Navis World 2012 had the tagline "Connect, Collaborate, Innovate", which is a compelling focus for our ports and terminals customers.
Certainly there was a buzz around the technology platforms required to deliver such outcomes because they reduce cost and risk, and increase safety, which are key metrics across the board.
From our perspective managing Engineering, Purchasing and Inventory, where you choose to "Connect" is a critical decision because some business application integrations provide more bang for buck than others.
For example, in countries with high cost/regulated labour we are seeing that connecting Mainpac 2011 with the Labour Management System – a Rostima for example – allows you to capture maintenance costs very accurately, which is important for asset accounting. In these environments you need to apply shift/penalty/overtime/etc. rates that are underpinned by enterprise agreements so are not just simple hourly rate calculations. And there are complications with regards OH&S when it comes to shift durations and mandatory gaps between shifts that complicate staff rosters.
Other terminals do not have these labour environments so they usually focus on PLC integration, and especially breakdown alerts. Depending on the infrastructure, the alert data may come into Mainpac 2011 directly from the SCADA system, or it may come via the TOS (which is connected to the SCADA system), but either way this is a "quick win" integration because it leads directly to improved uptime which is a lever for increased throughput.
Then there are the simple integrations, such as barcode scanning for stock and fuel issue, or stocktake, or work order 'start/stop' times. A barcode scanner is a great piece of low-tech kit that can drive great productivity improvements, not to mention more accurate data gathering.
And all terminals should fully integrate their EAMS and Finance System. But I've visited terminals that still have not done this, leading to inefficient, error-prone and time consuming (cost, cost and more cost) re-keying of invoices and GL transactions raised by the EAMS into the Finance System.
Here is a Navis World 2012 presentation (with a couple of slides added at the end around Asset Criticality) which explores how a well-planned asset management strategy drives the "Connect, Collaborate, Innovate" outcome with some common issues and lessons learned in achieving the objective.