If you are receiving, producing, or transporting liquid goods, whether fuel, cement, chemicals, or any other viscosity, tracking and managing the process at every touchpoint with a next-gen Terminal Management System (TMS) offers considerable benefits. We find out what it can bring to the process industry.
Many process plants have been developed stepwise over time and, while production processes may be integrated, what happens before goods arrive at the plant and when they leave is often handled by different and, in many cases, siloed systems. This type of dispersed operation leads to a lack of transparency which, in a regulated industry, can be a major concern, not to mention the inefficiencies that exist due to, for instance, sharing data between systems or users via mail or teams.
We often encounter this problem in traditional industries such as oil and gas, construction. and even pharma. Some companies simply haven’t updated their systems, others have tried and failed and are left with underutilized software that doesn’t meet their requirements. Whatever the reason, too many companies in the process industry aren’t getting the benefits of an end-to-end system that fully harnesses real-time data at every touchpoint.
As an independent integrator, we can identify the optimal Terminal Management System for a company or plant’s particular processes and tailor it to ensure users get the most out of it to meet their KPIs. Let’s look at how a TMS system could support a large industrial process plant at the different phases of production from goods received through to customer delivery.
The first stage of any process is goods received. In the right TMS, detailed information from suppliers resides in the system. Based on this, the plant can be readied for deliveries, and warehouse staff can check or be alerted to any changes in scheduled dispatch times or modes of transport. This data can be shared with other suppliers should it impact their scheduled deliveries. Once goods are received, agreed quantities and qualities can be quickly checked against dockets – having this information already in the system speeds up the goods received process and removes the need for staff to enter detailed delivery data (unless there are order discrepancies).
Inventory & material management
Once logged as goods received, inventory and material management are automatically synced, providing real-time batch and product volume data, including the Balance Brought Forward at delivery. The TMS also logs any transfers between storage tanks, losses through drainage, changes in formula, media, temperature, density, and much more. Control reports can be generated on a regular basis in line with compliance and, if required, historical reports can be created showing the status of inventory or a specific batch at any time or date.
On-site processing & recipe management
On-site processing and formula management is a library of different product recipes synced with inventory management to ensure users have complete control of the different product batches, their volumes, and location. Any orders placed can be matched with volumes, and if new batches are required, products can be scheduled for mixing from the recipe library. Each newly mixed batch receives a unique identification number so it can be traced throughout production until it reaches a customer. This traceability is vital for compliance and customer service, particularly if any issues regarding a certain batch must be traced to a specific source.
Outbound Material Management
Outbound Material Management is an integrated logistics system used to plan the efficient filling, packing, palletizing, and delivery of goods to customers once orders are placed. This enables smart delivery planning to minimize fuel consumption while enabling driver and truck allocation based on availability.
Shipment Management streamlines the delivery process considerably. It automatically generates a bill of lading – with recipes, volumes, batch, and customer numbers and dates – on delivery of goods. Delivery status, i.e., time, date, remaining media quantities, temperature, density, etc., are also logged in the system. Upon delivery, an invoice can be automatically generated and sent to the customer. This level of traceability ensures customers know exactly what, when, and how much goods they receive.
The benefits of taking an end-to-end TMS approach
The key to a successful modern processing plant is integrating the touchpoints with clear lines of communication between all processes. With insightful data flows based on smart data filtering in the TMS system, you can ensure smoother operations, better customer service, and simplified reporting. With data gathered and aggregated from suppliers, IoT sensors and deliveries, and full traceability and transparency, data can be used to empower operations and continuously identify process management improvements. Early warning alarms help save costs, Bill of Lading validation delivers trust across the supply chain, and real-time monitoring ensures you are always in control of your operations.
Get started now
If this sounds like the ideal processing plant for your liquid goods, get in touch, and let’s discuss how we can implement a next-gen Terminal Management System that empowers your operations today and in the future.