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9/10/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF to boot up new IT platform for financial and HR systems



BNSF Railway Co. is about to begin a top-to-bottom overhaul of its information technology (IT) infrastructure. In the fourth quarter, the railroad plans to implement SAP® Business Suite applications, and SAP’s and Microsoft’s Duet™ software to establish a single IT platform interconnecting financial, human resources and compliance operations.

The Class I will replace virtually all its back-office systems and many internal systems, including financial reporting, invoice management, and portions of revenue and asset management processes. BNSF also will implement SAP® Interactive Forums by Adobe so employee master information and field invoices can be processed in a “self-service capacity,” BNSF said

The IT transformation will help the railroad improve data accuracy, process invoices in real time, quickly disseminate information to employees, and retire older IT systems and niche applications. In addition, a “human capital management system” will enable BNSF to incorporate necessary new hire training and certification in one IT package, providing “rapid on-boarding” of qualified workers, according to the Class I.

“Industry estimates all report that the demand for freight transportation is expected to jump 67 percent over the next 20 years,” said Jeff Campbell, BNSF vice president of technology services and chief information officer, in a prepared statement. “We wanted to prepare early on to provide HR and financial systems that could handle that kind of demand.”


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