The primary objective of major transportation centers, such as seaports, rail stations, and bus stations, is to move people and products from Point A to Point B as quickly, safely, and cost effectively as possible. In order to make this possible, facilities must accurately project asset lifecycles and carefully schedule maintenance for a wide variety of resources ranging from vehicles to service equipment. In some regions, managing these assets has become progressively challenging, particularly due to increasing federal regulations and overhead costs.
Many organizations are turning to enterprise asset management (EAM) applications, which provide a tailored approach to monitoring the needs of a mass transit or transport system. These types of applications are designed with the industry-specific functionalities necessary to manage everything from maintenance and calibration to fuel levels and asset life spans. They are often the critical resource needed to help facilities reinforce safety protocol for passengers and employees while maintaining or minimizing costs and increasing efficiency.
When examining the benefits of employing an EAM system, organizations will see that upfront costs are more than offset by the long-term return on investment. One of the primary advantages is that transit and transport facilities can utilize the application to establish a preventive maintenance program. By addressing potential issues before they arise, institutions are able to prevent unplanned downtime and reduce the possibility of the domino effect that occurs when other devices become unavailable because one is down for service. This type of preventive maintenance also helps to maximize the productivity and longevity of assets, which further reduces expenses by extending the service life of equipment. Additionally, industry-specific EAM applications create a unified view of fleets and facilities, with key performance indicators often displayed in easy-to-read dashboards. These insights enable faster, better-informed decisions, ensure the reliability and accuracy of sensitive equipment, and help to maximize workforce productivity by delivering the right information to the right user.
One such example is the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all public transportation initiatives throughout the city of San Francisco. The agency elected to deploy a transit-specific asset management system in a cloud-based platform. With a unified application for organization-wide use, SFMTA is better equipped to track asset conditions and provide real-time updates on maintenance and scheduling to employees. Hosting the system in the cloud mitigates the need to purchase additional on-site hardware or hire supplementary IT staff, and data is protected for more worry-free disaster recovery. By also employing a mobile platform, users have the ability to access information from any location, helping to further increase efficiency by allowing employees to tag assets and update work orders while in the field.
Unified visibility across all assets, delivered by an industry-specific EAM application, provides numerous additional benefits that collectively facilitate reduced costs. This visibility allows organizations to achieve a comprehensive view of expenses for improved budgeting, planning and reporting. The ability to drill down into various data sets enables easier demonstration of compliance with government standards. Major transit and transport centers can also monitor energy usage down to the individual unit level, further allowing them to pinpoint areas of energy waste. They can then use this data to help reduce the organization’s overall environmental impact while making informed decisions on energy costs.
Another illustration of the potential impact of transit-specific EAM technology is found at Virginia International Terminals (VIT), part of the Virginia Port Authority and the third-largest port on the U.S. East Coast. VIT has been utilizing an EAM application for almost a decade to more efficiently manage assets with automated alerts and monitoring. The organization recently extended its investment by implementing a lightweight middleware application to connect the EAM with financial systems. With real-time visibility into asset transactions, VIT is promoting better decision-making from its finance department, as it no longer waits for weekly or monthly reports to obtain an accurate view of asset-related spending.
With the capability to help manage multiple fleets, improve safety, and reduce asset downtime, EAM technology is an essential for major transportation centers to continue profitability in the future. The volume of passengers and goods will only continue to increase, which will ultimately lead to more assets, costs, and regulations from the government. It is critical that organizations have a reliable, industry-specific system in place to optimize efficiency and reliability.