Capacity Manager Unifeeder 2023
Capacity Management’s responsibility is to ensure that the vessels are best possible utilized with lowest cost possible. The team uses SLX | STOW for this purpose. Notice that the capacity management team, in a Unifeeder context, is not part of operation but is part of the commercial organization.
Q: Where do you use the simulator?
A: I use it on a daily basis to be ahead of things and to ensure that I spend my time on the most valuable issues.
The simulator enables me to do that in terms of a precise enough calculation of how much I can load on a vessel and how much I can add on of extra cargo in different scenarios, like adding another port/terminal. Here the simulator provides me with insight of that, so that I can evaluate if it is worth adding an extra port call from a commercial as well as a cost perspective. That insight I would like to get as early as possible and as fast as possible so that I can communicate this to my colleagues in the front line, which will enable them to spend their time more optimal, like hunting for extra cargo and other customer service tasks, without taking too much time from my stowage colleagues (they were often needed before I got the simulator to make these calculations).
Thus to recap, the simulator enables me to be ahead of things and by that ensure that I can timely communicate any issues to the customer and avoid last-minute hiccups, so that we can have a good and positive dialogue with the customer as early as possible.
To summarize, I use the simulator:
- To make the most optimal plan
- To see what I can add on
- To make the best commercial decision as early as possible
We have a saying in Capacity Management and that is that the worst thing is a “lost opportunity” and that I can raise, and I can act on it quickly by using the simulator.
Q: What did you do before the simulator?
A: The old way of working was that we were relying too much on experience, but that was and is a problem when a new vessel was coming into your service, or if the cargo flows were changing. To compensate for this, I had to ask the stowage team for a lot of pre-stowages. In my daily work, I spend a lot of time on each vessel and that is now reduced by using the simulator so that I only spend time on the vessels that require special attention.
Q: What is the value, seen from your point of view, that Unifeeder gets from you using the simulator?
A: The value is not 1-to-1 in terms of that I could not fill the vessel in the old way of working, but the value is that I can do things quicker, which allows me to spend more time on customer service and deliver better quality to the product that I have.
Thus, to recap, the value to me is time, as in the old way of working I had to wait for stowage to pre-stowage a vessel and the fact that stowage has peak times (very busy times), then their answer could take longer, especially on Fridays.
Q: Is it fair to say, that the value comes from speed in decisions and time savings in all the functions that were normally involved before?
A: Yes, as if I can reduce the decision process by 2 to 3 hours and reduce the number functions involved in this, then I can produce decisions with higher quality earlier, which leads to a quality product.
Q: Have using/getting the simulator impacted your motivation and engagement?
A: Basically, I can say that I am sitting in a position where I have KPI’s that measure if the vessels are full, are the vessels sailing in the most optimal route, and can we have a lean product overall. The simulator is a direct link to how we work. We drive for success and to get the last TEU on board and that is what drives me on a daily basis so that when I can see that I can save some money by optimizing, I can add some cargo (I was not aware of that feature until recently) then that is a success that drives me and motivates me.
Q: Anything else?
A: I have a very high interest in stowage planning and the simulator gives me a quick insight into this area, even though it is outside of my area and that gives me extra motivation.
I would also like to mention that working with Sealytix gives me the feeling that someone takes you in the hand and that we together are going in the right direction. Sometimes working with consultants, you are unsure if they are there only to make money and to make a good product (which Sealytix is also), but it gives good engagement that Sealytix is looking so much into the details and providing value to me beyond what was expected. That has for me/we been an upside.