By A.P. Kasthoori - Bachelor of IT(University of Colombo)
HOW CAN INFORMATIONS TECHNOLOGY BE USED TO IMPROVE THE
SYSTEM EFFICIENCY OF SRI-LANKA RAILWAY
Sri-lanka Government Railway Department may be considered as one of the major component of transportation network infrastructure in the Island. The department participating to perform its obligation to the nation of Sri-lanka providing of more than four hundred daily operations of trains for public transportation, maintaining thirteen sub-department and as well as over seventeen thousands of employees have dispersed island-wide.
Performing of managerial operations is not so easy and simple task in such a department without having good knowledgeable and as well as understandable people. As well as this, establishment of good management would never be successful with people who failed to coop with well established system and who work according to the haphazard manner. Considering this one confusion might be arisen regarding above what people make knowledgeable and understandable other than their subject -wise knowledge. This totally depends on
well established data collection methodology
good data processing mechanism
good data analyzing and report generation mechanism
good, well established and maintaining steady flow of informations
good recording system and maintaining system of data history
Current position of the Railway Department is not in developed condition regarding data processing. Mostly, railway officers of top level hunting for correct informations or mis-leaded by corrupted informations. For convenience in order to understand all negative consequences of present paper based system and data management process already utilized in the department are summarized as follows.
More than 85% of total data gathered from bottom level are not valuable.
Value of data depend on two factors. Reality of data is one factor. What it mean is data must be true. Second one is data must be able to get on correct time.
Not only above two factors. Value of data is depend on the methods of data collection and methods of storing them. Manually collected data possess no value if it is corrupted at different levels. Therefore automatically collection of data methodology is essential for increasing of efficiencies of an organization.
There are enough rooms to corrupt data as whims and fancies of who handle those
This is one of critical inefficiency of paper based system. This must be avoided as maximum as possible. Paper based manual system lead to data corruption and also spread further up to physical corruptions. Data can be altered and changed easily according to the whims and fancies who handle them.
Current fueling system of the department is good example for this type of inefficiency. According to this amount of fuel waste is impossible to calibrate.
As an example suppose daily wastage of diesel from all locomotive sheds island-wide is around 200 liters. Annual wastage of diesel in the department is 200 * 365 = 73000. This amount of diesel cannot be considered as simple case. According to the current market suppose cost of one liter of diesel is around Rs. 70.00. Total loss of money for one year department face is around Rs. 5,110,000.00. This can totally eradicate by introducing automated system.
Establishment of computer based system fully eradicate these inefficiencies in the department. It pave the way to access real data. Fuel consumption possible to calculate many ways as itself required. All loop holes for corruption will possible to be closed. System will not allow to use pump unless log properly. Decision making is very easy.
Same thing occurring in the field of human resources management. Pay roll system is run under the HR department. According to the current system data redundancy is common phenomena. By virtue of this reason more than one salary possible to pay for one employee. As an example one phenomena is prominent due to data redundancy of current system. Salary of one particular employee is sent to the bank continuously after his resignation. This can totally eradicate introducing computer based system. Some months one employee possible to get more salaries due to improper system. This type of inefficiencies cause extra work for clerical staff and make them more and more overtimes. Monitory loss of the department is impossible to calculate.
In order to update personal details of employee A will takes several months due to physical delivering system of letters. Some times details exist in some places may be misplaced. How nicely eradicate this pitfalls by automated system, is replacement of redundant personal details into one place. By this way system will allow to access or alter details maintaining only in one place from various geographically different places.
Suppose Employee A request his resignation from the department. Department accepted his resignation and update his personal details as resigned in establishment department. But accordingly to manual process in order to update his personal file maintaining in the DS office Navalapitiya, a letter mentioning his reassignment is need to be sent by the establishment branch Colombo. This process takes some times to receive the letter. Then after updating personal file next notice letter required to be sent to payment branch that noticing to stop payments to the payment branch. However this takes several months to complete the process.