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CN Railways

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 inventory information.

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.

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