Mobile app helps RATP improve incident reporting to save time and improve service quality.
“Reporting an incident used to take at least 24 hours. Now it takes 30-60 seconds.”
– Victor Ganivet, operational maintenance manager, RATP
The RATP Group in France is a state-owned public transport operator, responsible for metro, tramway and bus services in Paris, and the surrounding Ile-de-France region. RATP operates 351 bus lines in Paris and its suburbs, has 56,000 employees, and reported revenue of 4,983 million euros at the end of 2011.
RATP’s activities and the quality of its services are heavily regulated by the public transport organisation authority Syndicat des Transports d’Îlede France (STIF). In 2012, RATP signed a four-year contract agreement with STIF, establishing transport quality norms on safety, accessibility and punctuality of services. When quality targets are met or exceeded, STIF rewards the RATP group with bonuses, but when the quality falls below the defined norms, financial penalties can be imposed.
To maintain high quality services, RATP field officers document and report all incidents occurring on the bus transportation lines. These incidents, which range from acts of vandalism to schedule mistakes, trigger an outreach to the bus service main office. The main office team then transfers the information to the technical maintenance team, who analyse the incident report and then visit the incident location to resolve any issues.
However, RATP’s incident notification process took a significant amount of time. RATP field officers were reporting incidents to the central office by phone, by email and often, by manually submitting a paper form. Submission of an incident report ranged from a few hours when made by phone, to several days, taking into account holiday delays. “This reporting system involved numerous channels that made the process very long. There were a lot of missing files, and information wouldn’t always arrive to the right person,” explained Victor Ganivet, operational maintenance manager at RATP.
On top of this, as field officers used multiple reporting channels, the information transmitted to the maintenance team was often incomplete and vague. This made it difficult for the maintenance engineers to identify the appropriate equipment needed to fix the issue, which led to repeated round trips to the incident location and further time delays. “The process was lacking the precision needed to resolve the nature of the incidents,” said Victor Ganivet.
These time delays consequently affected the overall quality of RATP’s services, leading to financial penalties imposed by STIF. So RATP sought an application that could be easily accessed from different locations (by the field team as well as the maintenance main office), could be implemented quickly, was flexible, and which didn’t require investment into IT infrastructures. Realising a cloud-based solution was the best way to achieve this, RATP approached Revevol, a leading Google Apps reseller on the European market. Revevol proposed a Fujitsu RunMyProcess solution.
From conception to implementation, the solution took less than three months. When a RATP field officer notices an incident, they can launch the application on an Android-based smartphone. They then select the location of the incident (which could be a vehicle, a bus stop or a bus station), specify the nature of the incident, takes a photo of the issue, and submits the report. The report is automatically sent to the bus maintenance office team, who can access all incident data via an application dashboard. The office team then validates the submission and sends the incident report to the maintenance team, who make the decision on the type of equipment needed to fix the problem before travelling to the location.
In the first 18 months of the application being in place, the RATP team processed 2,100 incident reports – an increase of 20%. This is down to a quicker incident submission process. The field officers can now send complete incident reports almost instantaneously – the process time decreased from 24 hours to just 30-60 seconds. The solution saves the field officers valuable time and means they can spend more time on important service-related issues, such as customer information management and developing relationships with the city authorities.
The incident reports are also more complete and include a photo record, which allows the maintenance team to clearly identify the problem and prepare the exact equipment required to resolve the incident. All images are stored in the cloud, making data easily accessible from any location and device.
The implemented application also improved RATP’s recording of the quality of its infrastructure. The central office can now access in-depth analytics of all incidents and organise the information by date, by bus route, and by type of incident. This has helped RATP to identify lines that require quality monitoring and improvement. Increased quality control and reporting also helped RATP to improve its relationship with STIF and decrease the risk of service quality penalties.
“But to reach this solution, Revevol and Fujitsu RunMyProcess had to fully understand the needs and the daily routine of the field officers.”
Following the success of the application, RATP planned to introduce it to all incident management processes on their bus lines in the Ile-de-France region. They may potentially further expand the use of the application to their tram line services.
RATP is also considering evolving the application, to allow the field officers to notify the technical maintenance team of incidents directly, without having to pass thought the central office. “I can easily imagine further integration of this application, helping us to continuously improve our quality level”, Victor Gavinet concluded.