Buses has a very strict set of union guidelines, which make creating duties highly complex and time consuming. Although CrewPLAN can create any number of highly efficient duties, the complexities of the additional parameters had previously meant that Graham had to spend many hours manually manipulating the results to get a set of duties that worked for them, and that would be approved by the union.
“CrewPLAN is a very powerful package, which allows me to crew up all the bus workings in whichever way I want. I can add in various different parameters and run multiple scenarios to present both to the unions and to the finance department” explains Graham. “Now at least 90% of the duties get approved immediately, which is a huge improvement.”
The savings have been almost instant, and not just on Graham’s time creating the duties. He explains: “I can cherry pick from each of the scenarios to create the best possible, workable outcome with much less manual input. Often I can save at least 10 hours in the duties per day, more often than not saving a duty or two. Across a year that really adds up.
“It’s a little bit of magic!.”
Marketing Manager – Omnibus and EPM Bus Solutions
07538 935 568
Network & Schedules Planner for Yellow Buses
CrewPLAN is a very powerful package, which allows me to crew up all the bus workings in whichever way I want. I can add in various different parameters and run multiple scenarios to present both to the unions and to the finance department. Now at least 90% of the duties get approved immediately, which is a huge improvement”