Introducing CENTER Suite products for Container Terminal Operations

In the upcoming blogs we will go deeper into the five products of CENTER SUITE. In this blog we want to tell you more about our Terminal Operating System (TOS), CENTER ERP.

Beside the basic elements that are specially designed to facilitate a multi cargo environment our Terminal Operating System (TOS) CENTER ERP gives you control over different kind of movements and storage on your container terminal.

Center ERP Container Terminal Operating System

CENTER ERP (TOS) will show you real date and give clear overview so that you can make the right choice at every moment. With CENTER ERP (TOS) you can manage all movements on your terminal in our ‘job moves’. The dispatcher can monitor every step in the process and intervene where necessary with minimal impact on your operation.

Read below the features of CENTER ERP (TOS).

User management
The system provides a role organized user rights feature, integrated with the local active directory or with application only users. Within each module you can easily track available options for that module which simplifies authorization management.

Multi administration
If your organization has multiple sites, the system can support shared and administration specific data. This allow you to centralize for example accounts and contracts. Users can switch between administrations within the application.

System style
The system allows you to personalize colors and fonts.

Basic data
The system has an extensive basic data feature, which reduces the number of tables (and modules) for application static data, either for simple and complex situations.

Flexlist
Almost all ‘lists’ of data within the system  can be configured by the  application manager, which enables to manage the columns and sorting to your needs. All data can be exported to Excel with a mouse click. Columns are automatically set to auto filter after export to Excel.

Logging
The system has a 2-dimension extensive logging mechanism to keep an audit trail of any change of data. It will allow application managers to exactly see how, who, when and what was changed as a kind of transaction.

Collections
The system has a configurable structure for organizing cargo units into logical collections, such as different types of bookings, discharge lists etc. A cargo unit (item) is member of 1 or multiple collections (eg export booking, truck delivery, loading order).

Items
The system is designed as a multi-cargo system, it supports basically any kind of cargo entity. A container is also an item.

Waiting files
Cargo is usually booked in advance, however various pieces of information can be available through box operators, customs, haulers and port community systems in advance of booking or container arrival. This information is stored in so called waiting files. The data is merged with the final item when the item is received or delivered.

Accounts and contracts
The system supports various kinds of accounts and contact details, including multiple search codes (for any type of communication). Contracts can be linked to multiple box operators (accounts) and tariffs are set for charges that are generated during cargo handling.  A contract can have multiple schedules supporting tariff changes.

Different cargo characteristics can be configured to handle tariff variations.

Object call planning
All transport modes are registered as objects (vessel, barge, truck etc). Each visit to the terminal is handled as a call for that object. The system provides a line service pattern mechanism that enables to setup a rotation schedule per line service. From each pattern ‘slots’ can be generated and visualized on a berth view.

In the end a call is linked to the slot. This gives a schematic insight in berth occupation. Out of service periods can be defined in the system. The object call supports many features to manage the call, its discharge and loading cargo, planning numbers, operations statistics and events.

Data center
This part of system gives easy access to all administrative information, such as track & trace, bookings, orders, announcements, waiting files and special instructions (collections). This module provides all kinds of functions to manage everything from here.

 Customs
This feature provides functions to manage customs documents, document types, permits, syntax checkings and flow control. It also allows the user to monitor blockings (customs, customer, internal) and an audit file.

Activities
The truck, barge and ETT desks are modules that provides functions to manage truck visits, barge calls and (ETT) Extra/Inter Terminal exchanges.

It also supports features for special activities, such as Bundling, Stuffing/Un-stuffing etc.

Job control
The Job control feature is a collection of functions to setup container handling equipment, (associated) mobile devices and manage job plans and jobs. A (move) job is generated from various activities in the system, based on a configurable script with one or more job steps.

Yard control
This module provides functions to setup terminals, zones and areas. Each area will contain bay, row or undefined slots for container positioning. There is also a basic visualization feature (please refer to the Masterplan section). The system also supports transfers points and configuration of weight classes.

Another part of this module are functions to setup planning templates and collections for container positioning based on various rules, characteristics and parameters. The template function is very useful if you have repeating calls with similar configurations.

The system also provides you to setup routing for trucks.

Simulators
For training, testing and implementation purposes the system has simulator features to do the necessary handling of cargo (discharge, loading etc).

Billing and invoicing
Each billable handling of cargo results in a ‘charge’. This charge is automatically linked to one or more tariff rules from the contract. From the application, the billing clerk can manage the calculated charges per box operator and call. The billing to invoice process can be structured in many ways, to support all bilateral requirements from box operators. Finally the printed invoice can automatically be send to the customer.

The big advantage of this immediate calculation is that the billing can detect calculation issues at once and collection all charges per call is relatively simple since all calculations are already done.

The system also supports various ways of storage calculation.

Interface to any accounting system (that supports interfaces) can be provided.

Reporting
Nowadays modern reporting tools, such as Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services provide enormous enhanced (automated) reporting features. We decided to design necessary reports in these 3rd party tools together with the customer rather than producing all kinds of programmed simple lists (discharge list, stock list etc).

To support basic reporting from the application itself, we designed a Report designer where the application manager can compose SQL based simple reports directly from the database (read-only). These reports can be published to the regular users for day-to-day use.

Also refer to the Intelligence section.

Data exchange
An independent part of the system is an enhanced EDI system, that can deal with any EDIFACT message but is also prepared to handle non-standard bilateral messages. The EDI system provides functions for transcoding data to support customer specific requirements. You can control the complete message flow and deal with exceptions.

IAS
We can provide a very enhanced auditing system that plugs in on the entire ERP database. The IAS system is fed by database transactions and by configurable rules any type of blocking can be applied or dismissed automatically. It also records data for (customs) audit purposes (even when data is manipulated manually in the database). The mechanism is also used to process conditional data driven actions, such as special instructions that must be activated for certain cargo units (inspections, reefer actions etc).

GOS integration
The ERP can interact with a Gate Operating System using web service integration, to support sophisticated Gate, Crane and Rail OCR, self-service kiosks, access control systems etc.