Two global leaders in maritime procurement and project management have joined forces to offer port and terminal operators a turnkey solution that cuts procurement costs and overheads while also increasing staff productivity.
Lifecycle contract management specialist and iSpec creator Remy InfoSource is now partnering with Trent Port Services, an international port services and solutions company, to offer port companies a combined service solution that enables the easy establishment and oversight of a single capital expenditure (Capex) budget for all 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, for example, a Ship-to-Shore crane, it usually allocates a percentage of that Capex to Third Party Inspections (TPI), 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.
“All of this adds significant extra costs – often hidden - onto most port expansion or upgrade projects, taking the delivered price beyond the original budget,” said Boshoff.
“Under this new business model we are offering with Trent Port Services, we can take on all turn-key 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 offered by Remy InfoSource and Trent Port Services combines the deployment of iSpec, Remy InfoSource’s innovative web and mobile-based software procurement solution for buyers of capital-intensive equipment, with the renowned 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 labour, systems maintenance, corporate server farms and other overheads.
“For larger port operators, this tangibly improves project visibility and collaboration between corporate, regions and individual terminals, while reducing costs. For smaller ports, the overhead and manpower savings are substantial.”
Remy InfoSource and Trent Port Services are longstanding collaborators, not least because Trent Port Services is 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, unlike iSpec, they focus on the vendor/provider instead of the buying organisation.
iSpec’s web and mobile-based software has continuously been developed over the past 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 as well as 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.
“At Trent, we have been using iSpec for the last 15 years to supplement our own project management and procurement,” said Arnup.
“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. By combining our expertise and deploying iSpec, we believe our turnkey offering can offer great value to port companies both large and small.”