President of Kalmar Antti Kaunonen has attempted to shift the way the sector thinks about port automation by changing his strategy from one of implementation to performance guarantees.
Antti Kaunonen said: “Availability and performance guarantees are based on a simple idea that can be extended in various dimensions based on the customer’s needs.
“To start the discussion, we can begin at the first level – the rental business. Instead of selling machines, we lease them to our customers, ensure the machines are available and maintained according to a defined schedule, and deliver the required spare parts.
“At the next level, we can, for example, commit to providing spare parts within X hours or days.
“When we expand our concept of availability guarantees, things become a bit more complex, but we also increase the level of value that we bring to the customer.
“In this scenario, it is up to us at Kalmar to calculate what size fleet we need in order to ensure the required number of operational machines at all times.
“The key point for both parties is to realise that once we have responsibility for not only the machines, but also their connectivity, optimisation and maintenance, we can offer (and guarantee) higher levels of performance and availability than with traditional maintenance models.”
This new approach from Kalmar may be due to the mixed results terminals and ports have witnessed with regards to the implementation of automation.
Kaunonen concluded: “Finally, the ultimate aim – and one that we have already been discussing with many of our customers for some time – is a performance-based business model, in which we get paid not by the number of container handling machines we sell or lease, but on the basis of their performance, such as completed container moves per hour.
“This is something that won't be achieved overnight, but it is a long-term goal to which we are committed.”
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