Cincinnati, Ohio — FirstGroup is a leading transport operator in the UK and North America. The Be First Awards recognize individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to FirstGroup and who reflect the organization’s vision, strategy and values.
This year, FirstGroup received 718 nominations, and the Driver Plan Optimization Group at Greyhound Lines, a subsidiary of FirstGroup, was a runner-up for the Delivering Our Strategy: Combining Expertise Team Award. Congratulations to the team on their success!
In January 2017, Optym began working with Greyhound to develop DriverMAX, an algorithm-based driver route planning and scheduling optimization system. Before this collaboration, drivers were scheduled manually on large magnet boards by individuals with decades of experience. There had not been fundamental changes to drivers’ schedules in a long time.
Optym learned the planning rules used by Greyhound and took all driving segments and put them together to generate optimized driver schedules. DriverMAX can generate the routes of over 1,000 drivers in less than an hour and respects Greyhound’s business needs, drivers’ lifestyle preferences and federal work-rest rules.
In collaborating with Optym, Greyhound is able to generate higher wages, improve drivers’ quality of life and reduce operational costs.
George Rodriguez, Director of Greyhound’s Resource Management Group said,
“It’s an honor to receive this award on behalf of Greyhound and the Optym team. It was definitely a collaboration between Greyhound IT and Optym IT, and the things we have done have drastically improved the quality of life for drivers as well as what we do day-to-day. I look forward to building upon this partnership between Greyhound and Optym and moving our company forward in our efforts to provide customers and our drivers with a stellar travel experience.”
Below is Greyhound’s spotlight on the collaboration between Optym and the Driver Plan Optimization Group.
Historically, Greyhound has used a manual system for its driver planning. The implementation team was tasked with developing a new IT solution, focusing on improving driver quality of life whilst delivering cost benefits.
The collaboration between the IT and operations teams became so synchronized, members were almost interchangeable. Working with Optym, they successfully transformed the way the organization planned for drivers and their work, moving to a model more similar to airline crewing.
With the successful implementation of the optimization program, great results have been realized. Headline wins include lasting results with driver work cycles, lodging costs and positive impact on length of driver working day. Drivers now have more consecutive days off and spend less time away from home. On average, the changes have already resulted in a 20% improvement in driver attrition.
The new work cycles will also have a positive impact on safety, with the potential to reduce driver fatigue and the possibility of incidents.