Pool manufacturer upgrades ERP

Pool Systems has upgraded to Advanta’s ATLAS logistics software suite.

Pool Systems manufactures and distributes swimming pool, spa equipment, accessories and leisure products to the wholesale and retail swimming pool market. Its products are available to all pool and spa owners from retail pool shops and chain stores throughout Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe

Pool Systems has a history of success since entering the swimming pool distribution market in 1983. The company has grown from a small distribution company servicing the Queensland swimming pool trade into a major manufacturing organisation with sales around Australia and selected international swimming pool markets.

In October 2000, Pool Systems experienced strong business growth and developed strategic plans to expand their business into a variety of international markets.

Pool Systems acknowledged the need for a new software platform to support the future growth of the company. It did not want to be restricted by their IT system and therefore required a logistics software solution capable of supporting the increasing demands of the business.  With this concern in mind, Pool Systems decided to shop for a new software platform by evaluating the logistics software solution market. Tom Gorman, financial controller of Pool Systems explains the evaluation process: “At the time of evaluation, we demanded a customised software solution for our unique business requirements. This lead to our search for an Australian logistics software provider as regular contact and ongoing support became a priority for our customised software solution requirement. We then analysed the functional features and benefits of the remaining Australian logistics software providers and a final decision was made. Pool Systems decided to choose the BILS product provided by Advanta as the product proved to be functionally rich in comparison to its competitors and was the most suitable solution for Pool System’s business requirements.”

Since the implementation of the BILS logistics software from Advanta, Pool System’s has continued establishing export markets in the Middle East, South East Asia, Europe and the US pool distribution markets.

With a competitive advantage of product innovation and superior customer service, it was only a matter of time for Pool Systems to upgrade their BILS software to the ATLAS logistics suite. The suite comprises over 30 modules and covers all aspects of supply chain management and supply chain execution.

More specifically, Advanta Software is providing Pool Systems with modules including, warehouse management, freight management, EDI, order management, sales analysis, scan packing and purchasing.

Tom Gorman comments on the upgrade. “By upgrading from the BILS platform to the ATLAS platform, Pool Systems will benefit from the additional modules such as the freight management module which now comes standard with the ATLAS logistics software suite. The BILS system has provided excellent support for the growing business demands for Pool Systems over the past seven years, but by upgrading to ATLAS we will have a more user friendly system and simultaneously leverage the benefits from the extensive research and development that Advanta has contributed to the ATLAS product”.


Hybrid terminal tractor projects

Another clean air initiative has taken shape – this time on the US East Coast – involving the integration of hybrid technology with two Kalmar terminal tractors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the main benefactor of the project, together with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, APM Terminals, Parker Hannifin Corporation and the Port of Rotterdam, aims to lower emissions at the nation’s ports and demolish technical barriers for hybrid terminal tractors to become commercially viable. Kalmar will contribute to the two-year project by not only supplying the units but also providing the research and development required to implement the machines with the new technology.

The terminal tractors will use a diesel-hydraulic system that will combine the cleanest available diesel engine technology with components that use hydraulic fluid compression to store energy. The hybrid technology is expected to improve the vehicles’ fuel efficiency by 50 to 60 percent, reduce or eliminate emissions during idling, and decrease brake wear.

Says Stefan Johansson, Vice President of Trailer Handling for Kalmar: “The decision to develop hybrid terminal tractor technology on the US East Coast reflects US ports’ commitment to cleaner operations. Kalmar is at the forefront of R&D when it comes to environment-conscious products, which makes us the ideal partner to provide terminal tractor product expertise to this initiative.”

Kalmar is currently contributing to a two-year hybrid terminal tractor project launched at the end of 2006 with the West Coast Collaborative, an EPA-sponsored organisation, and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Three Kalmar terminal tractors will be equipped with either a hybrid-electric system or a hybrid-hydraulic system expected to reduce emissions by 93 percent, which equates to 19 tons of nitrogen oxide and 200 pounds of particulate matter.

Forwarding outside the square

What does a freight forwarder do when one of their clients requests a re-negotiation on their existing contract?

The options are to buckle down and put the thinking cap on, or possibly loose a valuable and long-term contract to a competitor.

This was the dilemma facing Paccon Logistics Ltd when existing client Laminex NZ Pty Ltd were looking at the margins that originally consisted of 1600 container movements annually, plus the road freight contract from factory to wharf.

