Southern Shorthaul Rail gets on the right track with ERP makeover

Published on the 03/05/2012 | Written by Epicor Software Corporation


  • Southern Shorthaul Rail (SSR)


  • Rail services, maintenance repair and overhaul, vehicle equipment manufacturing


  • Removal of a spreadsheet-based legacy system
  • Flexibility for future growth


  • COGITA and Epicor ERP for manufacturing and service management


  • Productivity
  • Accuracy
  • Streamlined inter-company operations
  • Real-time data visibility
  • Timely, consistent reporting & analysis


P: +61 2 9927 6200

Managing an extremely complicated business model with a time-consuming, spreadsheet-based legacy business system, Southern Shorthaul Rail, knew that they were restricting their current profits and future growth. It was obvious the solution was a new ERP solution, but which? SSR went to market to find out…

Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR) is a fast growing rail service provider which operates throughout New South Wales and Victoria.

Established in 2003, it has flourished under the entrepreneurial leadership of the company’s owners. This is despite the many challenges that face a new start-up in a capital-intensive industry.

A key to this success has been the diversification of the business across a number of distinct but complementary revenue streams.

SSR’s operations include short haul rail services, supply of rail crews, leasing of rolling stock and emergency field repairs. Maintenance, repair and overhaul services are provided at the Bendigo Railway Workshop where SSR also manufacture and refurbish rolling stock and components for customers and their own fleet.

To manage all of this meant SSR had to maintain a myriad of spreadsheets and add-ons to their legacy business system. Time consuming, inflexible and lacking integration, SSR could see that this set up would restrict their plans for further growth.

Supported by IT industry experts, Pitcher Partners, SSR set about a thorough review of their business requirements, matching them against the best available solutions in the market. After an exhaustive process it was clear that COGITA and Epicor stood out as clearly superior to all other offerings.

Speaking of the decision, Brent Nally, SSR’s general manager says that the “thoroughness of COGITA’s response, along with the number and relevance of their references was quite impressive.”

“The work they put into the demonstration showed that COGITA was keen to understand and meet our business requirements. The Epicor software could clearly do all that we needed now and its advanced design showed the flexibility to handle our future requirements as well.”

In the scoping workshops that followed the initial selection, SSR and Pitcher Partners were able to confirm with COGITA the fit of the Epicor solution. They also got to see the COGITA implementation team in action, whose skills and experience were evident. Looking forward to the next stages of the project, Brent says that SSR are “really excited at the prospect of working with COGITA to transform our business to better sustain our growth and deal with the challenges and opportunities it is bringing us.”


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