ABOUT PORT NELSON:
Port Nelson attracts a number of international shipping lines with its broad range of tradable products, from fish and fruit to forestry products and fuels. In 2006, the port reported a record profit and handled 2,520,000 tons of cargo, with volumes expected to grow to three million tons within the next 10 years. With this amount of inbound and outbound traffic, a robust and reliable business management solution was essential to provide the insight to run a successful operation.
INTEGRATED SOLUTION REPLACES 200 SPREADSHEETS
Parke Pittar, Chief Commercial Officer at Port Nelson, recognized that an integrated IT solution would offer the necessary view of the business to improve efficiency and increase profitability.
“We were faced with a fast-growing assets base and limited cargo growth, but at the same time there was a requirement for an acceptable return on shareholders’ funds,” explains Pittar. “To facilitate optimal decision-making and ensure the best use of resources, we needed an in-depth understanding of our business drivers and processes. The multiple, old legacy systems that we were using had over 200 spreadsheets to make up for the lack of system functionality, integration and analysis capability. Something needed to change.”
“We were faced with the realization that a port can be operationally excellent but still lose money,” adds Pittar. “Our goal was to achieve both operational and financial excellence by reducing the number of systems, reducing operating overheads, and providing meaningful reporting information.”
As a result, Port Nelson undertook a major revamp of its technology infrastructure in 2005.
The port made a decision to use its existing terminal operating system (TOS), Master Terminal™, and build new functionality around it. The aging legacy finance and payroll systems were replaced with a Navision Finance solution and a PayGlobal HR and payroll system.
The Harbor Management module was added to Master Terminal to manage marine vessel scheduling.
“When it came to choosing a marine management package, the choice was obvious,” said Pittar. “Having already used Master Terminal successfully, we simply extended it to include the Harbor Management module to manage the movements of all ships going in and out of the harbor. It made sense to build onto the system rather than going with another standalone product.
“At Port Nelson, all IT investments need to meet the 3Fs criteria: functionality, flexibility and future proof,” said Pittar. “Jade Logistics met these with its solution which provided all the functionality we needed in a format that was flexible enough to be customized for our needs. We’d already used the system for several years so we were confident that it would still be available for many years to come and that the product would continue to evolve.”
The three systems are tightly integrated. Jobs are entered only once into the Master Terminal system ensuring that data integrity is maintained. There is 100% data integrity because it all comes from the same source.