“We’ve had a really good relationship with Laminex but we knew that if we were going to keep this contract, we had to pull out all stops and think creatively about it,” says Ian Robson, managing director, Paccon Logistics Ltd, New Zealand.

The product involved is MDF board, manufactured by Laminex in NZ for shipping to Ballarat and Gympie in Australia.

Since reviewing the contract, and with the help of the revolutionary Tynecat loading/unloading system, Paccon Logistics Ltd has been able to manage on time delivery with virtually no damage and at a reduced cost.

In 31/2 years Paccon Logistics Ltd has reduced the damage rate to 0.0014 per cent while their competitor, Toll NZ, sets their acceptable damage rate at five per cent.

The Tynecat loading/unloading system has also resulted in a reduction of OH&S claims.

In addition, Paccon Logistics Ltd achieved a reduction in the number of shipped containers by reconfiguring the loads and having their road freight contractors invest in lighter vehicles able to handle heavier loads up to the legal road limits in NZ and Australia.

Further costs reductions were gained when Paccon Logistics Ltd introduced webbing and ratchet tie downs in place of the old metal strapping. The webbing costs are around $60 a container over 12 trips as opposed to the single use metals straps costs at approximately $56 a container.

Additional benefits are also made in OH&S and the environment as metals straps can flex when cut and are discarded after a single use.

“In the three years since Paccon introduced the Tynecat loading system to us, this unique piece of equipment has significantly reduced damage to product through both load securement flexibilities and ease of moving product in and out of containers,” says Kerry Kinnane, National Transport Manager, The Laminex Group.

“Another unexpected but most welcome surprise was the minimisation of hazards associated with loading and unloading through a major reduction in the need for human intervention.”

The Laminex Group has just renewed their contract with Paccon Logistics Ltd for another three years.

This is what an open book partnership can achieve.

The result is a win win for both companies, a big win for the insurers, and a small victory for the environment.

India challenge to China

While China is currently the preferred offshoring destination for manufacturing activities, India is the destination of choice for IT, finance and customer service activities. However, according to the responses of more than 340 of the world’s largest international manufacturing companies – from Europe, Americas and Asia Pacific —India will become a substantial manufacturing destination over the next three to five years.

However, this varies widely depending on the activity. For example, in India 67% of companies have outperformed their expected benefit for IT offshoring, while less than half have not achieved their benefit for manufacturing offshoring. In contrast, about 90% of executives indicated that they have achieved the expected or better-than-expected benefits in China for the manufacturing offshoring activities.

US executives not confident -report

The study showed that manufacturing performance may also be compromised by the fact that very few —— on average, less than 20 per cent —— of the 273 respondents consider their companies to be “world class” in the revenue—generating areas of product innovation, operational excellence and customer retention. As a result, manufacturers are considering a host of initiatives for growth, with the most popular being:

· Implementing continuous improvement practices outside of production (56.5 percent of respondents are considering this strategy)

· Increasing training (49 per cent are considering)

· Making larger investments in capital assets (38.3 per cent)

· Outsourcing some current functions (32.4 per cent)

· Hiring more people (32 per cent)

· Seeking mergers and/or acquisitions (28.5 per cent)

“As our study clearly shows two—thirds — or 67 per cent — of the most often—cited strategies for improving performance and growth relate to people management,” says Gary Baldwin, Vice President and North American Manufacturing Industry Leader for Capgemini.

“Manufacturers are considering multiple and complex strategies, but for many companies, the real solution can be much more straightforward. In fact, using a single strategy — partnering with external companies with deep industry knowledge and world—class resources — can enable manufacturers to address the diverse set of challenges they’ve identified in people management.

Indeed, an experienced and trusted third—party provider can help manufacturers meet the people management challenges unique to their industries, but will also provide the types of resources they need to meet their revenue targets and achieve sustained business growth into the next decade.”

The Capgemini study “Leading Through Growth” was conducted in May 2007 by IndustryWeek Custom Research and included respondents — restricted to the job titles of CEO, COO, President, CIO, CFO and CMO. Among the other top—line findings from this inaugural report:

· Very small percentages of the surveyed executives believe their companies are “world class” in product innovation (18 percent), operational excellence (14 percent) and customer retention (21 percent).

· In each of these critical growth areas, the respondents say they could strengthen their positions by knowing more about their customers.

· Less than half (39.9 percent) of manufacturing executives are very confident they can increase revenues enough to maintain or improve their current market position over the next three years with their current resources.

