Friday, June 27, 2014

GE Client Conference spotlights software innovations

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
At its 25th Annual Client Conference June 23-25, 2014, GE Transportation announced new software systems and services and recognized seven customers with its Fast Track Award for rail industry software excellence and innovation.

“This year’s three-day conference offered more than 50 technical sessions by GE Transportation software engineers and subject matter experts, giving best-practices and instruction to maximize the use of GE Transportation’s software,” said Vice President of Global Services Pete McCabe. Topics included advanced analytics, mobility, revenue management, operational efficiency, and asset optimization. In addition, the conference included more than 15 customer feedback forums and panel discussions, providing an open exchange of ideas and customer feedback.

McCabe highlighted RailConnect™ 360, “a connected suite of solutions that provides railroads with data-driven insights to address key customer pain points like velocity, fuel, reliability, productivity, and dwell. The RailConnect™ 360 suite leverages GE Transportation’s Predix platform to use advanced software, powerful analytics, and mobility to enable better decisions and improve outcomes along the entire rail enterprise. This is part of our billion-dollar investment in software to create an open, global network that connects people, data, and machines, the ‘Industrial Internet.’”

GE Transportation introduced several enhancements RailConnect™ 360 software products and services:

• RailConnect Transportation Management System and RailConnect Revenue Management System, “a new user-friendly interface with intuitive menus for easy navigation, time-saving custom quick links to regularly-used tools, and report automation, plus connectivity available from multiple browsers and devices.”

• Revenue Management Advanced Analytics, “a new business intelligence offering that delivers powerful analytics and KPIs to help railroad accounting and management personnel work more effectively, improve decision making, and optimize revenue management performance.”

• ShipperConnect Yard & Transload Management, which “offers graphical representation and multiple work views of facilities, track layout, and customized process flows to significantly improve the process of managing rail assets and inventory within a plant or transload facility. With a single click, users can view details on shipments, move railcars within their plants, and load, unload, or transfer inventory in railcars, piles, silos, bins, or containers, controlling inventory and managing customer orders. Integration with ERP systems and EDI data sources provides seamless inventory management and control.

GE Transportation also announced the addition of new capabilities for railcar demurrage management with the acquisition of Demurrage Management Systems Inc. “This technology acquisition expands and strengthens software capabilities in our ShipperConnect Demurrage Management system,” said McCabe. “This comprehensive offering will manage and calculate railcar demurrage, detention, and storage charges, administer complex demurrage rules and contracts, automate demurrage calculation methods, administer complex rating structures, and manage unlimited exception criteria.”

In addition, GE Transportation honored a group of customers “who are leaders in the rail and rail shipper industry,” said McCabe. “These companies have raised the standard for operating performance by utilizing GE Transportation’s rail software and solutions to drive automation, increase productivity, and address mission-critical business issues: Ferrocarril y Terminal del Valle de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Ferrovalle); Genesee & Wyoming Inc. – Portland & Western Railroad; New York & Atlantic Railway; Pan Am Railways; R.J. Corman Railroad Co.; Hi-Crush; and Iron Horse Logistics Services

Companies in every major segment of the rail industry attended the conference and included short line and regional railroads, Class I railroads, railcar leasing companies, rail shippers, and intermodal terminal operators.