Across the upstream and downstream oil & gas supply chain, storage terminals play a vital role. Efficiently managing many operations including product transfers, blend operations, fiscal measurements and inventories can mean the difference in profitability & loss.In an Tank Storage magazine article, Enhancing Terminal Business Performance, Emerson’s Aaron Boettcher, describes the role of terminal management systems in safe, reliable and efficient operations.
…managing the loading operations and efficiently moving trucks through the facility in an automated way.
Modern terminal management systems not only help manage these loading operations, but also:
…provide a single integrated platform to manage the entire terminal business process: bringing in customer orders, executing the loading operation, charging for services, managing inventory, and billing activity back to the customer.
Traditionally the commercial side of managing terminals has been separate from the operational side. By integrating these functions, terminal customers can:
…log onto the portal and place or modify orders, achieve complete visibility to outstanding orders in real time, and visualise easy-to-use KPIs associated with their account and activity at the terminal.
From an efficiency standpoint, benefits include:
…a reduction of overall incoming customer communications traffic via phone, fax or email; and ultimately improved customer satisfaction due to enhanced availability of accurate transactional information.
Major efficiency gains can be made in loading and unloading operations:
Customer order data is managed centrally and provides the permissive information to automatically validate trucks and driver information at arrival. Flexible integration to commonly used card readers and other biometric or RFID devices ensures that driver validation is automatic and performed quickly and efficiently based on the regulatory requirements of the local market.
Once the load or unload is completed, the transaction is automatically archived to the terminal management system for inventory accounting, and customers and the terminal operator can be automatically notified (either by email or by accessing the integrated web portal) that the loading activity has been completed.
Aaron notes that that modern terminal management systems, such as TerminalManager, also integrate contractual agreements and other charges, and provide a single source for customer-related information.
Read the article for more on how these systems provide additional capabilities to shorten the end-of-month closing cycle, better manage inventories and automate invoicing. Aaron concludes:
Today’s modern, integrated terminal management systems give terminal operators the tools they need to reach new levels of business performance, customer satisfaction, and overall profitability, all in a single integrated platform for management of the entire terminal business process.
Visit the Storage Terminal area of the Emerson website for more on optimizing tank farm and terminal operations.