Doing more with less

April 18, 2023
Centralizing your agency’s approach to data will result in better decision making and improved business outcomes.

The world recently marked the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had enormous impacts on the transit industry. Perhaps one of the biggest impacts is the decimated staffing levels that 80 to 90 percent of transit agencies are experiencing.

As conference season gets in full swing, dealing with staffing shortages and recruitment challenges is a common topic of interest. During these conversations and sessions, a common theme I hear is how do I do more with less staff? How can my agency become more efficient and minimize downtime?

The answer to this question is to leverage your technology solutions to not only automate daily operations but to also help make sense of the vast amount of data now available. Transit service has experienced an amazing transformation in both the availability and adoption of technology in a relatively short time span. However, there is so much data available that it’s harder than ever to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff.

Are you comfortable in understanding and making full use of the massive data and information available within the transit industry?

One definition of data management is the practice of collecting, organizing, processing and accessing data where it is then utilized for strategic decision-making to improve business outcomes. Sounds good, but how do you get to that ideal situation? Fortunately, there are agencies leading the way in data-driven decision making, staffed with individuals well suited to navigate this new technology landscape.

The important takeaway here is that a centralized approach to data management will lead to better decision making, increased productivity and identifying industry trends. Simply stated, the goal of the myAvail Enterprise Transit Management System (ETMS) is to help you make sense of the available data and to leverage the information to best meet your needs.

myAvail is an agile product that promotes adaptive planning, collaborative cross-departmental development and continual improvement. As the illustration shows, this system is a sophisticated blend of our in-vehicle hardware network coupled with the Planning & Scheduling and Operations suites you are most familiar with, our enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionalities (Payroll, HR, Finance, etc.)  and our enterprise asset management (EAM) modules (Asset Inventory, Maintenance, Parts/Work Orders, etc.).  

Why is it important to take a centralized approach to data?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What data does your agency depend upon monthly or yearly?
  • What does it take to process and compile the data?
  • What is the confidence level of the data?
  • Lastly, if you had to pull a comprehensive report on a moment’s notice and you needed ridership, revenue, and employee information, could you pull it off?

Many agencies live this nightmare on a regular basis. Obtaining usable data from multiple sources/systems can be time-consuming and burdensome. Often, disparate software systems or departments working in silos make this a very difficult task.

Instead, a centralized approach for gathering usable information would give many CEOs a higher level of confidence and peace of mind.

How do we begin a transition to enterprise thinking?

Now is the time to invest in technology. Tech shouldn't be a patchwork of solutions; rather, it should be a seamless, robust asset that results in efficient operations and better decision making.

Our combined feature-rich CAD/AVL system with the transit-focused Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, the only fully integrated system available in the transit industry.

Stop thinking about it and ask us about myAvail ETMS. You’ll be glad you did!


David Mugica is director of business development at Avail Technologies.