With Documoto Web Library City Transit Authority (CTA) has one goal in mind for the 9.6 million people that live within its 1,433-square mile service area: move them from point A to point B as directly as possible. As planner, designer, builder and operator of a system with 2,200 buses in service, CTA has an additional goal: move needed parts just as directly to keep those buses running.
Searching for parts in hard-copy catalogs had quickly become as out-dated as the information in them. Providing accurate and accessible information to CTA divisions was a big challenge, one that needed to be met as soon as possible and with new technology.
CTA already had their internal technology in place, with their Maintenance, Material & Management system, an EAM platform from Infor. Once a mechanic had parts information in hand, the order could be placed at the service window by technicians using EAM. However, getting that part information remained slow and was often inaccurate, stalling service and maintenance so vehicle repair often dragged behind schedule.
What they needed next was a platform that connected EAM to their maintenance personnel, a platform that would bring down wait-time for parts at the service window. Catalogs from bus manufacturers upgraded from paper to PDF manuals delivered on CDs in early 2000, but materials manager Rick and his team knew there had to be a better way.
They started searching for a solution that would bridge the gap.
Finding The Right Solution
“We looked at a few products, but they didn’t fit with our entry system,” said Rick Smalley, Department Manager. “Whatever we ended up using needed to interface with EAM,” Rick continued. “The CEO of Digabit, introduced us to Documoto at a conference, and we knew it was a viable solution for CTA because it was web-based and had immediate integration capabilities. No other solution we researched offered integration with EAM.”
Documoto is an online parts ordering system, so they knew it would be accessible, but it also needed to be robust enough for their various divisions without much downtime. To reach the goal of replacing their archaic PDF-driven system they needed all users to have access concurrently, reaching the same up-to-date parts information 24/7.
“When we decided to use to Documoto, we got a lot more than anticipated,” Rick stated. “We hoped our maintenance personnel would transition without much struggle. They experienced Documoto as a valuable tool right away, with immediate access to up-to-date information. Productivity increased dramatically since we started using Documoto.”
CTA reached its goal to provide direct access to critical parts information, which made wait–time at the service window a thing of the past.
Trustworthy and Accurate
Now, with a simple log in, CTA mechanics can quickly find manuals within the Documoto visual library. Instead of clicking through static PDF pages, they use advanced search capabilities to find parts and confirm them with dynamic diagrams linked to interactive parts lists. From there, parts can quickly be placed in shopping carts and pushed to EAM-where orders are quickly placed and fulfilled.
This met their goal, but Documoto surpassed their expectations. “Behind the scenes we can edit and update information in seconds,” shares Rick. “Users aren’t even aware the information is being updated. It’s rapid and seamless,” Rick continues. “Before manuals were strewn all over, in tool boxes, and on desks; PDFs were left on CDs or laptops and unreachable. The bottom-line is being able to update information quickly with immediate access to users. With Documoto we have complete uniformity now. Technicians can trust that the information is accurate.”
Documoto allows administrators to update part descriptions, supersede part numbers, and update entire manuals with a suite of publishing tools that include Web Services, Docustudio, and Publisher. They don’t have to wait for bus manufacturers to send out manuals. Now the updates are instantaneous.
Collaborative Customer Service
“Digabit is constantly improving their technology and the ability to edit and update information,” Rick adds. “Plus, they collaborate on any suggestions or needs we have and they do whatever it takes to include enhancements in the development of Documoto. We also reap the benefits of upgrades from other user requests. Documoto has advanced immeasurably in the short time since we became users.”
Looking to the future, Rick states, “We have all of our bus documentation uploaded into Documoto: service, maintenance, and parts manuals. Our next step is to add internal manuals, specifically for facilities, like HVAC, and our rail system, so the rest of our staff can enjoy the benefits of Documoto.”
Using Documoto allows CTA mechanics to get back to their vehicles quicker, complete service or repairs, and get the vehicles back on the road. This helps CTA reach its goal to move passengers from point A to point B, and quickly move the parts that keep their buses running. But there’s another goal CTA feels strongly about: Sustainability.
Rick emphasizes, “Sustainability is an effort of the entire company. Using Documoto as an online software as a service allows CTA to reduce paper waste by eliminating hard-copy manuals, printing of PDF documents, and hand-written purchase orders.”
Rick recommend Digabit regularly to potential Documoto clients. “Digabit as a company is very customer service oriented, genuinely dedicated to acheive their own goal: to provide Documoto as a constantly improving solution to companies, like ours, who depend on quick and easy access to service and parts information.”
Digabit has helped CTA the transit authority in one of the country’s largest, most populous counties, move people, supply parts, and preserve the planet with its online parts ordering system, Documoto.