Joe Roberts’s refunds and services 80 trucks everyday at Ryder Systems maintenance yard in Holt, Michigan. Dissimilar most fueling attendants, though, Roberts are as well a data-entry clerk. As Roberts refuels each truck he plugs a hand-held instrument into the truck’s onboard. Computer to retrieve information which helps Ryder keep track of its vehicles.
Ryder commercial leasing and services has lately implemented $ 33 – million truck maintenance and track systems which will help the Miami Company maintain and manage vehicles all through much of the Midwest and South. Finally, the system will keep tabs on the company’s 170,000 vehicles at 915 locations all through North America. Formerly, Ryder’s different information systems presented more than one face to many of its 11,000 customers, which comprise retailer Home Depot and Hotel Chain Marriott International. Moreover, revenue from truck fleet leasing over the past 6 years had patterned and the prospect of generating additional income was limited by existing business processes. Dennis Klinger, Ryder’s V.P. of Information Services, said ‘‘we could not squeeze costs and enhance performance by doing the same old things’’. The company decided to restrictive itself and developed a master plan toward this end.
The master plan called for the company to integrate the disparate field, district and head quarters information systems which had frequently created ‘‘islands of information’’. The result: a system that will permit users to share data with 1,000 local service centers, 76 districts offices and the company’s Miami Headquarters.
Beneath the new maintenance system, a mechanic or attendant in Florida will be able to access the maintenance history of a truck which was serviced in Michigan a week earlier.
The system works as shown below: when servicing a truck, the service representative inserts a probe from a hand-held computer into a button-shaped data carrying device which is mounted on the side of each vehicle’s cab. The computer records the amount of fuel pumped, oil used and other pertinent information, all of which was formerly transcribed by hand.
This provides attendants time to perform extra routine checks and to clean the trucks more thoroughly. The touch memory button tracks a vehicle’s fueling and service history. ‘‘The button is similar to a file cabinet with room for extra files’’.
The other new system at Ryder is the shop management system, written in COBOL that automatically schedules vehicles for maintenance or repair. The system matches the job with the mechanic best qualified to perform the tasks. It as well updates the maintenance histories of all vehicles in the fleet and monitors inventory levels at Ryder locations. The system can automatically submit warranty claims, process payroll data, and even order parts electronically from 20 suppliers.
The other interesting system at Ryder is Simplified Asset Management (SAM) that gathers information from a variety of systems in order to assess how the company is putting its fixed assets to use. For ex, using the system, the company could decide 18 months before a truck lease expires when best to dispose of the vehicle. ‘‘In essence we have a profit and loss statement for every truck’’. The SAM system will decrease the time district managers require to collect data on the vehicles they manage from 2 work days to 15 minutes.
problem 1: Identify the software systems in this case and describe the types of software needed for each application.
problem 2: The shop management system was written in COBOL. Identify some benefits and drawbacks of COBOL.