Call for change

With nine out of 10 of the busiest ports in Asia, port operators in the region face an increasingly competitive landscape. While demand has increased rapidly, margins are thinning. And shipping customers have complex itineraries, tight deadlines and high expectations. These challenges mean that operators need to offer collaborative, value-added services and responsive, agile operations to win market share and increase profitability.

As the largest port operator in Indonesia, the Indonesia Port Corporation (IPC) wanted to meet these challenges head-on to vie for more regional business. The state-owned enterprise has a vision to become a world-class port operator that excels in operations and services. To achieve these goals, IPC strives to create a modern, digitally enabled port that meet customer and partner expectations, improves the employee work environment, and supports the nation’s economic growth.

How could IPC reach its destination to become a world-class port operator? A big step in the right direction: Enhancing the customer experience with real-time container ordering and tracking throughout the trading process.

To foster greater trust among stakeholders in its trading ecosystem, IPC wanted to combine critical information from its many operational systems with real-time data from Internet of Things-connected port equipment.

Not only would this approach enhance customer service, it would also improve corporate governance by making service costs more transparent. Building a digital port to gain greater visibility into operations would be key in helping IPC realize its vision.

When tech meets human ingenuity

IPC collaborated with Accenture to define a digital port strategy, develop a roadmap for priority areas and implement a proof of concept based on Industry X capabilities for one of the most critical areas—port operations. We used design thinking to understand customer personas and create a better user experience.

The proof of concept helped IPC take an end-to-end view of operations that put critical, real-time operational data at employees’ fingertips. We co-created a digital port solution using the Google Cloud Platform. It combines data from multiple systems to improve planning and operational efficiency.

The solution consists of two components. The first is a mobile app to interact with and offer e-services to customers. For instance, cargo owners can book their container slots based on shipping line availability as well as submit additional orders for port services. They can also check order status and billing and pay through the app. The second component uses the Accenture Connected Ports solution and syncs with Internet of Things sensors on tugboats and cranes. The solution creates an integrated operational dashboard, displayed through the mobile app, that allows IPC employees to track the availability and real-time performance of key equipment. It also gives employees better visibility for planning and equipment maintenance.

A valuable difference

Thanks to the proof of concept, IPC now understands how digitized operations could help it become a world-class port. It also positions the company to develop new services and take them to market more quickly, resulting in new revenue streams.

The new efficiencies and consolidated view of port processes facilitate smoother collaboration with customers and ecosystem stakeholders and allow employees to be more responsive to customer needs. With the dashboard, IPC executives can orchestrate operations to improve the customer experience and service reliability for all port stakeholders. IPC employees also have information at their fingertips to change course when needed and improve planning.

Using the mobile app, customers can easily submit online requests, which IPC views in real time to plan operations and services accordingly. For instance, IPC and the customer can coordinate the dispatch of trucks to the terminal to take containers out of port. For customers, the simplified, user-friendly approach helps track their cargo and interact smoothly with IPC.

Once scaled, the cloud-based solution could help the company lower IT costs by paying only for what they use. It also offers the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs. With insights into real-time performance, it can also help improve worker efficiency and productivity. For instance, the company could monitor assets like cranes and tugs for predictive maintenance and prevent them from breaking down and interrupting services.

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