BI tool prevents Ports and Terminals from Inventory blockage

Senior management understands that inventory is regarded as a ‘black hole’, absorbing cash and resources. With appropriate business intelligence, ‘black holes’ can be effectively addressed, and the company will realize a direct effect on bottom line profit.

Some of the challenges faced:

  •  To improve visibility of data that can help to identify inventory positions and potential stock out issues.
  •  To reduce the non-value added labor dedicated to the management of physical inventory.

A flexible, powerful Business Intelligence system is worth, where you need to understand current inventory levels, plan for a seasonal buying frenzy, find out the status of inventory for internal consumption and predict required inventory.

 BI reports are very important for Inventory Management, manager:

  • Ports and terminals can increase the opportunity cost, inventory accuracy and reduce the non-value-added costs by seeking out an integrated inventory solution that joins business intelligence tool.

The Inventory Manager, can share different BI reports and his analysis with management, other managers, end-users and establish metrics, goals so that every user sees and uses the information and be aware of critical issues like stock shortages.

Inventory Aging Report:

Inventory aging helps to drive down stock level, fast moving items, slow moving items and helps to monitor value of money/capital blocked in inventory.

The fact majority of businesses have their capital tied to their inventory. What this means is that the business will delve into an inventory aging analysis too often, there will be a lot of money that cannot be used. Where there is too little inventory, it might cause delay in container maintenance work, repair of equipment, and might cause delay to attend breakdown maintenance calls, which eventually affects heavy loss due to machine/Crain shut down. If the company is caught in-between an inventory balancing act, the company will only take guesses on the types of inventory it requires.

 We have to keep in mind that:-

  •  If we have too much inventory of a particular part, it would block working capital. Increased expenses associated with interest on loans, taxes, insurance and storage costs. Cash will be tied up and thus profits will be stilled.
  •  If we have too little inventory stock of item which is regularly used, it would end up with the increased occurrences of insufficient stock of inventory for repair and maintenance work.

It’s recommended that one should consider an inventory aging analysis at regular intervals. BI Inventory aging report helps to identify parts which are in stock for relatively longer period of time.

BI for Enterprise Asset Management

Ports and terminals around the world face the challenge of reducing equipment and labor costs, managing growth without large capital investments in land and berth space and developing new technology.

Various managers need to make profitable decisions like accurately quantifying and locating assets for financial planning and procurement of replacement orders, maintenance contracts etc.

Business Intelligence (BI) addresses all the challenges, through comprehensive indicator analysis on equipment management & maintenance. Each department’s equipment inventory status and operability information is available, which is helpful for equipment allocation planning and improving work efficiency.

BI is a state of the art Business Intelligence tool that provides a powerful tool to analyze the port and terminal performance. Port and Terminal Productivity deals with the efficient use of labor, equipment, and land. BI provides powerful means to measure the efficiency of the use of these three resources.

These measures can be divided into production, productivity, utilization and service measures. BI utilizes integrated data from Terminal Operating System (like NAVIS) and ERP and uses graphically rich data visualization tools like dashboards and cubes features to clearly and accurately illustrate the business results and facilitates root cause and impact analysis

Benefits achieved :

• Increasing the reliability and availability of assets and the services the assets collectively support thus heeling to reduce lost revenue due to asset failure.
• Improving performance of assets to impact the top and bottom lines for example: timely vehicle maintenance to reduce costly fuel consumption.
• Capturing actual cost for labor, materials, tools and services which helps to improve bottom line.
• Standardizing & enforcing business processes thus supporting regulatory requirements to document and test business processes while improving efficiency and consistency of work force activities.

The end result for asset managers is the begin point for CFO’s and Department Heads. Taking the assets we know about and planning for the future life cycle of these assets is critical in running a successful, safe and profitable organization.

How BI helps in reducing unplanned downtime and manage asset safely?

Port Asset Management is becoming increasingly important, whether as a simple means of recording assets and maintenance works or as part of a larger scheme to fully optimise the management of all Port assets and resources.

Enterprise Asset Management solution contains information regarding work order cost ,work order execution details , work order downtime.“Maintenance” is the core feature, helps to minimize downtime reliably and integrate asset-related data, business processes, and analytics.

Asset Maintenance solution captures details about work order cost, work order execution details, work order downtime.Downtime can be a planned event or an unplanned event.

A strategic alignment between “Higher Productivity ” which is (operation KPI) and “Total Preventive Maintenance” which is (Maintenance Organization KPI) is brought in by:-

• Reducing Unplanned Downtime.
• Optimizing planned downtime

A good Business Intelligence tool , should provide :

1. Analytical capability to perform frequent failure mode analysis.

2. Comparative cost between periods for cost of break-down when planned downtime is performed on “TIME” V/S Cost of Break Down when planned downtime is delayed per day.

3. Comparative reason for analyzing what factors caused the delay in performing planned Maintenance.
• Weather or such external factors.
• Operational Pressures.
• Maintenance Inefficiencies.

Graphical decision tree:
Through Graphical analysis, the reasons for increase or decrease of unplanned maintenance cost can be analyzed by drilling down to core reasons, especially delay in performing maintenance delays. By carrying out preventive maintenance inspection and servicing on time, or within organization permissible limits, we can mitigate the risk of equipment failures and bring cost under control.

