Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ben Uher, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: PowerBuilder

PowerBuilder: Article

Sybase Success Story: Kowloon Motor Bus Company

Increases mobility and provides better customer service

The largest bus operator in Hong Kong, the Kowloon Motor Bus Company (KMB), is responsible for carrying around 2.7 million passengers a day and coordinates the movement of 4,040 buses. By utilizing Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE), PowerBuilder, and PocketBuilder, KMB built two mission-critical systems: the Traffic Operations Management System (TOM) and the Terminus Management System (TER).
Using these systems, KMB can now better handle the company's resource allocation, improve the effectiveness of depot staff in their daily duties, and provide greater mobility to its workforce at the terminals.

Key Benefits

  • Streamlines workflow
  • Standardizes working procedures across depots
  • Increases work efficiency
  • Optimizes resource allocation
  • Increases staff deployment flexibility
  • Reduces training time
  • Reduces clerical work
  • Improves staff communication
  • Increases mobility

Sybase Technology

  • Adaptive Server Enterprise
  • PowerBuilder
  • PocketBuilder

Industry

  • Transportation/Logistics

KMB Keeps Buses Moving with Sybase
The Kowloon Motor Bus Company, widely known as KMB, was established in 1933 after obtaining a franchise to operate bus services in Kowloon and the New Territories. When it was founded, KMB's bus fleet consisted of 106 single deck buses.

Today, KMB is the largest bus operator in Hong Kong with 4,040 buses, around 12,000 staff and a network of 402 bus routes transporting around 2.7 million passengers every day. KMB is now one of the world's largest privately-run public bus companies and recognized as an international leader in public bus transportation.

Replacing Manual Processes
KMB had traditionally used a manual-based approach to managing processes and information around duty assignment sheets - information essential to the smooth operation of the company. KMB was looking for a technology solution that would allow it to manage this information with greater efficiency.

A mainframe computer system was used to produce duty assignment sheets that were printed four days in advance and contained information such as the route number, vehicle registration number, and the bus captain duty schedule. The duty dispatch staff would reallocate resources such as assigning replacement bus captains in place of those who were sick, or reallocate spare buses in place of those that were unavailable due to maintenance. These allocations were done manually and the dispatch staff would be required to be familiar with the training information of bus captains and with particular features of the buses so as to assign the right person to the right duty. While staff could accomplish this task, the process was time-consuming.

As job allocation and duty scheduling is a complex process, this "manual" approach also meant that it took several years for an employee to become skilled at performing the reallocations. This meant the task was often restricted to being completed only by very experienced employees.

"With such a large fleet and the need for our business to be able to quickly respond to unpredictable incidents such as road work or accidents, as well as regular occurrences such as holidays and scheduled maintenance of buses, we knew we needed to find a better way to deploy our resources," explains Tommy Leung, head of the Information Technology Department.

Increase Mobility and Provide Better Customer Service
KMB was also looking for a way to make their depot staff more mobile, particularly when they found terminus supervisors were spending 50 percent of their time managing bus schedules and logging arrival and departure times of buses. Staff also spent a considerable amount of time managing traffic control issues and assisting passengers, while also liaising with the KMB control center and other bus termini.

"When we were looking for ways to automate our processes and make things easier for staff, we also recognized the need to make this technology more mobile.

"In the end, if our staff can do their job more efficiently, it helps our customers who use our services on a daily basis - customers can access up-to-the-minute information while staff have more time to attend to passengers," says Tommy Leung.

Automated and Mobile Operations
Using Sybase technology, KMB developed an in-house system called Traffic Operations Management System (TOM) to better handle the company's resource allocation and assist depot staff in their daily duties.

Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) and PowerBuilder technologies were used as the core components of TOM, which has transformed the way KMB stores and accesses information. Using ASE and PowerBuilder enables TOM to automatically generate the daily schedules, including the route timetable, bus captain's schedule, and operational requests.

The system is able to look at various requirements, such as the familiarity of the bus captains with a particular route and a particular bus, to generate an appropriate duty schedule. Should an unpredicted event happen, the system is designed to always have a back-up schedule.

ASE and PowerBuilder also allow TOM to record precise data such as overtime hours and duty information, which is transferred directly to the payroll system for wage calculations.

KMB also uses Sybase's PowerBuilder and PocketBuilder in another core application called the Terminus Management System (TER) to automate terminus operations covering bus termini around Hong Kong. Terminus Supervisors access and record essential information such as operational data and real-time bus schedules using a PDA that runs PocketBuilder. This system has replaced a paper-based system and gives employees even more flexibility and mobility when working around the terminus. With the TER architecture in place, staff are also able to liaise directly with the KMB control center and other termini.

A New System - Better Efficiency, More Access
Implementing the TOM system powered by Sybase ASE and PowerBuilder has transformed KMB, delivering immediate benefits to customers, employees, and KMB's back office. TOM has replaced many manual processes including the manual sign-in procedure for employees that used to take up to 10 minutes and now takes only seconds. Each duty assignment sheet containing the location of the bus, route number, vehicle registration number, and a remark column is now automatically produced.

Training time spent on depot staff has also been shortened significantly as the system negates the need for staff to memorize bus features, bus captain experience, and particular route requirements. Route information and assignments are now automatically generated - faster and with much less required human intervention.

"One of the major advantages of Sybase PowerBuilder technology was time-to-market. It took us under three months to implement the mobile application and have it up and running - we were very impressed," summarizes Tommy Leung.

TER, using Sybase PocketBuilder, gives Terminus Supervisors greater mobility via the use of PDAs. Using PDAs, KMB staff have been able to greatly improve efficiency as it allows for instant communication with the depot and related departments. In addition, the use of Pocket Builder has helped the KMB minimize paper waste by saving around 250,000 pages of terminus log paper.

"PocketBuilder had the added benefit of being really easy to use, so for staff the learning curve was almost non-existent. Getting people familiar with new technology is usually the biggest hurdle of any implementation and with PocketBuilder it wasn't an issue.

"All three Sybase solutions including ASE, PowerBuilder, and Pocket Builder have greatly enhanced our business and the service we provide customers. The technology has been essential in taking our business to the next level of efficiency," said Tommy Leung, KMB.

Why Sybase?
"Introducing the TOM system and TER with its unique mobility capability was very challenging. We knew we needed a technology provider that would not only provide seamless implementation but, more important, remain our partner long after the implementation was complete.

"Sybase was able to demonstrate the superior performance of its products together with the ability for these products to grow with our business," said Mr. Tommy Leung, KMB.

•   •   •

Reprinted with permission from Sybase

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business. Though, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected with a majority of IoT projects having failed. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief IoTologist at Wipro, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology portfolios and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will delve in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Ca...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.