The ALBUM Conference 2018 was held on 21st – 23rd May in Glasgow and Loch Lomond and provided an excellent opportunity for transport providers to come together and talk about the big issues currently affecting the industry and how they can be overcome. We sent Chris Oggelsby along to find out how transport providers are using or planning to use technology.

Government legislation

Attending a conference in your own city is always a great experience as well as an opportunity to share with the delegates the many great benefits and places of interest you appreciate every day. So, attending the ALBUM Conference in Glasgow was a great chance to highlight Scotland at its best.

The conference focus this year had a clear leaning towards government legislation and changes impacting vehicle emissions. This was balanced with the best use of technology, especially in regards to ticketing and the customer experience. To launch the event Colin Robertson, Chief Executive from Alexander Dennis, gave us an honest update on the challenges experienced and those yet to be faced for the transport industry. Sharing the successes and challenges of his own business gave the conference attendees optimism for the future while highlighting some of the potential hurdles they may face.

Customer loyalty

A strong emphasis was on the importance of customer loyalty to an operator’s long term success. It was great to hear how Blackpool Transport are investing time listening to the next generation of customers by engaging with the local college. A year on from the initial workshops with the students, Blackpool Transport took on board many of the improvements suggested and then ran a second workshop to get fresh feedback. This engagement process is ongoing and something all operators are encouraged to do.

Technology was on display throughout the event, ranging from ticketing systems to driver monitoring systems and CCTV to passenger apps. One thing was very clear; the volume of data being collected by the service operators is vast, but in most situations it was siloed data disconnected from one system to the next. One of the exceptions to this is Blackpool Transport, who use market-leading business intelligence tool Qlik from Castle to connect all their data from disparate systems and provide one version of the truth through intuitive dashboards.

Valuable insights

Blackpool Transport’s budgeting can be affected by many different issues such as seasonality, weather and school holidays and Qlik allows decision makers to instantly factor in these issues and make informed decisions quickly, wherever and whenever. Business reports are built around their KPIs, providing valuable insights which have helped Blackpool Transport improve their productivity and customer experience.

If you would like to find out more about our work with Blackpool Transport you can read the case study here, or get in touch to discuss your requirements.