Case Studies

Procurement of an Account-Based Ticketing Solution and supporting Enterprise Service Bus


The Scottish Government is committed to promoting economic growth, social inclusion and sustainable development through a safe, integrated and efficient transport network. To further this policy Abellio ScotRail (ASR) accepted two Committed Objectives (CO), in accordance with Transport Scotland’s smart and integrated ticketing strategy: (1) to conduct a pilot of an Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) initiative; and, (2) to increase take-up of smart ticketing across the ASR network, to cover 60% of journeys by rail by 2019.

The Managed Service sought by this procurement exercise aimed to satisfy the first CO and to make a significant contribution to the second. It was an important stage in ASR’s goal of extending membership of their MyScotRail smart card system necessary to improve the derived benefits from membership of this system. Underpinning this project was the establishment of a corporate Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that would provide additional collateral benefits.


The introduction of an integrated travel network within Scotland based on the use of smart cards has been under consideration since 2006 when the first national transport strategy for Scotland was published. The case for developing smart travel was explored in 2011 with the publication of an outline business case based on a contracted study by PwC.

Since 2011, Transport Scotland, have conducted a wide range of pilot and local implementations to assess the viability of smart ticketing based on ITSO compliant smart cards. One strand of this approach was to trial the use of a cashless method of paying for rail travel which, if successful, might in future be extended to other modes of transport.


In forwarding this procurement AMDS Consultants Ltd had seven main roles:

  1. Confirm the requirements for the ESB/ABT project(s)
  2. Draw up the Invitations to Tender for both requirements, answer questions and supply further information to bidders
  3. Scrutinise bidder presentations
  4. Develop and apply the scoring scheme for the bids
  5. Coordinate the selection of the preferred bidder
  6. Develop a joint business case for ABT incorporating ESB as an enabler
  7. Steer the business case to completion and sign-off by Abellio ScotRail

Lessons Learned

  • Strong political support is essential if any scheme is to succeed e.g. for adapting the system to new uses
  • Need to predict and prepare for any legislative changes necessary
  • Knowledge exchange with others contemplating or already using this type of solution is invaluable
  • Close cooperation between transport operators and a strong partnership among various stakeholders are precursors to success
  • Selection of the site and target population for a pilot scheme is critical to its success and should take into consideration the demographics of the target population
  • Measures to promote take up of the service must be included in early planning
  • Ticketing systems must be as attractive, user-friendly and as easy to understand as possible
  • Support of the transport operators, and their acceptance, needs to be guaranteed
  • The basis for fares should be transparent and easily understood
  • Payment facilities should be widely available and suit all types of traveller
  • If the system is to become multi-modal then ticketing and tariff policies between different public transport operators should be consistent across the whole country
  • For a multi-modal system, division of income between the operators will need to be resolved
  • Take up of the service will be enhanced, and positive synergy gained, by linking it to other services that have a value for public transport users, such as access to bike-sharing, discounted fees for park & ride and introduction of a mobile phone travel planner application
  • Great emphasis has to be placed in a smart travel working group on collaborative business relationships between transport operators, the Authority and passenger representatives


The primary outcome of the procurement was achieved and a preferred supplier was identified for each of the ESB and ABT requirements. Because the same supplier was successful on both requirements the two projects were merged and developed as a single business case which received approval from both the ScotRail board and the Franchise owner, Abellio Group. At the time of writing an ABT pilot based on a new ESB is being prepared.

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National Fulfilment Service for Smart Travel in Scotland: Feasibility Study


In response to the continued emphasis by Scottish Government on the provision of a fully integrated transport network supported by a “Saltire” smart card, Transport Scotland (the Authority) requested that the new rail franchise (Abellio Scotrail (ASR)) invest in smart travel and conduct a feasibility study into the provision of a national fulfilment services (NFS).

The NFS was described as a national infrastructure to support the development of a Scottish variant of the TfL (Transport for London) oyster card to facilitate the realisation of the Government’s transport goals.

The outcomes of the feasibility study were published in December 2016 in response to franchise committed objective 29-16.

Primary Recommendation

The primary recommendation of the feasibility study was that:

The development of a national fulfilment service is both feasible and implementable; but that there were some essential changes in current practice required.