· A higher percentage — but still less than half (47.6 per cent) — of the executives are very confident they can adequately address the challenges their companies face in the coming year — including such issues as rising costs, increased competition, escalating customer demands and shortage of skilled workers.

· Two thirds (67.8 per cent) of US manufacturing executives say the biggest challenges to customer attraction and retention are increased demands imposed by customers and global competition.

Executives overwhelmingly say they would reinvest cost savings in the business to improve their ability to deliver in changing market conditions. Specifically, they would:

· Buy new machinery (53.4 per cent)

· Improve processes (45.8 per cent)

· Create new products (30 per cent)

· Improve product innovation (24.5 per cent)

· Build new plants (20.9 per cent)

Baldwin says among the myriad challenges that manufacturers face, the most critical issue for virtually all manufacturers is managing customer relationships.

“Most U.S. executives believe more knowledge of their customers’ needs would make them more successful, but U.S. manufacturers admit they don’t know their customers well enough,” he says. “This lack of customer intimacy hampers product innovation, lifecycle management, and time to market.”

To improve their customer relations — and overall operations — to world—class levels, manufacturers can no longer afford to do it alone, Baldwin said. Instead, manufacturers should aggressively pursue outside parties with which they can work collaboratively to achieve long—term, world—class business growth and profitability.

“By collaborating with trusted partners with deep industry experience and the willingness and capability to have a stake in the relationship, manufacturers throughout the United States can reclaim their heritage as world—class manufacturing leaders,” he said.

You can download the full publication at: http://www.us.capgemini.com/2007mfgstudy

New Regional Director for WWL

Former Sydney Ports CEO Greg Martin will join Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) to become the new Regional Director for Oceania.

Martin was, for the last 11 years, CEO for Sydney Ports Corporation. After two years as leader of region Oceania, Lauritz Andersen has been called back to central office to lead a special project for the CEO.

“We are extremely lucky to have recruited Greg Martin to continue the great work accomplished by Andersen during his tenure in Oceania,” says Arild Iversen, President and CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.

Greg’s proven leadership qualities, combined with his extensive network and knowledge of the business will be real assets to WWL as we continue to develop our business in this region.”

Greg Martin has a long and distinguished career working in state-owned corporations in Queensland and New South Wales. Heralded by Lloyd’s List as “without question the most visionary figure in the Australian ports industry”, he joins WWL after 11 years as CEO of the Sydney Ports Corporation, where he has overseen significant trade growth and facility developments.

“I have known Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics for years as a customer and partner of Australian ports and have tremendous respect for what the company has accomplished,” Martin says.

It’s a very solid company with an exciting business strategy grounded on firm business ethics. I’m very excited to have the chance to join their global leadership team and contribute to further growth and development.”

Greg Martin will join WWL on October 9 and overlap with Lauritz Andersen until December 1, when he formally assumes the leadership role. Andersen will move back to Norway with his family by the end of the year and take up his new position in January. Peter Dexter continues as chairman of WWL in Oceania.

About Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics

§ Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (www.2wglobal.com) is a leading global provider of outbound logistics services for the finished vehicle industry.

§ The company also offers a comprehensive range of services includes supply chain management, ocean services, inland transportation, vehicle processing, terminal handling, vehicle storage and technical services.

§ The firm employs over 3,200 people, deploys approx. 60 vessels serving 19 trade routes to five continents and has a fleet of 600 vehicle transporters.

§ It annually carries over 2 million vehicles by sea and 1.5 million vehicles by road.

SCLAA NSW Inaugural Event

th of September represents a most significant milestone for the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) in Sydney as it will be the state affiliate’s inaugural event.

Where Lake Room Waterview Convention Centre

Bicentennial Park (off Australia Ave)

Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush

Breakfast function will finish approximately 9.00 am

Cost $45 + GST for SCLAA Members

$55 + GST for Non Members

$405 + GST for a Corporate Table of Ten

Breakfast included in all prices

Book your place today by contacting nsw@sclaa.com.au or c/College of Warehousing Office on 029847 8794

Brisbane company merges with world leader

InMotion Engineering, a company that specialises in high-end conveyor systems, has announced that a world leader in manufacturing technology and stainless steel solutions had taken a significant stakeholding in the company.

Volumetric Warehouse concept revealed

The interior roof height of more than 10 metres across the entire 68m interior roof span (the longest portal frame clearspan in Australia) generates an additional 20% of nett useable space for increased pallet stacking.

Rimco Steel and QR Concrete also made significant contributions to the construction process and functionality of the project.

