shipper's primer on how to identify a value-added shortline and
how to use this recource to improve inventory management and supply chain
Free stuff to help keep new customers and attract new ones, business
owners need resources. Please feel free to use these tools to manage your
business. The only cost to you is a note to Week in Review telling what
works and what doesnít work.
- Measuring shortline
performance is a snap if you track the consumables
required to support customer expectations. What you get is a revenue
move budget upon which managers can predict man/hours per revenue move
and gear that to the rate at which consumables are consumed.
The best way to know whether your company is living up to its potential
is to compare yourself to your peers. Benchmarks accomplish at the very
least three very important tasks. First, they provide a complete financial
checkup to be sure your financial house is strong enough to support
the goals. Second, they can compare your railroadís performance with
other properties like yours. Third, they can provide needed input for
RRIF loans from the FRA.The online Railroad Benchmarks Spreadsheet.
Plug in your own variables and see how you measure up! [MORE]
- Measuring Interchange
On-Time Performance. This new spreadsheet will tell the shortline
operator the Class 1 on-time performance results at the interchange.
"Rule of 100" argues
that one needs 100 revenue cars per route mile of railroad per year
to support that railroad. Is it right?
- Manage Information,
Not Trains. Managing the rail network means knowing what trains
need to run when and why customer processes are the main drivers. [MORE]Train
Performance Measures. Train performance metrics that can be used
by shortlines and shippers alike to guarantee predictable transit times.
- Setting Goals.
Benchmarks tell you where you need work, and as a rule performance shortcomings
can be traced to four customer value drivers. [from the Railway
- Some Railroading
Facts of Life. Pay attention to these, and improve your chances
of winning (back) your business. [MORE]
Age "Best Practices" columns" | Selected
- TRAINS articles
"If you canít
measure it, you canít fix it." The old adage evokes two challenges
Ė why measure at all and if it ainít broke why fix it? A railroad is a
business and as such must generate profits and a positive cash flow if
it is to be sustainable. Itís a service business, and as such depends
on a steady flow of new and improved services. As far as being "broke"
is concerned, the surest signs are loss of current customers and inability
to attract new ones. Measuring service quality as seen by the customer
is essential to remaining in business. The alternative is to become the
next Fallen Flag.
RAILWAY AGE articles.
Begun in 1990 as "The Marketing Advocate," this column ran
in Railway Age magazine from 1991 through 2002, changing to Best
Practices in 1995. The focus has shifted to feature articles beginning
with "The Resurgence of Shortline
Railroading in Northern New England" running in the September
2003 issue. Upcoming: "New Trucking Hours of Service Regs Create
New Product Opportunities for Shortline Railroads." Also, "How
shortlines Can Help Class I Partners Keep Wall Street Happy."