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Student-created app improves inventory tracking for NBM Railways

An NBM Railways co-op student has developed an in-house mobile application that streamlines the inventory tracking of materials used in rail maintenance and construction. 

Maurick Parsons is a fourth-year civil engineering student at Memorial University on a four-month co-op placement with NBM Railways. He recently created a new digitized system to sign out and transfer materials, replacing the need for paper forms and fax machine submissions.

The new app will reduce errors and makes the inventory management process more efficient, creating more visibility to inventory movements. Accessible on mobile devices, it catalogues and stores data on the movement of materials like rail, ties and switches between locations.

“Having an app also makes it much easier to fill out and submit on-site,” Parsons said, noting its use extends beyond rail materials as well. 

This was Parsons’s first time developing an app – an opportunity he jumped on to learn a new skill. 

Parsons said he appreciated the chance to leave a lasting impact during his co-op term.

“It is very rewarding to be able to design something that will be used daily to benefit the team members, as well as the company,” he added. “These skills of learning, problem solving and communicating that I developed from this project will help me throughout the remainder of school and my future career.”

Parsons has also created training materials so that others can learn how to build apps once his co-op term is complete. He was one of 99 students hired across J.D. Irving, Limited in the past co-op term.

“Maurick’s project is an example of the important contributions students make to our team,” said Josh Snyder, Director of Engineering for NBM Railways, noting Parsons took the initiative to learn a new software system as part of the development process. “This new app opens the door for more improvements as we continue pushing our digitization strategy forward.”