For many companies, keeping pace with rapid technological changes can be a demanding endeavor. It can often be expensive and challenging to change, with many finding it simpler to stick with their legacy systems and ways of working. However, as technology continues to become more intertwined with the business world, companies need to embrace these advancements or be left in the dust.
By seizing upon the opportunities at hand and investing in the latest technology available, TIPS has quickly cemented their status as one of the leading terminal operators at Laem Chabang Port. The advanced IT systems they’ve put in place empower the terminal to turn around ships quicker, eliminates many unnecessary container moves, and enables an overall faster service.
For a more thorough look at the latest port technologies that TIPS has put in place and for tips on how to deploy such technologies, we spoke with Ms. Porama Najumroen, General Manager Administration of TIPS. Her insights help shed light on what makes TIPS Terminal so efficient and reliable.
Benefiting from Technology
Technology has quickly spread and become an integral part of container management, where both precision and speed are paramount for success. Realizing its importance, TIPS have implemented technology throughout their operations; starting from coordinating and knowing about container positions onboard the vessel, to unloading and loading, and finally delivering containers to their final destination.
“At TIPS, we utilize Navis’ SPARCS N4 software, which is an advanced terminal operations system that is integrated into every step of our business. The process for employing this software normally begins by first inputting all the information we receive from customers regarding the container, its contents, and destination. This data is then analysed and the system automatically determines the best course of action for each container throughout its journey, so our planning and processes can flow freely and flawlessly. The system also enables us to see in real-time the status of all yard hustlers on-site for maximum safety and efficiency,” Ms. Najumroen said.
TIPS head office is taking advantage of more than just one advanced IT system, and has also implemented SAP’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software into their business. The results have shown that by investing in these types of systems employees have more information available, enabling them to work much more efficiently, which in turn improves the quality of the end product.
“By utilizing SAP’s renown ERP software, we’ve been able to integrate many of our business processes into one holistic system, which enables more cross savings and is streamlining our workflow to now include a paperless documentation system. We have also created a mobile application for smart phones that allows our team to receive the company’s latest news and plans in the fastest manner possible,” says Ms. Najumroen.
She also believes strongly that it’s important to keep updated with the latest technology. “In the past, we could only communicate and receive orders via phone and fax, and keep track of things on paper tally sheets and logs, but now communication is near instant speed. We’re better able to connect with our customers through various channels, including e-mail, our website, social media, and the ‘TIPS Customer Service’ application, that was made especially for our customers to be able to track their own containers status; such as loading, unloading and even payment information.”
Improving Human Potential
TIPS understands that technology is key to successful management, but is wisely aware of how integral employee development programs are. Ms. Najumroen explained to us her positive outlook on employee development, “besides hiring the best people possible, we also have various development programs for employees such as safety training, skill training, and especially training on how to use the technology we have to its fullest potential.”
“At the core of our company’s values is the attitude that we treat everyone like family and encourage them to enhance their skills. We also analyse where our staff needs training, and attempt to refine these areas. Not only do we try to improve ourselves, this work is done to progress our employee’s careers, with promotions justifiably being based upon the employee’s performance and merit,” Ms. Najumroen said.
As technology continues to advance at breakneck speed, we must all keep up or be left behind. But for those who want to be true pioneers for our industry, a bold attitude is needed. The question should not be whether we need technology or not, but rather how we can best implement it.
With an open mind towards change, TIPS has proven that their organization has a clear vision to elevate their operation by adapting and implementing high-tech IT systems, enabling them to quickly become one of the most technology advanced terminal operators at Laem Chabang Port. However influential these systems may be, TIPS still never forgets that it’s the employees that truly drive the business forward and is investing within to continue on the path laid towards strong future growth.