Pakistan Railways replacing outdated manual system through digitization

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Railways (PR) is installing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system as part of its continuous efforts to abandon its outdated manual system and fully automate and digitize its operations, reports WealthPK.
For the implementation of the ERP digital system, the Pakistan Railways has signed an agreement with Telemarks Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
The installation of ERP system will promote innovation, openness, and direct management, according to a spokesperson for the Pakistan Railways.
To give travelers access to contemporary amenities, this system was desperately needed. The ERP system will help reduce resource usage and save time.
The installation of ERP system will assist the Pakistan Railways in deciding more wisely. Likewise, railroads will run more efficiently. Additionally, direct monitoring of income and expenses will be possible and all railway tenders will be conducted in a fair, open, and merit-based manner.
The employees’ service-related tasks will be carried out more effectively. Additionally, digital records for former railway employees are also being computerized.
According to a report of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), it is estimated that 50 percent of ticketing is now electronic, but the department still lacks an ERP system that integrates all the processes from end to end. There is also a delay of 60 days in the flow of financial information within the enterprise.
The government expects to complete the first phase of ERP in approximately three months. In the first phase of the ERP implementation, the railway operations will be completely paperless. A dashboard will be available to the chief executive officers, the secretary, and the minister to monitor all the data generated electronically.
WealthPK research indicates that ERP is a process by which businesses manage and integrate various aspects of their operations. Several ERP software applications provide the companies with the ability to implement resource planning by integrating all the processes necessary to operate their companies into a single system.
Moreover, it is commendable that the state-owned enterprise has made an effort to switch to ERP. The implementation of ERP will enhance transparency and effectiveness, as well as reduce expenditure by promoting an environment-friendly paper-free culture.
This system will revolutionize the entire process of hiring and releasing pensions of employees and increase the level of confidence among all the stakeholders, thereby improving the efficiency of the PR.
A recent study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) states six policy reforms for the regional railways. According to the study, most regional railways do not adhere to the internationally recognized commercial standards when it comes to the accounting systems. In addition, the old systems cannot accurately measure and separate the financial performance of various railway entities.
A modern commercial accounting system that provides a reliable and transparent real-time information about costs, revenues, and financial performance is needed for the region’s railways. It is also crucial to strengthen the staff’s expertise in operating the system and using it to analyze the department’s performance.
To increase productivity and profitability, the Pakistan Railways needed the ERP system to adopt more commercial approaches. As a result, railway planners can maintain an overview of existing resources, such as staff or rolling stock. They can also identify more efficient ways to use them, the study read.
Finally, the ADB study recommended that regional countries examine the non-core activities of their railways and gradually separate or privatize them to allow operators to focus on operating railroads on a commercial basis.