KØBENHAVN-based cleaning and services group ISS has developed a computer system to manage staff deployment over a wide area. British subsidiary ISS Transport is using the equipment to supervise 1500 staff working on cleaning and maintenance contracts across the London Underground network from a control centre in Docklands.

When beginning work at a station, a cleaner uses the LU internal telephone network to log in with a PIN. The central computer will only accept a log-in from a phone with which the PIN has been associated. If someone attempts to log in from another location, it is rejected and an error report generated. A voice-activated system now under development will offer even better security. The computer alerts supervisors if a member of staff fails to log out at the end of a shift.

Messages can be delivered to staff as they log on, and they can use the system to report faults, maintenance requirements or to call for back-up through an automated menu. A management screen shows in real time who is logged in at each location, expected, or overdue. If someone is absent, the automatic rostering computer tells the operators who else is qualified and available to do the job. It can keep track of each person’s safety certification and training status, and prevent logging on if a certificate has expired.

Over the next few months the system will be introduced at 26 suburban stations served by National Express franchisee c2c Rail Ltd. There will be a read-only internet interface so that managers can check attendance remotely.

Maintenance staff on contract to First North Western are being provided with Palm Pilot computers and barcode readers. On arrival at a remote station, they scan a barcode located there to confirm their attendance. GPS is used to track their location during engineering work.

ISS Transport, Great Britain

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