Modernization and enhancement of POS and terminal systems that simplify payments for passengers and optimize cashiers’ work.
Our customer is a great suburban railway carrier that specializes in railway passenger transportation. The client has operated on the market since 2005 and has 9000 employees.
Detailed information about the client cannot be disclosed under the provisions of the NDA.
Our client used to have outdated rail terminal management software that inhibited the performance of railroad ticket sales and the work of cashiers. The rail management software did not correspond to modern realities, was inconvenient for cashiers and passengers, and had issues with freezing and glitching since it could not withstand the growing load on the servers.
The customer already had the hardware, including outlets, portable terminals for ticket collectors, and a server controlling the equipment’s operation. Our main objective was to facilitate the issuance, processing, and accounting of railroad travel documents via ticket printing machines and improve cashiers’ work.
The partnership began in 2018 and continues to this day. It includes software development, maintenance, and post-launch support.
Taking into account the customer’s desires and recommendations, we have implemented the features that improved the ticket sales process for passengers, added some auxiliary functions, and facilitated railway ticket booking software.
As a result, we have introduced two desktop applications built on .NET: one for cashiers who sit at the cash registers and the second for self-service ticket printing machines.
POS stations for cashiersConcerning the performance of the cashiers and enhancing POS stations, the following features have become accessible:
Workflow automationMoreover, we have digitized some cashiers’ paperwork and simplified submitting regular reports and statistics after daily/monthly shifts. In particular, it has resulted in the creation of convenient options for cashiers within the terminal equipment:
Self-service ticket printing machines
In terms of developing an app for self-service ticket printing machines, passengers have received an opportunity to receive tickets or buy a subscription on their own without intermediaries due to train scheduling software. A user-friendly interface and intuitive layout have made the purchasing process simple and straightforward.
Passengers could select the city of departure and final destination, choose the ticket format (one-way or return), specify the number of tickets, and indicate the travel date. Ticket printing machines have become capable of giving change, accepting coins and banknotes, and staying compatible with validators.
Additionally, our team has developed a card validator enabling passengers to check the number of trips remaining via smart cards and the app to control people’s passing at turnstiles.
The client has already customized software, so our team did not face the necessity to build the apps from scratch. The purpose was to optimize and expand the functionality of the existing features.
Our team worked using Agile methodology with daily meetings to discuss the progress and make adjustments if needed. Every 4-6 months, there were regular releases with demo versions to evaluate and debug crucial features. Every release ended up with the team meeting to consider and approve the next feature to develop.
The project’s most challenging parts we successfully coped with included calculating the cost of trips and subscriptions, arranging change in banknotes and coins, synchronizing with a data center, conducting the offline operation, and installing an emergency mode in case of system failure.
The project team is currently developing a proprietary website for booking and purchasing railroad tickets as well as a mobile application.
At the finish line, it appeared evident that implementing the apps for POS stations and terminals system equipment had the vast potential for exponential growth. For instance, paying via contactless smart cards has attracted more passengers since purchasing tickets or subscriptions has become faster and easier. The number of cashiers’ mistakes and miscalculations has also decreased since they had less paperwork.
The overall performance of the software has become more responsible and fail-safe. The enormous queues in front of the terminals, together with inhibitory terminals’ performance, have come to the past. Passenger traffic has increased by thousands due to the installation of ticket printing machines at the stations where only offline cash sales were available before.
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