Two global leaders in maritime procurement and project management joined forces to offer port and terminal operators a turnkey solution that cuts procurement costs and overhead while increasing staff productivity.
A single capex budget
Lifecycle contract management specialist and iSpec creator Remy InfoSource teamed with Trent Port Services, an international port services company, to offer ports a solution that enables the easy establishment and oversight of a single capital expenditure budget for equipment procurement, third party factory inspections and project management requirements.
‘By outsourcing complex equipment projects to our new partnership, large and small port companies can reduce the in-house time, costs and resources usually allocated to manage a complex expansion project from idea to completion,’ said Pieter Boshoff, CEO of Remy InfoSource.
When a port procures a crane, for example, it usually allocates a percentage of that capex to third party inspections, design review meetings and periodic project manager visits to the crane factory. In addition, overhead costs often not included in capex numbers usually include maintenance and refurbishment of systems used for project management, corporate headcounts for managing strategic projects and office overheads to support a larger corporate team.
Tackling hidden costs
‘All of this adds significant extra costs — often hidden — onto most port expansion or upgrade projects, taking the delivered price beyond the original budget,’ Boshoff said.
‘Under this new business model we are offering with Trent Port Services, we can take on all turnkey equipment procurement, taking away these additional costs and distractions for a small percentage of the overall capex budget, enabling customers to outsource projects, reduce management costs and free up in-house resources for core operations.’
The turnkey product deploys iSpec, Remy InfoSource’s web and mobile-based software procurement solution for buyers of capital-intensive equipment with the port project management expertise of Trent Port Services.
‘This solution enables port operators and their employees to focus on what they do best — managing ports, operations and their customers,’ said Jon Arnup, founder & CEO of Trent Port Services. ‘We take on the entire project using a single capex budget approach. This cuts down management and procurement costs with payment milestones aligned to the deliverables of each individual project.
‘When a port is not buying equipment, it therefore has zero overheads and costs. In other words, you only pay when you need something. This reduces corporate costs on labor, systems maintenance, corporate server farms and other overheads.’
For larger port operators, Arnup said, this improves project visibility and collaboration between corporate, regions and individual terminals, while reducing costs. For smaller ports, the overhead and manpower savings are substantial, he added.
Remy InfoSource and Trent Port Services are longstanding collaborators, with Trent Port Services as one of iSpec’s foremost customers. Complex port expansion or upgrade projects can take many years to plan and complete, and cost overruns, delays and implementation failures are common. Most project management systems aim to support this process. However, Remy InfoSource said that unlike iSpec, they focus on the vendor/provider instead of the buying organization.
iSpec’s web and mobile-based software has continuously been developed over 15 years, specifically for buyers of capital-intensive outsourced projects. The software provides a unified platform for tender management with dedicated accounts for all relevant parties including all contract terms and technical specifications. After awarding the contract to one or multiple vendors, a seamless transition to the implementation phase prevents vendors renegotiating or claiming to not have been aware of detail requirements.
Trent has been using iSpec for the last 15 years to supplement its own project management and procurement.
‘As ports and port operators start to see past the fact that their strategic equipment is in fact similar or the same as their competitors, the need to do things differently, smarter, cheaper and more collaboratively will become ever more apparent,’ Arnup said. ‘By combining our expertise and deploying iSpec, we believe our turnkey offering can offer great value to port companies both large and small.’