Abellio goes mobile with vehicle inspections as Freeway fleet maintenance system expands

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London bus operator Abellio is extending its use of the Freeway Fleet Management system to provide an additional 120 workshop users with access to Freeway via smartphone and tablet based electronic job-cards.

The introduction of the new mobile working system builds on Abellio's seven years of experience in using Freeway to manage and optimise maintenance operations and spares procurement for its fleet of more than 1,000 London buses. The software is already used extensively by more than 100 staff throughout the Abellio bus business at more than 30 separate stores at 6 London depots.

The expansion in the use of Freeway is part of a wider Abellio IT initiative called Project Genesis that incorporates a number of business processes. The engineering inspection and electronic job-cards link directly with the existing Freeway systems and functionality.

Denesh Ashok, Head of IT at Abellio, explains that the Freeway element is focused on optimising engineering and workshop processes. "We want tablet based inspections to replace paper so that defects are immediately and transparently visible throughout the business."

Fitters using the tablet based inspections will be able to carry out tasks that are already scheduled by Freeway and will be able to 'request parts' directly from the Freeway managed stores. Dynamic analysis will be extended to include labour and defect data and managers will receive additional labour cost reports to augment the automated Freeway stores cost reports that they currently receive.

"We provide very comprehensive parts management and costing functions to Abellio. Project Genesis will mean we can extend our offering and provide Abellio with complete vehicle costing analysis, inclusive of all labour costs on a per vehicle and a pence per mile basis," says Patrick Tandy, Managing Director of Freeway.

Denesh Ashok, Head of IT at Abellio, explains that the Freeway element is focused on optimising engineering and workshop processes. "We want tablet based inspections to replace paper so that defects are immediately and transparently visible throughout the business. Similarly, we want defect rectification to be instantly recorded via the Freeway application, so that Operations has complete and transparent visibility of engineering activity."

Owned by Dutch Railways, Abellio London & Surrey operates bus services in central, south and west London and across north Surrey. Its fleet of more than 1,000 buses operates on 44 routes, all of which are run under contract to London buses.

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