In the past, HSL's schedule was difficult to create. The schedule includes hundreds of pages of numerical data that must be error-free and correctly located for the use of the end users – a large proportion of Finland's population. The process of creating the schedule layout, prepared by 20 people, previously required numerous marks in red pen, rounds of revision, printing drafts, and frustrating waits. The primary objectives for the solution were to eliminate unnecessary work phases and save time.
The automatic layout and correction tool (known as Taku) implemented by Crasman helps with jobs that are typically challenging: managing large amounts of data. The transportation planners enter timetable data and Taku turns it into a schedule ready to be sent to the printers. The online solution can be edited by all of the planners at the same time and the corrections take effect immediately. Plus, everything is immediately printable.
The Taku project solved numerous problems with the production of HSL's schedule. It is an excellent example of an online solution that internalizes the worker's entire process and transforms it into a more profitable end result.
The technology created by Crasman has transformed content that can be edited online into a real-world printing solution. In technical terms, the work done by Taku can be considered as a web-to-print process, where online pixels are turned into vectors used in the printing world. This represents the peak of usability: people working on schedules and other content can see exactly how the final product will appear. It also eases the headache of page setting – the process of adding hundreds of pages of timetables that had previously been an arduous mechanical operation.
Schedules can be combined using Taku through a powerful, easy-to-use collaboration platform that allows all of the relevant people to work on the schedules at the same time. A few years ago, planners put the schedules together using their own software, before the page setter got to work. Printed schedules were moved around in shopping carts between two floors while the planners checked that everything was in the right place. The team went through lots of red pens, and new errors were almost always found. Now all of the planners can immediately add content and correct errors themselves.
Taku is not just for text and numbers – other content can be imported, including graphical elements, tables of contents, and indices. Schedule automation has also been developed so that some of the schedules are correctly placed without any content being entered.
The outcome – Taku – is an online solution that constantly serves HSL's staff online. As Taku can be used to do several things at once, it has replaced unnecessary software, easing an additional burden on users.