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6/30/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF receives royalties for selling auto inventory-management software to CPR


On June 27, Burlington Northern Santa Fe received a royalty check from Optimization Alternatives Ltd. (OA) for the sale of BNSF's AutoTrack inventory-management software to Canadian Pacific Railway. CPR bought the software in 2002 and began using it earlier this year.


In 1999, BNSF and OA developed AutoTrack, which is designed to streamline auto-inventory management at rail automotive facilities.


"Prior to implementing AutoTrack, BNSF used a less-robust inventory management system that didn't provide a comprehensive view of all automotive facilities," said Marc Allen, BNSF assistant vice president of automotive, in a prepared statement. "[Now], each facility knows its exact inventory level at all times, and we are able to share this information with haul-away carriers, dealers and manufacturers."


As part of the development agreement, OA can sell the software to other companies in exchange for paying BNSF royalties.


"With Canadian Pacific Railway using a similar inventory management tool, it only helps to make the entire automotive distribution chain more efficient for our customers," said Kathleen Kummant, BNSF vice president of business development.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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