Large companies in traditional technology industries, such as the railroad industry, tend to be slow adopters of new technology because of the capital intensity of their infrastructure. Even incremental technology changes can require significant investments or may generate unpredictable impact on overall profitability. Companies in these types of industries tend to be very, very cautious.
Smaller, niche operators might be more agile and willing to test innovations, but they may not have the scale or resources to be profitable and sustainable customers.
In the information services OBMC for MRail, the true advantage of the technology derives from the development of large scale, longitudinal data on track quality for heavy-haul, high-use rail. Many coal-hauling routes in the US must absorb traffic exceeding 50 million metric tons per year. For the major national operators, a derailment due to track failure carries enormous costs. A centralized database that measures and analyzes system-wide track quality to facilitate monitoring, maintenance, and repair has significantly more value than isolated datasets of local or regional track quality. The customer segments for the more sophisticated OBMC are the national integrated rail and services companies.