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COVID-19 Brings Unexpected Gains to APM Terminals’ Global TOS Roll-Out
Remote implementation of TOS offers improved service and continuity
APM Terminals is rolling out Navis N4 for all of its terminals globally, with the goal of having one standardised TOS by the end of 2021. The Covid-19 crisis however, has thrown up major and unexpected learnings for its implementation team.
APM Terminals with its own in-house TOS implementation team is unique in the industry, allowing lessons from each implementation to be passed onto the next.
When COVID-19 hit, the in-house implementation team evaluated upcoming projects and identified one that was business critical – a modernization project at the company’s Los Angeles terminal.
Due to travel restrictions, lockdowns, and physical distancing restrictions, the team had no alternative but to go ahead and reinvent processes based on 100% remote working.
Patrick Heilig, responsible for the global TOS implementation team says: “The team had become comfortable with face-to-face communications and having the global team on site also puts the local team at ease.
“Working remotely however, we realised that we could actually offer improved service and continuity. Because our global TOS team are located around the world in different time zones, we could offer support 24 hours per day.
"The team also had more working hours available as there was no time spent travelling to the location and adapting to local time zones. This also contributes to a significant cost saving.
The lack of face-to-face communication also focussed the team’s communication efforts – something that according to Heilig is “just as important as the project management and technical implementation. Managing the expectations of stakeholders is half the battle.”
Learnings from this experience will be applied to upcoming projects, including major version upgrades across the company’s portfolio and transitioning from Argos to Navis in the company’s Spanish terminals.
Adds Heilig: “Major version upgrades are a great candidate for remote implementation as it requires a small amount of reconfiguration and limited training.
“For the Spanish terminals a much bigger transition is involved requiring extensive training. But we’re now confident that there are large parts of the project that will now be implemented remotely.”