In 1920, a Provincial Act created the Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC) and in 1921 the Commission took over and amalgamated nine existing fare systems within the Toronto city limits. Today, the TTC has almost 10,000 employees with 1,483 buses, 348 streetcars and 660 subway cars making it the fifth largest urban transportation system in North America.
With hundreds of retrofits, upgrades and maintenance projects being undertaken simultaneously, it was crucial that TTC management have the ability to track both the time as well as the expenses being applied against each of the diverse projects needed to keep the system running smoothly.
Tracking the time of the TTC's Engineering Department's 100+ planners, project managers, engineers and clerical staff is quite a task. When Y2K rolled around the TTC was forced to make a move from its non-compliant system to a new time and expense management system.
Rudy Michielsen, project leader at the TTC was charged with the duty of sourcing and implementing the new system. "Before Y2K came along we gathered employee time data on a software system designed in-house and running on DOS. We wanted to migrate to an off-the-shelf package which could achieve our goals and at the same time we needed to integrate this new system with our current project management software Primavera Project Planner", said Michielsen.
"We had been using Primavera Project Planner for some time but it lacked the functionality we needed when it came to gathering time and expense data from the field and appliying it against specific project", said Michielsen.
So he and his team set out to find a product which could not only manage the time of their internal staff but also deal with their various outside contractors. Furthermore, the new system also needed to integrate seamlessly with Primavera's project management software and Primavera's Expedition contract management module.
"We award 30 to 400 contracts each year to outside contractors. Keeping track of them and their progress can be difficult", said Michielsen. "Our projects range from constructing new buildings to elevator maintenance and repair. We needed a package that could help us track time against budget as well as for resource planning and management", added Michielsen.
After an extensive review Michielsen and his team selected a Canadian product, TimeMachine Enterprise from eTimeMachine of Toronto. "TimeMachine works well with P3 and Expedition and gives us the control we need to get our projects done on time and on budget", stated Michielsen.
Employees enter their time directly into TimeMachine by day, so now TTC management can get accurate data on each project as well as by individual employee. Such timely information for decision making was important to TTC management. TimeMachine also interfaces with the payroll system.
The TTC's Contract Procurement section is currently implementing TimeMachine to handle its time recording and to better manage the procurement requirements of their client departments. This is expected to translate into a better utilization of corporate resources at all levels.
Reprinted with permission from COMPUTING CANADA, October 13, 2000, Volume 26, Issue 21.
Copyright 2000 by Plesman Publications. All rights reserved. For recorders call Reprint Services at 1.800.217.7874.
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