As part of the feasibility study the suggested changes in current practice were reported as was a preliminary action plan, a high-level programme description and an assessment of cost and risk. The feasibility study was underpinned by a detailed situational analysis and a comprehensive appraisal of reported passenger needs.


The introduction of an integrated travel network within Scotland based on the use of smart cards has been under consideration since 2006 when the first national transport strategy for Scotland was published. The case for developing smart travel was explored in 2011 with the publication of an outline business case based on a contracted study by PwC.

Since 2011, Transport Scotland, have conducted a wide range of pilot and local implementations to assess the viability of smart ticketing based on ITSO compliant smart cards.

In parallel, transport operators themselves as well as the UK Government have introduced a number of smart travel solutions on bus, rail, metro and underground transport services.

The activities in Scotland culminated in the publication of a draft business requirements document declining the forward approach to smart travel procurement. The programme, now branded Integrated Ticketing in Scotland foresees the introduction of a National ePurse, an upgraded supporting fulfilment infrastructure and the introduction of account-based travel.

Options Considered

In assessing the feasibility of introducing a National Fulfilment Service four primary options were identified. The option analysis was based on a thorough situational analysis supplemented by studies of passenger needs and interviews with transport operators and stakeholders.

The four identified options were:

  1. Zero option – the goal of smart travel is realised by market forces
  2. Omit a technological generation – the goal of smart travel is realised by investing in contactless and mobile payment technology
  3. Exploit existing implementations – the goal of smart travel is realised by extending current implementations

A networked NFS solution – the goal of smart travel is realised by combining current plans for a fulfilment service with established transport operator fulfilment services across the UK

 Each option was explored against the findings of the situation analysis and Option 4, a networked NFS solution, was recommended to the Authority.


The primary outcome of the study was the development of a feasible and implementable solution to the requirement or otherwise of a national fulfilment service to support smart travel in Scotland.

Secondary outcomes included:

  • A preliminary action plan for the period January 2017 to April 2019
  • A high-level programme structure for the implementation of the recommended option
  • An assessment of the implementation

and programme risks with preliminary mitigations.

  • An initial estimate of the cost of implementation and operation for the period to April 2019

Remaining outcomes relate to the consolidation of significant bodies of work into a single, thorough situational and customer needs analysis of all the external and internal factors influencing the realisation of smart travel in Scotland.

Other Recommendations

In addition to the primary recommendation, the following additional recommendations were made:

  • That all programmes relating to smart travel sponsors by Transport Scotland should be merged into a single programme of investment;
  • That greater emphasis be placed in the smart travel working group on collaborative business relationships between transport operators, the Authority and passenger representatives;
  • That the significance of the programme should be reflected by the appointment of a full-time programme office with the responsibility, authority and accountability to deliver the agreed programme of investment
  • That the Authority and its suppliers develop a thorough understanding of the FCA money directive before developing and fulfilment service offering stored rights.

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County Hall Worcester

Channel Shift
(Worcestershire County Council)

What was required

Engaged to save Worcestershire County Council £2.5m a year, as part of a second tranche of savings amounting to £20m a year, by carrying out a programme of channel shift to move contact to less expensive media and at the same time improve communication by providing 24/7 contact facilities, designing the model for provision, specifying the systems and personnel interactions necessary to deliver the service, specifying communications and other technical services and interfacing with the programme to roll-out high speed broadband across the county. Required roll out of the government’s Digital By Default strategy to Worcestershire.

What we did

This engagement was carried out in nine stages that were constantly reviewed and revisited to take advantage of new information becoming available.

