When you have 800 bus stops in your network and it takes up to three weeks to carry out a service change, you need fast and accurate timetable publicity software that you can rely on. There is simply no room for error.
This was the case for Yellow Buses which carries approximately 14 million passengers on its 110-strong bus fleet across Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset.
Since returning to local ownership and management, the long-standing Omnibus customer recognised the need to accelerate efficiencies throughout the business, starting with its publicity material.
Yellow Buses’ commercial team were creating a generic PDF of the timetables for each stop and inserting it into Adobe InDesign backing templates. The output looked good – but the process was slow, taking approximately three weeks for the graphic designer to do each stop. And at one point, the team were sending the PDFs to a commercial printer for final production.
Additionally, the operator has four bus stop sizes in its network. Using OmniSTOP software (now replaced with OmniSTOPdesign), the team “would get so far before having to change the templates to get the timetables to fit in, which was very difficult” – Kevin Brolan, Commercial Assistant, Yellow Buses.
The operator required a similar easy-to-use tool but one which produced displays quickly and cost-effectively. The aim was not only to adopt an efficient software solution, but to reduce costs. There were four primary objectives:
- Reduce the time taken to create information displays
- Ability to tailor templates to requirements
- Promote other services – internal and external
- Reduce production and labour costs
The next generation timetable publicity solution, OmniSTOPdesign, had already been released and successfully deployed elsewhere – and Yellow Buses was keen to procure the application.
The upgrade to OmniSTOPdesign – a sophisticated publishing application developed in consultation with bus industry experts – was seamless and Yellow Buses appreciated the smooth transition. The solution addressed the operator’s key objectives and included additional features giving Yellow Buses complete control over template design from one piece of software. The solution included:
- Creating templates to any paper size from a range of layouts
- Working in real-time to assess and create different outcomes
- Automatically generate a line-of-route map for each service
- Option to add graphics in any format to enhance the displays
- Customising all text elements using preferred fonts and font sizes
“OmniSTOP was quick but the way we were using it, with graphic designers, meant progress was slow. OmniSTOPdesign is straightforward, very user friendly, logical and adaptive. The potential OmniSTOPdesign provides is endless. It doesn’t matter what size roadside material you have; templates can be tailored to exactly what you need,” – Kevin Brolan
Since the upgrade, Yellow Buses has gained significant benefits which have improved business processes such as batch producing displays. The operator is now also utilising employees in an optimal manner.
Yellow Buses has been successful in:
- Reducing the time taken to create displays from weeks to hours.
- Saving a vast amount of budget in every service change by removing the need to utilise a graphic designer.
- Using colour branding on routes to make information clearer for passengers.
“We are very satisfied with Omnibus and its solutions – OmniBASE, OmniTIMES and OmniSTOPdesign. The intuitiveness of them working together has saved us valuable time and improved our operational efficiency. Without Omnibus we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs” – Kevin Brolan