HNC’s Applied IT students were recently invited to Stotts Coaches head office to discover more about the state-of-the-art technology and IT infrastructure used within transport logistics.

In Applied IT, students study a range of IT applications, exploring how they are used in real world based scenarios. In one of the course’s examined case study modules, students will be assessed on a topic that looks specifically at transport logistics, and how IT systems can support the smooth running of a coach hire operation. Stotts Coaches, a family-owned transport provider located just a stone’s throw away from the College, invited our IT students to spend the day at the head office to discover more about the wide range of technology they use in their day-to-day operations.

Stotts Coaches are the largest private coach company in West Yorkshire. As well as running a range of coach trips both locally and nationally, they also provide a number of essential bus services throughout Kirklees. On the day, students were invited to tour the office and explore how the company makes use of their IT systems, from tracking vehicle locations to keeping up to date with maintenance. The group discovered how all services are tracked via a state-of -the-art system that allows head office to understand where each of their vehicles is at any one time, ensuring that the buses and coaches remain on time as per their timetables. The students also discovered how the operators used this system by linking it to live traffic updates, providing useful data which allowed the company to manage the flow of the transport, avoid any congestion or road closures, and re-route drivers where necessary. The group were then able to explore another IT application that is used to track the maintenance, servicing and repairs of the fleet, with this system being essential in keeping as many buses and coaches as possible in operation at any one time.

This was an opportunity to understand further how the systems studied in the classroom provide a network of support to a business that relies on a large amount of data to operate smoothly. Joe Norton, Director of Independent Learning, comments “Our students have gained a first-hand experience of just how essential the IT systems we study in the classroom are to business. Technology is all around us, operating in the background to ensure that the services we use, such as public transport, are efficient, timely and safe. It was fascinating to see how complex the scheduling is at Stotts, and our students have experienced just how important the smooth running of these systems are to the larger operation. This opportunity has not just provided our students with the knowledge that will support them to achieve well in their upcoming linked assessments, it has also inspired them to think about the wide range of career opportunities a qualification in IT can support access to. Thank you to Stotts for providing such an insightful experience for our students”.

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