CN Railways with revenues of $5.2 billion is
a leader in the railway industry for both efficiency and financial
standing. CN provides customers with more shipping options than
other railways as it is the only railroad in North America to cross
the continent east-west and north-south, serving ports on the
Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts.
The Need: To Streamline Inventory Processes
When CN Railways merged with the
Illinois Central Railroad last year, it realized the need to track
the maintenance inventories of each field supervisor across Canada
and the United States to its SAP System in Montreal. With more than
15,000 miles of railway and hundreds of field workers across North
America, the ability to report, order and track inventory materials
efficiently and accurately was critical for CN Railways.
The Solution: Wireless Technology to Provide Up-to-Date Data
CN Railways turned to Aether Systems due
to its reputation as a leader in providing wireless and mobile data
products and services, to help develop and implement a mobile
solution to better manage its inventory process. Aether was able to
design and employ an application-- compliant with CN’s SAP
system--in just six weeks, meeting CN's immediate needs.
Aether Systems' ScoutWare™ solutions on Symbol™ devices provided
CN with a portable platform with an integrated bar code scanner for
easy tracking and ordering capabilities, with an easy-to-use Palm
Pilot interface. The devices were selected in particular due to
their ruggedness, making them able to withstand the elements of work
on the railways.
CN Railways' field workers use their Symbol™ devices to input the vital information off-line for reporting, ordering and tracking maintenance materials, while on the tracks. Then they download the information directly to CN’s SAP System by using Aether's ScoutSync™.
The Result: Simplified Inventory Maintenance
CN's use of Aether Systems' ScoutWare™ on Symbol™ devices has
allowed CN to simplify and speed up its inventory process, making it
more accurate for the reporting, ordering, and tracking of its
maintenance materials. The solution has allowed for better
management of its maintenance materials by providing updated
CN Railways field workers are able to keep up-to-date by using their Symbol™ devices. Each time workers place the devices in the cradles connected to CN’s WAN, Aether's ScoutSync™ automatically synchronizes and transmits the data to its SAP System, as well as updating the device with the latest inventory information. The result is greater efficiency and accuracy of reporting, ordering and tracking of maintenance materials, and ultimately, tremendous financial and resource savings.