Passenger satisfaction is at the heart of any transport operation. To achieve this, amongst other things, transportation companies select and train the best people to become part of a unique, quality-oriented and efficient system.
Employees are undoubtedly the companies’ main fabric, the “makers or breakers” of quality services. Satisfaction at work, also as a result of their ability to easily perform their daily tasks, should be a corporate priority. Operational staff such as drivers, guards or station workers need to have their work schedules fit their teaming agreements and personal needs. Schedulers, supervisors and dispatchers have to schedule, manage and dispatch their operational work as easily, quickly and optimally as possible while respecting labour and operational rules, and company goals. Company executives are most pleased when the highest company performance is achieved and social stability maintained.

CREWS is an award-winning standard decision-support product that creates and manages optimised staff schedules, including both on-board and local staff, considering timetables and vehicle schedules, staff skills and preferences, labour and operational constraints/rules. CREWS produces long-term duties and cyclic rosters, short-term calendar schedules, and provides decision-support during the day of operation. In the short-term calendar schedule, staff can be allocated to duties following irregular patterns (e.g. according to staff preferences) or following regular rotation patterns based on the cyclic rosters.

CREWS guarantees all of this, and more.


To guarantee an optimised solution, CREWS is fully customisable
to the reality and needs of each individual transportation company,
while including significant parameterisation capabilities.




• Powerful optimisation capabilities
    • Optimisers combine the use of Artificial Intelligence and Operational Research techniques
    • Optimisation algorithms minimise a cost function and are guided by user defined parameters or 
    previously inserted constraints/rules and goals
    • Optimisers find an optimised solution but can be fine-tuned to specific goals through flexible manual
, either before or after optimisation
• Scheduling and rescheduling capabilities, where new schedules are produced from scratch, or existing schedules are adjusted to new conditions signalled by the system
• Supports different staff classes, from on-board to local staff
• Full flexibility in labour and operational rules specification and possibility of rule sharing across modules and staff classes
• Attractive and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), with similar look & feel across all modules
    • Graphical representation using Gantt chartstime-space diagrams and geographic maps
    • Context-sensitive information and online help
    • Selection highlighting
    • Colour coding (e.g. different types of vehicles)
    • Zoom control
    • Operational rules are validated and conflicts automatically flagged
    • Labour and operational rules are validated and conflicts automatically flagged
    • Shows a clear distinction between scheduled and unscheduled entities
    • Drag & Drop
    • Undo/Redo manual operations
    • SearchFilter and Sort (e.g. tasks, vehicles)
• Calculates costs and KPI´s, and compares them across different schedules
• Generates statistics & reports, which can be displayed, printed and saved in different formats (e.g.
xml, rtf)
• Multilevel decision-support with very intuitive GUI and several usability features. The process can be started in any mode and resort to any mode at any time
    • Manual mode, acts as a computer-aided graphical scheduling tool signalling, marking and explaining
    • Semi-automatic mode, suggests different scheduling/allocation alternatives
    • Automatic mode, presents an optimised solution, either using default parameters or previously 
    inserted constraints/rules and goals, and allows for what-if scenarios
• Handles midnight crossingtime zones and daylight savings
• Interface with third-party systems easily achieved through standard protocols
• Available in multiple languages


Empowering the user at all levels,
CREWS caters for multilevel decision-support through
manual, semi-automatic and automatic modes of operation.




DUTY SCHEDULER. Generates staff duties for generic dates (e.g. regular weekdays), resulting in a master schedule

• Produces staff duty schedules for either crew, based on staff tasks, or local/station staff, based on workload profiles
• Generates staff tasks based on timetable and vehicle schedules, including driving and local tasks (e.g. vehicle preparation, parking and coupling/uncoupling)
• Generates staff duties, based on previously generated tasks, for generic (anonymous) staff members (defined by their skills) and generic dates, considering labour, physical, and operational rules
• System support to make sure crew follow preferentially the vehicle or the timetable patterns
• Handles duties with intermediate rest periods in stations with dormitories
• Enables working simultaneously with duties from different staff bases
• Calculates sign-in/out times that may depend on multiple factors, such as location or time of day
• Validates staff transfer time between consecutive tasks
• Automatically generates staff positioning trips (e.g. by train, bus, taxi) and meal breaks (e.g. in stations with canteen facilities) in order to comply with labour, physical, and operational rules
• Guarantees maximum continuous driving time and maximum duration of a duty
• Calculates the effectiveness of each duty


ROSTER SCHEDULER. Generates anonymous staff cyclic rosters, resulting in a master schedule

• Generates staff cyclic rosters based on previously generated duties for generic staff members, considering their skills and preferences, and labour, physical and operational rules
• Enables working simultaneously with multiple rosters
• Creates rosters with an arbitrary number of lines and features
• Schedules duties and days off, considering labour rules and predefined day off patterns
• Ensures enough rest time between sign-out of a duty and sign-in of the next duty
• Checks the maximum number of duties and working hours in a week
• Provides complete information on any entity involved in the scheduling (e.g. description of a duty and violations)
Working time and overtime are automatically calculated for a whole roster or every roster line


STAFF ALLOCATOR. Allocates specific staff members to cyclic roster lines

• Allocates specific staff members to a roster line (sequences of duties and days off), considering staff skills and preferences
• Allows full (for the entire period of time) and partial allocations
• Allows to issue staff bidding processes based on different criteria (e.g. seniority)


SHORT-TERM SCHEDULER. Deals with expected changes to staff schedules for specific calendar dates

• Similar features as the Duty Scheduler and Roster Scheduler modules, but dealing with specific dates
• Deals with expected changes to the regular schedule (in an individual duty or sequences of duties) up to the day of the operation, such as special days and expected absences of staff
• Allows for staff notifications due to changes to their schedules, showing the deviations between the initial and current schedule
• Allows communication via sms and email between schedulers and staff
• Enables staff accounts, a timekeeping mechanism where overtime and extra work may be compensated as payment or future days off


REAL-TIME DISPATCHER. Deals with unexpected changes during the day of operation
• Monitors and provides a global view of the operation, receiving information of events (e.g. train delays, vehicle breakdowns, and staff unavailability) in real-time, and representing their impact on staff schedules
• Quickly reschedules each staff member in case of a disruption, while complying with all skills, preferences, and labour, physical and operational rules
• Easily identifies open work, and allocated and available staff, as well as their location, using filtering and colour coding
• A timeline shows the tasks that are being performed and are about to start
• Provides staff last minute notifications


WORK RECORDER. Records the staff work actually performed
• Records staff work types, times and locations
• Scheduler may change staff’s recorded work
• Staff may request to change or register the work actually performed, through the integrated Web Services module


WORK REPORTER. Generates reports for Operations and Management, and information for third-party systems


WEB SERVICES. Application that allows operational staff and schedulers to access information and communicate with each other via web regarding staff work. Staff may:

Inspect their schedule and work, and communicate with their supervisors about holidays and absence requests, work exchanges and preferences
View information about personal contacts and staff members allocated to a train
Sign-in, informing the dispatcher about his arrival and readiness for work
• Consult previously published reports


LONG-TERM DATA MANAGER and SHORT-TERM DATA MANAGER. Provide central management of data, guaranteeing consistency and completeness, and communication with third-party systems 


Through strong reporting capabilities, CREWS provides
both schedulers and management the ability to
improve their long-term decisions, such as
defining the staffing dimension and requirements.


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