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IBM’s Maximo Asset Management software keeps port’s assets ship-shape
Business Insight 270004899S firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  asset_management port_taranaki business_intelligence
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Port Taranaki, New Zealand's second-biggest export port, needed to upgrade its asset management processes. It relied on a 20-year-old PC-based system for floating assets and paper records for shore-based equipment, in order to get a total view of the company's assets and inventory. It is the the key export gateway on the North Island's west coast and has been in operation for 136 years. The company's 121 staff and fleet of three tugs handle several hundred ships a year and load and unload more than 3 million tonnes of cargo.
Lives and property depend on timely plant maintenance. When lives and millions of dollars of cargo are at stake, there's a good incentive to ensure gear doesn't fail at a critical moment. For Port Taranaki, that means having a strict regime of preventative maintenance of its tug fleet, cargo-handling equipment and other shore facilities.
Until recently, the port had two systems, a 20-year-old PC-based maintenance management program that was used to keep the port's tugs and other floating plant in working order, and a paper-based process that managed shore-based assets. Links from the two with the company's financial and inventory management systems were almost non-existent.
'There was an awareness we needed to move in that direction', says Grant Squire, a marine engineer who, along with the company's IT manager, had the job of updating the port's asset management processes. 'We could see from the marine side, because we'd had previous experience with computerised maintenance management, that there was a need to integrate inventory and possibly purchasing into the system, which would make preventative maintenance much easier.'
'We were starting from a very basic point. The integration with our financial system and inventory management was green-fields stuff; we had to start from the beginning and develop a lot of it.'
The project; to implement Maximo Asset Management; was undertaken by Auckland-based IBM business partner and Maximo specialist Certus Solutions. Squire says Certus was key in showing the port's staff the ropes, some of whom were using computers for the first time in their work.
'In terms of education and support, Certus was wonderful', he says.
The port company has deployed IBM's Maximo Asset Management system to take care of purchasing and inventory management of everything from ballpoint pens to forklift wheels and to manage maintenance of equipment for all civil, mechanical and marine operations. It had separate management groups for floating and shore-based assets. Now it is all managed through Maximo, which is used by about three-quarters of port staff.
Squire, the port's Maximo implementation project leader, says the software extends right across the company, taking care of purchasing and inventory management of everything from ballpoint pens to forklift wheels. Maintenance-wise, it manages all the company's civil, mechanical and marine operations.
'Wharves, buildings, forklifts, container cranes, tugs, vehicles; everything is managed through the system', says Squire.
Natalie Souness, who joined the port company as asset management co-ordinator and led a project to upgrade to Maximo version 7, says the system even handles project management. The port's health and safety officer, for instance, is using the system's work order functionality to manage a health and safety permit review project.
Having returned to his role of managing the port's marine maintenance, Squire is finding he has a much better picture of work that's in progress and coming up.
'One of the biggest things is that preventative maintenance is working smoothly because we now have good inventory and purchasing integration, which makes life a lot easier. The guys on vessels can manage work knowing they have the necessary parts; it's all dealt with for them.'
Previously, a report of the coming month's marine maintenance jobs would be printed and pored over by engineers, who would manually requisition the necessary parts. Maximo, in contrast, with an electronic record of how many hours vessels have done, will automatically schedule an oil change, say, making sure replacement oil and filters are in stock.
'We now have a system that is deployed across the business and handles much of the critical aspects of the company.'
Grant Squire, Maximo project implementation leader, Port Taranaki
To read the full case study, click here.