  1. Organised and managed a series of workshops, interviews and questionnaires involving employees from all levels and departments of the Council, council service users, partner organisations and third sector.
  2. Analysed the data gathered, compiled detailed diagrams and reports on the council’s “AS-IS” processes and verified the current costs of communication.
  3. Helped the council to communicate the benefits of change to members of the pubic, employees, senior executives, elected members and business partners.
  4. Designed a strategy to move channel contact with the council to electronic means, auto-answering phone system, web forms, auto-alerts and so on to provide an inexpensive two-way flow of communication 24 hours a day 7 days a week, using Voice of the Customer Analysis to validate the proposed services.
  5. Developed the financial model to support this strategy and to provide financial justification based on balance of investment and taking account of operational needs.
  6. Selected and promoted the use of appropriate analytical models.
  7. Engaged with potential suppliers and partners and derived the model for contracting and sub-contracting.
  8. Planned the staffing requirements, deployment of resources, modelled and managed acquisition of systems and services and specified bespoke systems development.
  9. Controlled commissioning of services.

The end result (how this helped the client)

  • Cost savings of £2.5m a year harvested from closure of the most expensive communication channels.
  • Interface between the council and other bodies had been characterised by out-dated means of communication. The channel shift enabled information to be obtained and supplied in as timely a manner as possible (e.g. cell phone alerts for changes in travel and transport arrangements).
  • Capture of interactions permitted statistical analysis of contacts which fed into planning for improved service provision.
  • Successful commissioning and service deployment of new strategy.

Client’s assessment

  • Financial savings from channel shift made a contribution to meeting government financial targets.
  • Improved communication and better provision of information demonstrated through surveys.
  • Easier interface between council and related bodies claimed by anecdotal evidence.

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Adult Social Care
(Wiltshire Council)

What was required

Engaged by Wiltshire Council to provide guidance and support for a business change programme to make drastic cost savings in four core areas of expenditure, aiming to save £33m a year from a £172m budget with minimal negative impact on service provision and without unacceptable increases in self-funding of essential care of the elderly and other vulnerable adults. This involved an entire department of over 950 full-time and part-time employees and influenced a wide range of people working across other council departments as well as partner organisations such as the NHS and the voluntary sector.

What we did

Our engagement was carried out in eight stages:

  1. Organised and managed a series of workshops and investigative interviews, involving employees from all levels and areas of the department.
  2. Analysed the outcomes of these sessions and compiled detailed diagrams and reports on the council’s “AS-IS” processes.
  3. Helped the council to communicate the benefits of change to employees, senior executives and partners.
  4. Worked with the Council’s staff, including managing in-house business analysts, to design new “TO-BE” processes for Adult Social Care.
  5. Facilitated a series of workshops and guided employees to consider what the best processes might be from a customer’s perspective.
  6. Designed a new structure for the department.
  7. Guided the Council in bringing partner organisations on-board, gaining buy-in with the new structure and in implementing the new structure.
  8. Developed a new model of care for the elderly and disabled called “Help To Live at Home” (HTLAH) to satisfy their preference to be cared for at home and to allow the Council to dispose of part of its property portfolio.

The end result (how this helped the client)

  • Created a new role of customer coordinator to provide a single point of contact for customers and to coordinate the delivery of all of the services and equipment they need, across all community services teams.
  • Changed the physical location of teams to group professionals with multiple skill sets together according to customer needs.
  • Rebalanced the roles of Council, NHS and voluntary sector to reduce the financial exposure of the Council.
  • Simplified the Council’s existing processes by removing a level of technology dependency, leading to further cost reductions and to speeding up delivery of community services.
  • Having designed the HTLAH structure, supported the Council in identifying and appointing its outsource partners. Later re-engaged to review and to problem-solve before the pilot of HTLAH began.

Client’s assessment

At the end of the trial period, the Council’s project steering group committee reported that average productivity savings of over 30% were recorded right across the department, with 50% savings in assessments alone. These savings totalled £8.6m in money terms in the first year (including income from property disposals) and £6m a year thereafter. Additional contributions from those requiring care were minimised. Further: the quality of care improved overall. Figures provided by Shaw Healthcare indicated that HTLAH increased the life-expectancy of the elderly going into care from 18 months (average longevity in a care home) to an estimated 8 years (assisted living at home). These efficiency gains also allowed the council to invest in more preventive measures, reducing the demand for long-term palliative care.

Wiltshire Council’s recommendation led to an engagement to manage a channel shift programme for Worcestershire County Council which required cheaper and more efficient ways to communicate with the elderly and with the other vulnerable adults it supports to provide 24/7 contact.

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