Cost and Profitability System Design
Did you know that a large majority of the items you own were once on a railcar? The railroad industry plays a huge part in shipping goods across the country and helps keep the United States economy alive.
The consolidated profit measurement system (CPMS) used at Union Pacific (UP) determines the cost and profitability for each train move across the UP railroad network.
The student team of data analysts and developers, supported by current expert UP users, will evaluate the existing CPMS, the total cost calculation model it employs, and the data systems that it relies on. The system is large and complex, current total cost model is built up from 15+ separate subcategories. It is likely that the improved total cost model will have a different organization of subcategories and utilize a slightly different set of data/variables. The ultimate goal is a complete redesign of both the total cost analytic model and the delivery platform.
The 2018 MDP team will deliver an overall plan (wireframe) for the complete system including Data Structure, User Interface, scope of functionality (pre-set reports, templates, printing/graphics), and internal organization of cost model. The work is very large and beyond the scope of a single year, so the team supported by UP senior managers, will prioritize subsystems of the tool and cost model for implementation in 2018.
Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign the following two documents in January 2018:
- Skill level All levels
- Students 6-8 Students
- Likely Majors A&D, BBA, CS, DATA, IOE, MIDAS, SI, STATS
- Course Substitutions Honors, IOE Capstone, IOE Grad, MIDAS, A&D Elec, CS, SI, SI PEP, Data Science
- IP & NDA Required? Yes
- Summer Opportunity See Complete Description for Details
Front End Programming (2-3 Students)
General Programming (EECS 281 level)
- Likely Majors: CSE/CS-LSA, DS, SI
User Interface Design (1 student)
User Interface Design (must have some knowledge of programming)
- Likely Majors: SI-Human Computer Interface
Database Design / Back End (1 student)
Advanced database skills (equivalent to EECS 484)
- Likely Majors: CSE/CS-LSA, DS, MIDAS
Cost Model Development (2-3 students)
Quantitative model development, Business process analysis – (must have some knowledge of programming)
- Likely Majors: IOE, DS, MIDAS, STATS, BBA (with CS minor), CS (with BBA minor)
Sponsor Mentor: Andrew Henrichsen
Director, Corporate Systems at Union Pacific Corporation
Andrew Henrichsen joined Union Pacific in 2003 in UP’s Equipment Accounting Group. In the last ten plus years with the railroad, Andy has accumulated multiple IT responsibilities including production support for more than 70 systems. The systems are largely financial in nature and impact business activities from the collection of all freight revenue totaling more than $20 billion to costing systems to operational data for reporting and net work planning activities. With responsibilities for so many systems that produce revenue, cost, and operational statistics Andy’s teams are active in Union Pacific’s Big Data efforts. Prior to joining Union Pacific Andy was a developer for Fiserv writing banking software for the largest distributor of commercial banking software in the United States. Andy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Iowa State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Faculty Mentor: Bill Arthur
I am a Lecturer III in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. Most recently I have been teaching EECS 183: Elementary Programming Concepts. Previously, I have worked in various roles in automotive manufacturing at Ford Motor Company and U.S. Manufacturing Corporation.