The tank container industry is a highly competitive low-margin business that is competing with multiple modes of transport. In such an environment costs need to be controlled and processes have to be lean. The industry is in need of solutions that improve processes and identify best practice procedures that result in smoother processes and lower costs. In part one of this blog series we tell you all about the possibilities working mobile can offer your company.
Our depot customers have expressed to us the need for accurate & fast real-time processing & insight of depot operations. The standardization of multiple steps and elements of depot repairs and maintenance would reduce the workload and increase the efficiency of depots substantially. It is therefore a key to smoother processes as well as better cost control.
The DEPOT for Mobile app can fundamentally change how depot workers use applications. Rather than presenting users with a multitude of functions regardless of the relevance to their job, the DEPOT for Mobile app presents key functions that allow the user to complete a task quickly and move on to other tasks.
The shift from DEPOT Software to DEPOT for Mobile presents a key opportunity for the tank container industry. This opportunity is to rethink how workers do their jobs in the office and on the depot yard
Ernesto Martinez (Slay)
Depot repairs and maintenance are significant cost factors in the tank container transport process. Most depots have developed a fragmented approach towards the depot management processes in the past. Tank container depots miss out by having a check-in process that fails to assess the current condition of incoming containers. Because not all damage is assessed by the inspector, depots are held responsible for the damage. These damages have to be repaired, but depots cannot invoice them, due to the fact they are liable.
The check-in process has been a fairly standard procedure for years: a depot worker inspects the tank container, records tank container data, inspects & registers damages and in case of a loaded container inspects the content. All is done manually on a paper interchange with carbon paper, which is given as a certificate to the driver. From this point on the depot yard is responsible for the container. The paper is dropped off at the office and filed in cabinets.
The inspector uses a mobile app tied to a back-end depot system which allows him to check-in and inspect a container and assess its damage more accurately and based on complete, consistent and even historical data. The inspector is notified immediately when the container is pre-announced or when a customer order is in place. The inspection report is automatically printed and filed in the content management system with the yard order and is automatically printed and available on the customer portal. The stacker is automatically notified that the container is ready to be picked up.
DEPOT for Mobile decreases the workload for depot workers and turns them into efficient data collectors. This data is not only used to be more responsive to customers, but also to better understand the market and competition. Not all customers and jobs are equally profitable. Data collected from apps can help depot management to fulfill jobs that add value to the customer and help the organization’s bottom line. A good place to start is by identifying all the paper-based processes that exist in the organization. Each of these can be modernized and digitized through the use of apps on mobile devices. Which process would provide the easiest-to-measure return if digitized? Creating a single app and piloting it with a small group of users that would greatly value the app will yield a more refined and productive user experience.