Home|Nintex Blog|How Singapore’s SMRT Corporation met business challenges through digitalization

How Singapore’s SMRT Corporation met business challenges through digitalization

Singapore’s recent secondplace ranking in the top 10 digital-competitive countries and top ranking in knowledge and tech systems, positioned The Lion City as the perfect destination for Nintex World Tour in APAC

Focused on how organizations can ensure successful outcomes for their digital transformation efforts, delegates from across multiple industries gathered enthusiastically to hear more on the topic.

Leading the charge, Jayne Leow deputy head of Infocomm and Organizational Excellence at SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT), took the stage to share how digitalization is transforming their workforce and automating their many processes.

As Singapore’s mass rapid transport operator for more than 30 years, SMRT delivers more than 2 million commuters to their destinations daily and aims to provide a world-class transport service that is safe, reliable, and customer-centric. As one of two train operators in Singapore, the organization’s workforce of 11,000 people consists of technicians, engineers, drivers and information workers, located in offices and on work-sites across the island.

Improvement across the entire organization

SMRT identified the need for a solution that could support their improvement efforts and secure buy-in for change and transformation from their teams, without being too technical.

The breadth of SMRT’s services encompasses five divisions, each with a very specific focus:

  • Trains – Prioritizing operations and maintenance, and delivering reliability and availability of trains daily.
  • Roads – Providing first and last mile connectivity by focusing on operations and maintenance of buses, taxis, and rental vehicles.
  • Engineering – Building engineering, logistics, and training capabilities, and managing longer term and renewal projects.
  • Customer experience – Optimizing SMRT’s spaces and creating physical and digital interfaces that provide commuters with better services.
  • Corporate services – Streamlining shared services by deploying relevant resources to the right teams.

Digitalization: A strategic priority for SMRT

The team at SMRT realized that digitalization as the key to achieving their mission and delivering solutions to three ever-increasing challenges:

  • Growing transportation demand – The SMRT workforce needed their processes to accommodate ongoing changes and growth. For example, what started out as 60 trains required to get commuters to their destinations every morning, soon expanded to 137 trains.
  • Increasing customer expectation – Stakeholders’ experiences of their commute needed to improve, which could be enhanced by strategies like planning the most efficient routes.
  • Aging and limited resources – Capabilities constantly needed to develop and grow, with new lines being constructed and resources being optimized to accommodate changing demands.

Moving forward, SMRT decided it was time to adopt a more agile approach and invest in an enterprise tool to meet business requirements related to forms and workflows.

The latter would be required to accommodate the following business requests:

  • Digitization of data, which was currently captured in hardcopy, if at all
  • Creation of a business process to map out how the digitized forms will be used, along with workflows for routing and approvals
  • Connecting data to a dashboard for analysis
  • Analysis, used by executives to inform business decisions

Time for change

As SMRT moved in the direction of predictive maintenance and data analytics, there was a push to find quicker ways to implement solutions and address their pain-points.

  • SMRT elected to work with SharePoint and Nintex for agile delivery of their strategic outcomes. As Nintex is a front-end UI tool, it enables the organization to quickly build a prototype or pilot product, which business teams can comment on and fine tune. They didn’t need to re-setup or evaluate each IT system on Nintex for SharePoint, as both use the same fundamental system architecture and design – including login, permission settings, and staff accessibility.
  • Use of these two systems enables SMRT to implement agile methodology, so changes become iterative. As a result of switching over to the new methodology, they now “build fast, fail fast, succeed fast.”
  • Where business processes and workflows are involved, the use of Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow ensures that every time an update is made to the workflow, there is a copy of it within the system.
  • With Nintex, SMRT’s business users can implement ideas to improve operations without spending too much time justifying the ‘why’ for the project. In the future, there will also be the option for power users to build their own forms and workflow.

How challenges were turned into opportunities with Nintex for SharePoint

SMRT applied Nintex for SharePoint functionality to digitally transform their operations and effect real change:

  • Challenge: Engineers and contractors wasted time physically applied for Permits to Work (PTW) at individual SMRT train depots.
    • Resolution: Using Nintex Forms, SMRT made documents available electronically and automated SharePoint Lists to store records and make them easily accessible.
  • Challenge Inspection records were difficult to retrieve for analysis or audits, as they were noted on hardcopy.
    • Resolution: By using Nintex Mobile Apps and SharePoint Online, ground staff who are always on the move can access checklists, business logistics, and the records that are relevant to them.
  • Challenge: Information based on the daily inspection of properties wasn’t available in real time.
    • Resolution: Online versions of Nintex for SharePoint make it possible to connect directly to information, despite teams being out of the office.
  • Challenge: Tasks within the approval process for procurement were frequently executed in the wrong order and were still making use of paper formats.
    • Resolution: Using Nintex, teams can remotely access forms which outline the fields to complete, and the records are then automatically stored in SharePoint.
  • Challenge: SMRT teams work three shifts at depots spread across the island, making it tricky to capture registrations for the organization’s staff events.
    • Resolution: Now Nintex Forms are used to collect information in a user-friendly format, which is then stored for future reference in SharePoint.

Technology alone doesn’t guarantee success

Jayne Leow wrapped up her session saying technology doesn’t secure business success. Important aspects to consider are a sound strategy, empowering people to embrace digital transformation, and streamlining only those processes that you know are correct.

With a firm foundation in place, we look forward to an ongoing partnering with SMRT as they continue to connect communities and transform the way people live, work, and play.


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