Case | HBS Case Collection | April 1989 (Revised August 1989)

Burlington Northern (A)

by Janice H. Hammond

Abstract

Describes the forces that led to the development of a logistics analysis program by the Burlington Northern Railroad. The first half of the case describes changes in industrial structure, technology, demographics, shipper practices, and government regulation that led to the general decline of the railroad industry following World War II. The remainder contains the Burlington Northern's competitive response to its changing environment, including the company's decision to develop a logistics analysis program to improve their employees' and their customers' understanding of logistics. Also contains an example of logistics cost tradeoffs.

Keywords: Change Management; Rail Transportation; Logistics; Rail Industry; United States;

Citation:

Hammond, Janice H. "Burlington Northern (A)." Harvard Business School Case 689-081, April 1989. (Revised August 1989.)