The entire 68m clearspan McVeigh System is in perfect synergy with the remaining features of the building including pallet racking, sprinklers and lighting, providing maximum flexibility for storage configuration at minimum cost.

With their extensive industrial construction and design experience coupled with expertise in structural steel and warehousing,

McNab commissioned the design team, including Rimco Steel who were responsible for modifying the design of the 68m roof trusses, applying an innovative tapered design that delivered the required performance while reducing the quantity of steel required by 2 tonnes with a commensurate reduction in cost.

Rod Colwell was particularly impressed by McNab’s organisation of the QR Concrete team responsible for the tilt panel pour and erection.

The entire project was put ahead of schedule as a consequence of seven day a week erection schedule. The experience and capability of the reection team was demonstrated repeatedly as they erected the panels with an average turnaround time of 15 minutes.

McNab’s program for QR’s pouring the floor slabs, scheduled to commence at the beginning of September, involves an alternative “zig zag” pour to minimise concrete joints to just eight in each building which, when post-tensioned and post-stressed to a 7 tonne point load, is designed to lessen the potential of long term maintenance problems with floor cracking.

A semi-burnished finish will provide the required hardness without being overly slippery.

With civil works contracts about to be released, the final stages of the construction will be commenced. These also feature innovative planning with main services ringed around both buildings allowing for absolute flexibility for lessees to locate facilities to suit their internal plans and requirements.

The use of combined sprinkler and irrigation tanks is designed to maximise water storage utilisation, cost and water efficiencies. These tanks have been designed to be filled from the roof discharged water and / or the town supply and will also provide fire service water.

Rod Colwell said completion for occupancy is scheduled for first quarter 2008.

“The fact that a major construction such as this, involving for the first time several totally innovative techniques and procedures, is moving to completion ahead of schedule without even any minor glitches is testimony to the teamwork and planning brought to the project by a team of experienced professionals who were prepared to work together objectively and harmoniously,” Colwell says.

“This is reflected in the quality of their workmanship which has brought nothing but positive comment from the great majority of the many potential lessees who are expressing interest in the project in what is becoming regarded as Australia’s new ‘Inland Port’ network.”

“We at Insight certainly intend to take advantage of the intellectual capital the team has built through this project. Having sold one of the warehouses to MFS Diversified in June we now have a greater appreciation of several factors involved in this sector of our industry.”

“In many instances, they have access to significant rail links, with locations which provide easy linkage with air and seaport terminals, being fundamental essentials for ‘Inland Port’ status.”

actively assessing a number of locations which it has under consideration for similar facilities.

Strategic infrastructure focus

The transport infrastructure assets of the SEATS’ region have been identified and analysed in a new study commissioned by SEATS.

The region covers 18 local government areas and the ACT between Wollongong and Dandenong.

The report, ’SEATS Strategic Network: A Preliminary Definition’, was conducted by Meyrick and Associates Senior Consultant Anya Richards and released late last month.

It provides a strategic way forward for the South East Australian transport network. The full report is on the SEATS website.

The report defines the region’s Strategic Network which is a hierachy of routes, links and assets that ensure connectivity both within and outside the region for freight and passenger traffic, and underpin the region’s economic and social development.

They are either owned or funded at local, state or federal levels. The Meyrick report then provides a preliminary list of 16 projects that would maintain and improve the Network’s routes and infrastructure.

SEATS intends using the Strategic Network to provide a collective focus for its future planning. It is also intended as a planning and funding tool because it promotes projects that go beyond the confines of individual councils and benefit the region as a whole as well as the individual states.

The Strategic Network consists of the following links: Princes Highway, Monaro Highway, Moss Vale-Sydney Rail, Bomaderry-Sydney Rail, Melbourne— Bairnsdale Rail, Strzelecki Highway, Federal Highway, Barton Highway, Snowy Mountains Highway, Illawarra Highway, The Hume Freeway, Kings Highway, South Gippsland Highway, Picton Road, Main Road 92, Port of Mel-presbourne, Port of Hastings, Port of Eden, Port of Port Kembla, Latrobe Intermodal Facility, Moss Vale Intermodal Facility, Dandenong Intermodal Facility, Moss Vale-Port Kembla Rail.

The report states the Princes Highway is the most vital link to business, regional development and communities along it in the region SEATS Network Committee, chaired by Ralf Kastan of Wellington Shire, will meet at Cooma on 8 October to consider the report which will be incorporated into SEATS’ overall plan.

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