Port Tampa Bay, like many enterprises today, operates their IT utilizing the resources of multiple vendors and products focused on unique departmental needs and objectives.

From a Business Management perspective, they have settled on a “Hybrid” approach that lets them leverage a long- standing Microsoft® on-premise solution, “Dynamics Great Plains”, and a Harbour Mastery® Inc. (HMI) cloud solution, “i-Seaports™ ERP Management” which is the fifth generation of their billing, statistical analysis, trade agreements (contracts) and real estate management solution dating from 1991.

This hybrid system meets a variety of needs from engineering to financial management but leads to siloed data, this being solved by SME implementing a strong BI platform and tying all the vendors together.

"Nothing is more satisfying than successful collaboration between partners and products to deliver value for a customer."  -Christopher Moyer, SME Solutions Group

 

WHat WAS THE BUSINESS NEED?

The ability to pull raw data from Great Plains and iSeaports to build KPI’s and provide the stakeholders from Executive, Marketing, Branding, Operations, and Real Estate visibility into the port's performance, the tenants, and the departments. 

  • Disparate data sources being siloed by department.
  • No clear insight into operating revenues without manual report extraction & manipulation. 
  • Executive level decision makers lacking heart monitor with key metrics. 

WHO WAS INVOLVED TO MAKE IMPLEMENTATION SUCCESSFUL?

  • iSeaports, an Oracle NetSuite® ERP CRM platform designed by Harbour Mastery to provide real- time web-based vessel and cargo logistics for premier operations management. 
  • With Tactical Connect by Tactical Cloud, connect iSeaports data with a BI solution, like Qlik Sense, while utilizing already built reports from NetSuite. 
  • The Qlik Sense product and it's associative engine is what pulled together these disparate data sources. Qlik at its core with its new augmented intelligence capabilities allows the user to uncover insights that query-based Business Intelligence (BI) tools miss.
  • SME Solutions Group serves as the solution integrator for Port Tampa Bay in their efforts to combine data sources for a single version of the truth for their financial decision making. 

WHAT WAS THE SOLUTION? 

Port Tampa Bay collects and stores vessel and cargo logistics (wharfage, dockage, tonnage, throughput, scheduling, reservations, ect) in the the CRM, iSeaports. Previously, only the Finance department had log-in access to live operating revenues in iSeaports. Sharing insight with senior executives and other departments (such as Marketing for Passenger counts) meant manually extracting and manipulating the data into static reports to be distributed. Also, this data exists separately from the Port’s internal accounting system, and the finance team was challenged with matching the estimated revenues to the actuals, often having to wait until month-end to get an accurate report (due to the accruals).

SME suggested Qlik Sense as the most viable solution to integrating multiple data sources, alleviating manual processes, providing access to live data, automating reports, enhancing data governance, and increasing collaboration across departments. SME recommended the Port utilize Tactical Connect to query iSeaports data in order to preserve currently existing reports in iSeaports, allowing users to reuse existing Saved Searches in NetSuite and saving hours of API development. 

"Get true buy in from stakeholders."-CFO, Port Tampa Bay

 

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HOW DID THE SOLUTION DELIVER VALUE? 

Through collaboration with Harbour Mastery and Tactical Cloud, SME was able to successfully connect to live operating revenue data and associate it to the internal Financial Accounting data from Great Plains. SME helped to develop two primary financial applications, one that shows a live Profit Loss Report and a Statistical Dashboard with a breakdown of revenues by commodity. 
As a result of this implementation and partnership:

  • Multiple department leaders now have access to financial data, including budget and cargo logistics—which was siloed previously. 
  • The Profit Loss report is now automated and no longer requires hours of manual labor.
  • Access to financial information in one place for enhanced decision making.

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WHAT WERE THE KEYS TO SUCCESS? 

By investing in a solution provider that partnered with Port Tampa Bay on their BI and Data Analytics goals and were able to decrease their time to value and increase their return on investment. SME helped Port Tampa Bay to bridge the gap between products, while strategically implementing a sustainable solution to provide a single version of the truth with their data.

 

"The experience of working with SME could not have been more fluid, easy or productive. SME came prepared with an agenda/objective to our calls and were self-starters when it came to utilizing our connector. SME is an ideal partner to work with!"

- Josh LaSov, Tactical Cloud

 

"The collaboration experience has been smooth and efficient primarily because all parties have operated out of a common objective – to meet a serious client need. Communications have been open and honest leveraging the strengths of all the parties."

- M. George Walters, Harbour Mastery® Inc.

If you would like to learn more about SME Solutions Group, Inc. and how analytics can deliver certainty for ports, contact us here