Analytical System to Manage Railway Cargo Transportation




Belarusian Railway, an organization of more than 200 legal entities located in different regions of the Republic of Belarus.

Project Background

Cooperation between IBA and Belarusian Railway (BR) began in 1993 when BR management made a decision to start a step–by–step modification of its cargo transportation management system. Initially, the system was ported from local ES computers to an IBM mainframe platform (S/360). Afterwards, IBA performed migration from S/360 to S/370 and S/390.

In cooperation with Belarusian Railway, IBA developed a concept and prototype of the Information Analysis System to Manage Railway Cargo Transportation at Belarusian Railway. The joint project to implement the system was launched in late 2002 and completed in 2011.

Project Overview

The Information Analysis System to Manage Railway Cargo Transportation is designed to manage all technological processes at BR. The new system should replace a legacy cargo transportation management system produced in the USSR.

The legacy system was developed in Assembler and used unique, non–standard databases. Moreover, the system was slow and resource–consuming. Each database query involved complementary software development. In addition, the new owners of the legacy system in Russia announced that they will cease to support in 2008.

The task is to migrate the legacy system to an up–to–date database using standard visualization tools that enable report generation. The new system is required to increase the profitability of cargo transportation, the final goal for a joint IBA–BR team being to integrate the Information Analysis System to Manage Railway Cargo Transportation with the Unified Finance and Resource Management System. As a result, BR management is able to optimize its operations both in terms of functional and financial performance.

Project Execution

The implementation of the large–scale system was divided into stages, allowing BR employees to perceive additional benefits after the completion of each stage. IBA worked at the customer site to understand better the end user needs, address quickly the issues that emerge and ensure close cooperation with the client team.

At the planning and design stage, IBA conducted an in–depth analysis of initial customer requirements and of the customer knowledge domain, defined basic entities, and created a business process model. At the development stage, IBA provided the client with access to the project test system. Consequently, the client was able to monitor and control the development process, as well as train its employees, while IBA was able to understand end user problems and respond promptly to requirement changes.

The new reporting system was built using Business Objects, and therefore the end user was able to create reports depending on his or her specific needs without any assistance from programmers.

IT Environment

  • IBM zEnterprise EC12
  • IBM System Storage DS8800
  • IBM Tape Library TS3500
  • DB2 10 for z/OS
  • z/OS V1.13
  • WS MQ Base for z/OS
  • WS MQ Client Attachment
  • DB2 Utilities Suite V10.

Project Results

The Information Analysis System to Manage Railway Cargo Transportation is implemented on schedule and within budget. The system includes the following subsystems that function asynchronously:

  • Router of Incoming Messages processes incoming messages from subscribers of Belarusian Railway, forwards the messages to the corresponding subsystems of the system, and provides feedback.
  • Online Outline of Cargo Transportation (OOCT) consists of an online database and a suite that controls, processes, and distributes the incoming information in the database and calculates performance indicators .
  • Historical Outline of Cargo Transportation (HOCT) includes a historical database and a software suite of layout, calculation, and aggregation of data received from the HOCT
  • Software Suite of Data Transfer implements a multi stream data transfer between online and historical outlines of cargo transportation (OOCT and HOCT)
  • Data Warehouse consists of a database and a software to calculate performance indicators and implement data aggregation
  • A subsystem of Standard Normative and Reference Information is intended for a centralized storage of corporate normative information, for maintaining and updating the information
  • A subsystem of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) consists of a database and a software suite to generate and calculate key indicators of Belarusian Railway performance including daily reports and a software to generate standard reports approved by the statistics service of Belarusian Railway. The output solutions are created using Business Objects tools.
  • A subsystem of Technical Regulation (TR) of Belarusian railway is intended for creation of monthly norms and plans, means of maintaining and update, and means of transfer of the planned values to the KPI subsystem
  • Efficiency Analysis System (EAS) of Belarusian Railway allows for carrying out a comprehensive detailed analysis of the performance indicators of every service, and for tracking the interaction between different indicators, dynamics of their changes, as well as the contribution of every department of Belarusian railway to the final indicator value. The suite has a powerful tool for visualization of information and is used for planning meetings in the BR administration. The primary data source for the EAS database is the data of TR and KPI subsystems.

All applications of the system have a similar intuitive and easy-to-use interface that simplifies the work of the BR employees and their training.

The IBA–developed subsystems streamlined a large number of business processes of the client, including management of cargo and passenger transportation, generation of daily status reports, registration of car maintenance and car rental operations, and planning of shipments. IBA automated workflow at the client's enterprises. The end user can access the system via web browser and tailor the company's information field to suit his or her needs. The slow and rigidly formatted reporting system was replaced with a flexible and convenient one.

In December 2011, IBA put the Information Analysis System to Manage Railway Cargo Transportation into production at Belarusian Railway. The system implemented by IBA at Belarusian Railway is a unique project for Belarus considering the scale of automation, territorial distribution, and amount of work.

Valeriy Shubadyorov, Vice President of Belarusian Railway, said: “On behalf of the Belarusian Railway, I would like to thank IBA for assistance in the automation of business processes at our organization. We look forward to continued and fruitful cooperation with IBA”.

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