NS Stations was looking for a solution for rapidly exchanging large amounts of data on items and stores of establishments, such as Kiosk, StationsHuiskamer and Julia’s. Ctac supported the organisation of this challenge by calling in Winshuttle. Logistics Officer, Erik Wingers, at NS Stations explains how his organisation used this solution to simplify a time-consuming and error-prone process significantly.




NS Stations is part of Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS – Dutch Railways) and is responsible for the management of all train stations. It ensures that stations are comfortable and welcoming places. NS Stations is responsible for the construction, renovation, operation and management of stations, area development and a wide range of services. NS Stations Retail operates seven food and non-food chains, including Kiosk, AH to go and Julia’s. Erik: “These chains can be found everywhere in the Netherlands. We want all shops from the same chain to have an identical look and feel.”

"These formulas can be found all over the Netherlands. We want all shops of the same formula to have an identical look and feel."

Erik Wingers, medewerker Logistiek bij NS Stations

The request: rapid exchange of large amounts of data

NS Stations started a project to implement SAP in 2016. During that process it also decided to switch to a new cash register system. “To do this, we had to transfer all item and shop data from the old cash register system to the new system. This involved a large amount of data, in particular item information such as EAN codes, item descriptions and product prices. It would take a lot of time to transfer all these data manually. And the risk of errors was high. Ctac supported us with the SAP implementation and advised us to use Winshuttle Transaction. Consequently, we can now upload large amounts of data to SAP in no time at all.”

The solution: Precisely

Services, the section of NS Stations that handles the national bike sharing scheme OV-fiets, also opted for Winshuttle. “Services manages more than 12,000 items for the maintenance of bicycles and sale of bicycle parts. This includes the changing of a tyre and replacing saddles, chains, gears and other parts. To do this, we need a lot of different materials. The suppliers of these parts regularly adjust their prices, remove old materials from production and introduce new products. Suppliers communicate these changes with spreadsheets, which do not unfortunately immediately show us what has changed. In the past we had to manually compare all the product information from our suppliers with our item data in SAP manually.”

“We wanted to take a different approach when we set up the new cash register system. That is why we decided to use the Winshuttle query features. They make it easy to create item overviews in SAP and link them to our suppliers’ spreadsheets. This shows us instantly which items of the suppliers have been changed. We update the data where necessary and then put the correct data back in SAP.”

"It varies from time to time how much time we spend, but on average we save as much as 70 to 80 per cent of time" Erik Wingers, Logistics employee at NS

The impact: from days to minutes

NS Stations saves a lot of time with Winshuttle. “We extract data from SAP in just a few minutes and upload new data to the system just as quickly. Winshuttle is easy to use. In principle, we need to check only whether all the fields are correct. And, if a supplier communicates a major price change, we can quickly make those changes. Of course, the time we spend on this varies a lot, but on average we now spend 70 to 80% less time on this type of work.”

“The error rates for the item data changes have also fallen drastically. If suppliers provide us with information correctly, the input is also error-free. As a result, our item information accuracy has also improved considerably. This ultimately leads to less reactive work.”

Free focus on quality

NS stations is now used to the new way of working. “Winshuttle gives our people the freedom to focus more on the quality of our chains. This ensures better consistency and a better understanding of each shop’s product range. By combining Winshuttle and SAP, we do not have to worry about the accuracy of the item data.”

“Ctac played a prominent role in this. It gave us excellent advice and support when it came to implementing Winshuttle. We were able to adopt Winshuttle quickly and without too much difficulty. Ctac was of great help to us. Although it was an intensive project, it offered us excellent guidance and training on how to use Winshuttle. This is the service our organisation wanted.” We are very pleased with the solution, which allows us to work even more quickly and more efficiently with fewer errors.

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