Forth Ports identifies technology opportunities
Operator Forth Ports is harnessing technology to set itself apart from other UK ports.
Currently in the process of updating group-wide IT systems, the operator is looking to automate customer-focussed processes.
Speaking to Port Strategy, divisional director Stuart Wallace said that he believed that technology can be a differentiator, especially for traditional, smaller ports. “We’re starting to think about how we can use technology differently, and how can we use it to make it easier to allow the customer to interact with us - that’s where our thought process is now moving in terms of technology.
“Technology has to be at core of how we get fast, accurate and timely flow of information so we don’t end up duplicate checks and balances. They can be done once and once only.”
Technology has become a “much more intricate bit of the business”, a trend that calls for a management team with different skillsets, he added.
Forth Ports has ensured staff buy-in partly through the creation of dedicated teams, picking the right people with the right experience in those teams. “It’s not all about admin or IT people, there needs to be a balance with operations people as well.” Mr Wallace said that regular updates; ‘touching and feeling’ the project as it progressed; and rolling out in manageable chunks had helped smooth the transition.
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