Metrolink is Greater Manchester’s light rail network, serving Bury, Altrincham, Eccles, and Manchester city centre. Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) owns the Metrolink system and it is operated by Stagecoach Metrolink Limited.
Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, United States, and Canada. The company employs 30,000 people, and operates bus, coach, rail, and tram services, including Stagecoach Metrolink, Limited for which it has a 10-year contract to operate the system on behalf of GMPTE.
Clive Pennington, Head of Engineering at Stagecoach Metrolink, says: “When we took over Metrolink in June 2007 we were charged with implementing an effective asset management system as part of our contractual commitment to GMPTE.”
Stagecoach needed an easy-to-use CMMS tool to manage and measure the condition of assets and produce performance information to make effective business decisions.
The system had to include a comprehensive asset register and web access allowing controlled third-party access. Stock Management, warranty status, financial interfaces, fault analysis, meter-based maintenance, and component tracking were all specified as necessary functions of the new system.
In addition to preventative and reactive work planning, the system had to incorporate fault logging, reports (outstanding work, historical fault, and trends) and asset tracking (e.g. moving a motor bogie from one vehicle to another).
The company assessed various CMMS options, including an upgrade to their existing tool. They identified Agility from SSG Insight, with its simple browser-based user interface, as an interesting option.
“Agility seemed like a good solution,” says Clive. “We were given references by SSG Insight and visited clients already using Agility so we could see the product in action. We were pleased with the positive feedback across the board, and decided that system was the right one for us.”
Agility’s flexibility meant that changes could be easily introduced to address Stagecoach’s specific requirements. These included simple things such as presenting assets in line/station order, as well as more complex tools for linear asset management (sectioning track / overhead elements), repairable spares, and track wear monitoring
Best practice solutions have been adopted such as linking documents, drawings and photographs to assets and work orders, and keeping users informed of work status through email, SMS messages, and a wealth of graphical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Clive says, “The most appealing factor for me was the flexibility offered – SSG Insight have been quick to adapt and respond to any requirements or questions from our team. This resulted in a robust product that meets and exceeds our original brief.”
Stagecoach took advantage of Agility’s browser-based interface to allow remote access to the system by the GMPTE. The Internet/intranet portal gives all staff easy access to operational information in order to make informed decisions quickly, based on up-to-the-minute intelligence.
Other internal systems developed in-house have also been incorporated into Agility. This has resulted in consistent access to data to all authorized users in one central tool.
“We recently moved our control room log onto the Agility system, which means fewer computers are needed as everything is accessed from one central point,” says Clive. “This has led to faster working practices, and a more streamlined approach throughout.”
With ongoing maintenance, the Agility package and the system are always under development with improvements and adjustments.
Clive notes, “We are currently looking at moving our stock control, and other elements of the business maintenance system across to Agility too. This is in addition to our initial brief, but the application is working so well for us that we want to get as many of our processes integrated as possible.”