Port Technology: Power up Your TOS

Press Review

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DRIVE EFFICIENCY THROUGH IMPROVED DECISION-MAKING    

Decision-making in terminal operations is complex and intricate. Each decision has multiple flow-on decisions that, in turn, complicate future decisions. As a result, terminals have steadily increased the use of software - specifically, Terminal Operating Systems (TOS) - to gather critical data together and present the clearest picture to operators needing to make complex decisions. As a first step this is good, but with all first steps there are limitations on what can be achieved. In an increasingly competitive market, operators are now faced with the need to not only make decisions but rather, make decisions that represent the best value to the terminal. This is where add-on Agile Optimization Modules for existing TOS add significant value.

DECISION-MAKING IN TERMINAL OPERATIONS

There are two factors that impact decision-making in terminal operations: complexity and unpredictability. Complexity is straight forward; how complicated is the terminal environment (e.g., a highly standardized terminal with few moving parts or one with many interdependencies and variants). As a rule of thumb, the bigger the terminal, the more complexity it has. Unpredictability involves the relationship between internal terminal processes and external factors (e.g., stability of terminal procedures, ample planning time, and minimal disruptions vs. unpredictable events, ad-hoc orders, time pressures, and volatility). Even the best-planned terminals have a high degree of unpredictability as daily operations exist in the real world where all factors can't be accounted for.  

Figure 1 - There are two factors that impact decisionmaking in terminal operations: complexity and unpredictability. As complexity rises, more advanced decision support is required such as a TOS with predefined business rules. When unpredictability increases, the operational plan must continuously change to accommodate unexpected disruptions and ad-hoc changes. It is in these environments that terminals require a TOS with add-on Agile Optimization Modules to make the best-informed decisions.

In terminals with low complexity and low unpredictability, a TOS is sufficient to support the decision-making process. As complexity rises, more advanced decision support is required such as a TOS with predefined business rules. When unpredictability increases, the operational plan must continuously change to accommodate unexpected disruptions and ad-hoc changes. It is in these environments that terminals require a TOS with add-on Agile Optimization Modules to make the best-informed decisions.

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