Valley Traffic Systems: A Case Study

The Customer

Valley Traffic Systems first opened their doors in 1997, operating as a small alternative traffic control company in a one bay mini warehouse. Since that time, Valley Traffic has grown into one of Western Canada’s largest traffic management and traffic control providers, and is now located in a 21,000 square foot warehouse in Langley, BC, featuring nine offices, store front, large storage yard, full production facilities for sign manufacturing, a loading bay, as well as a conference room.

Valley Traffic Case Study

The Challenge

Valley Traffic was using a paper-based system to dispatch employees to job sites. Dispatch operations were being run from a dispatch book, which was kept synchronized with weekly assignment and daily truck sheets. As Valley grew to a 7×24 operation with over 1000 weekly dispatch jobs, scaling up this system created difficulties. Pages from the dispatch book were copied for the night dispatcher with information merged back in the following morning. Efficient operations relied on the dispatchers’ memory and their knowledge of customer preferences as well as employee skills and job site training.

Valley evaluated several packaged dispatch solutions designed for a primary market other than traffic control. All packaged solutions required extensive customization and most were not using web or mobile platforms. None of the packaged solutions would match the existing paper-based workflow and business processes.

The Solution

Caron Business Solutions proposed a solution designed from the ground up to match the existing workflow. Key dispatchers were intimately involved, participating in several design review meetings during the build-up towards go-live. Caron’s implementation was web-based and could be accessed from any browser-capable device. The solution is hosted in a large, secure facility with multiple internet connections and multiple backup power systems. The system Caron put in place made a significant difference to the overall efficiency level of Valley Traffic’s operations.

Valley Traffic’s dispatch system is accessed from workstations, laptops, phones or tablets. The dispatch supervisor can check the status of jobs and assignments from the iPad sitting on her bedside table. There is no longer any photocopying or merging of notes.

All changes to jobs are tracked, which was not possible when using a pencil and eraser. Notes can also be attached to jobs as requirements changed. This is an important customer satisfaction issue – e.g. when Bob phones to ask why there are only 3 traffic control people at a site, the dispatcher can say right away that Dave phoned in at 5:36pm yesterday to reduce the number from 4.

Valley Traffic’s employees are offered assignments based on seniority and on truck seniority, subject to customer preferences. Because the dispatch system tracks assignments declined and the reason, union inquiries can be easily dealt with accurately and expeditiously.

Valley Traffic’s dispatch system is a forward looking solution accessible from mobile devices, with Google Map integration and site plans viewable from employee phones. Future integrations with Sage 300 ERP Payroll and Accounts Receivable are contemplated.

The Technology

  • A dedicated server is hosted at a SoftLayer Data Centre.
  • The data can be replicated to any of 10 data centers on 3 continents.
  • The solution can be deployed in Linux or Windows environments.
  • A modern software stack is used: Java, Tomcat, MySQL, MyFaces and Hibernate.
  • The software platform integrates with Sage 300 ERP through a secure tunnel using web services