'NS 21' — Norfolk Southern initiative targets timely, accurate car reports (7/6/2001)


Norfolk Southern Railway is implementing an initiative designed to improve car-report timeliness and accuracy.

The initiative was spawned by "NS 21," the railroad's program designed to analyze and change business practices to improve customer service and cut costs.

NS in March began training Central Yard Operations (CYO) employees to use the railroad's Thoroughbred Yard Enterprise System (TYES) to provide customers with more reliable and timely data 24/7. Through May, the railroad trained nearly 3,000 employees; on-going crew training is expected to end Sept. 18.

When a customer contacts CYO for service, employees enter data into TYES, through which train crews receive the information on their work orders. The crews then document all car switching activities on the work order and fax it to CYO, which enters the data back into TYES, enabling customers to access immediate car information.

"It's mostly an awareness issue and a reinforcement of the process already in place," said CYO Director Brad Fitzgerald in a prepared statement. "Communication is the cornerstone to our reporting process, and documentation is a key element to support that process."

NS plans to market a recently completed customer video promoting CYO's ability to address customers' service needs through the initiative.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News