The railway of the future is efficient as well as being environmentally and customer friendly
ÖBB has to juggle many different challenges: it starts with the environmental and energy crisis but also includes growing customer needs and the threat posed by the lack of skilled workers as the baby boomer generation retires. The aim is to cut gasoline and diesel usage in Austria by more than half over the next eight years in order to meet climate targets. It is ÖBB’s task to make it possible to move transport services from road to rail. Parallel to this, the company has set itself the goal of increasing train punctuality from 92 to 95 percent. With a rail network that is more than 4,870 km long, comprising 1,038 train stations and stops, 6,605 bridges and nine hydroelectric power plants, ÖBB-Infrastructure is playing a significant role in the huge digital transformation. To achieve this, it is relying on ARIS.
As a long-term user of the software (over 20 years), ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG has grown with its innovations. The company started by recording its as-is processes for its operational activities. Today it is operating at the upper limit of the licenses. The company wants to train more people to use ARIS and is relying on process mining to increase its efficiency and sustainability. “ARIS is now fully accepted within the company. That has not always been the case and some persuasion was required,” says Peter Liebert, Process Manager at ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG. Employees particularly appreciate the easy training that the tool provides for new team members: “Because ARIS records the individual process steps, we all know who is doing what and in which area. That makes it incredibly easy to train new team members and is a tremendous help when onboarding new staff,” Liebert adds. But it does more than that. ÖBB-Infrastruktur wants to use the newest features of the software and particularly process mining to assist with digitalization.
Added value and greater transparency thanks to overarching user acceptance and process mining
- 72,000 internal and external users – and the number is rising: The company has approx. 18,400 employees and is one of the largest employers and trainers of apprentices in Austria. Thanks to rapid training of new employees, ÖBB-Infrastruktur is able to combat the increasing shortages of skilled workers. Ultimately, around 5,000 employees are soon going to retire and here process management is a crucial issue when it comes to maintaining an overview. Even today, the figures illustrate this significance: ARIS is recording 2,500 process chains, 2,500 applications and 1,800 roles, with a total of 72,000 internal and external users of the software. The company management wants to strengthen process management over the next few years, possibly also creating a separate department for it.
- Using process mining to make customer service more friendly: The feature makes it possible to obtain a 360° view of ÖBB and, apart from making it easier to understand the company’s processes and recognize deviations, it also identifies opportunities for improvements. It allows decisions to be made on the basis of facts and increases efficiency overall thanks to KPIs being incorporated and visualized. ÖBB-Infrastruktur wants to take this route to drive forward comprehensive digitalization of railway operations – starting with infrastructure management and planning and continuing to run travel on the railways and the final accounts – and at the same time improve customer focus in a targeted manner.
- Process mining to improve punctuality: For railways punctuality is the factor that determines traveler satisfaction. If the punctuality levels obtained in Switzerland (95 percent) are to be achieved, a system of process management is required that can identify anomalies and optimize processes. With process mining this is both possible and convenient. The aim here is to give all managers an overview of the as-is data for the processes and customer needs, thus allowing them to act quickly. Liebert continues: “Specifically when it comes to customer journeys, the software does away with the tedious discussions we used to have on what customers expect from us, because we are increasingly moving towards the end-to-end view and incorporate the appropriate customer journey capabilities.”
In summary: No progress on sustainability is possible without transparency
It is clear to ÖBB-Infrastruktur that ARIS is crucial if they want to meet their targets for customer satisfaction, efficiency and cost savings. In this context, the company also keeps an eye on the overall task of improving sustainability in line with Austria’s national climate targets. Ever more efficient processes are part of their strategy for a sustainable future, in which resources are managed to optimum effect and companies operate in an increasingly environmentally friendly way.