As can be seen in the below example of analysis, cost of repair tends to increase when the previous servicing schedules have been postponed ,and tends to be lower when servicing schedules delays are within certain limited delays. 81% of the QC repair Costs are when servicing schedules are delayed for more than 12 days, and this in consideration of the fact that QCs (in below example) contributes to 77.75% of repair costs overall.

The analysis and the number generated by above 3, should definitely be a guiding factor for ports and terminal to:-

• Get Operations and Maintenance to agree upon planned downtime schedules.
• Execute Planned preventive maintenance ,under agreed schedule and variances.
• Improve upon Operational Productivity and Production Efficiency due to reduced breakdown.

In practice, while TPM cannot be 100% implemented , the effort to perform any planned service (Preventive Maintenance) “ON TIME” reduce the cost of break down (unplanned downtime) by a significant margin For ports, unplanned maintenance equals unscheduled downtime and a significant hit to the bottom line, not only in terms of reduced throughput and revenue, but also in terms of managing relationships with shipping lines.

OneView for Finance Excellence

‘OneView ‘ The Business Performance Management tool is now available with Finance Excellence module – to measure and visualize the day to day performance for management. It supports proactive measures which can be very useful in taking prompt action to mitigate probable incoming risks. This tool enables management to perform analysis at both strategic and operational levels.

How organizations could measure and improve their financial performance?

OneView will give you real time visualization of organizations financial performance in terms of absolute and relative performances. Also it shows trend analysis which helps in visualizing growth direction in which organization is moving. This tool helps to make your strategic and operative decisions faster by giving a real-time visualization of financial performance on a single screen.

Gives all information on a single click

• Receivable Analysis on basis of Ageing and Credit Period.
• Cost Revenue analysis based on parameters like Sales Group, Product Group, Commodity etc
• Cash Flow Projections
• Actual Vs Budgeted Analysis on various parameters

And many more to measure your finance performance

Allows you to quickly create dashboards/ reports that analyse real-time business performance by business drivers without managing a chart of accounts with hundreds of segments.

“OneView” can provide the visibility and insight required to improve your performance. Thus, enabling the finance department to measure performance against desired target.

Oneview for Safety Excellence

For most terminals, safety is prime and major focus goes in ensuring safety of people and resources associated with ports and terminals. Not having an adequate safety increases the risk of incidents and can even jeopardize the business functioning itself.

Our Safety Excellence is tool to measure all the safety events, incidents and keep the organization through OneView and assist in creating controls that makes prevention possible.

How terminals could measure and improve safety performance?

OneView will give you the tool to make your decisions faster by giving a real-time visualization of safety performance on a single screen.

Gives all information on a single click

• Accidents measured with severity
• Different category types (Injury, Security, Spill, Equipment etc.)
• Various causes for accidents
• Site wise severity analysis

And many more to strengthen your safety process

Oneview can provide the visibility and insight needed to improve safety performance. Thus, enabling the safety officer to analyze accidents and make recommendations.

The resulting safety enhancements would reduce injuries and damage costs over the life of the equipment and improve reputation of the terminals.

Why Business Intelligence is relevant in the Ports and Terminals business

Container Terminals generate a lot of container movements related data through the Terminal Operating Systems (TOS) and this data is captured the TOS database. Each move of container is a cost for terminal however the TOS does not have information related to cost.

Now, there are ERP systems like SAP, IFS, Microsoft Dynamics and many others which are used in Terminals to manage the functions of Finance, Procurement, Inventory, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Human Resources etc. These systems capture all information related to cost, assets, resources etc. but these systems do not have information related to container movements.

Then there are Workforce Management Systems used in most terminals that keeps track of workforce time and attendance, shift planning etc. but these systems do not have movements and cost related information.

With all the wealth of information in the form of Data available in various systems within the reach of terminals, it is still a very difficult process for terminals to get the relevant information by bring all these data together from these various systems for basic analysis, Dashboards and reporting.

Few simple questions on very high level that comes to mind are:

What is my cost per move ?

What is my workforce utilization per vessel or per box

How do I optimize my asset utilization ?

We think a simple and easy to use Business Intelligence solution is the answer to this need of every terminal. There are many business intelligence tools available in the market that can meet this requirement.

Beware that such project can take a very long period to see light if you do not define your business requirements first. We personally believe that 60 to 90 days would be ideal time for a Terminal to build a Business Intelligence solution.

What value does Commercial Business Intelligence brings in Ports and Terminals

With intense pressure on Margins and increasing competition, Commercial team needs to keep close watch on their numbers. Numbers need to be accurate and in real time. Numbers need to be available 24×7 and should be accessible from anywhere and on any device.  Numbers like Target Verses Actual, Year To Date Performance, Business Mix of Imports, Exports, Domestics and Transshipments are very close to heart to any Commercial Manager.


Commercial organizations in Ports and Terminals have moved beyond the spreadsheets and now rely more on analytic tools to get visibility on facts from historical and real-time processing of online data. Business Intelligence in commercial organization is important as it gives visibility on which direction the business is moving and when and what decisions to be taken.


Business Intelligence for commercials gives insights from multiple source of data in a single screen. While Commercial Dashboards provides a good visual representation of facts and help you stay connected with the numbers on a day to day basis, there are other tools like cubes and reports that helps you analyze data to the last level and assist you to drive change and improvement.


KPI can be driven on facts in real-time basis by linking Commercial BI with KPI Management, adding more consistency and accuracy in performance management.