Victoria’s Port of Portland has adopted a completely cloud-based administration system from NetSuite that has replaced a number of legacy systems and is expected boost what is already $3 billion worth of bulk product annually moved through the largest deep-water port between Adelaide and Melbourne
The NetSuite system replaces financials from Epicor, accounts from Astea International, payroll from HR3, and maintenance from MEX with an integrated system that covers the administrative bases as well as integrating ship-scheduling processes accessible to customers.
Portland has also added integration with tools from NetSuite partners including i-Seaports for shipping, and Infinet Cloud for payroll.
Considering that the port’s more than 300 annual ship movements have traditionally been managed with writing on pieces of paper, there was significant scope to improve the processes by which the port’s 55 employees kept the facility running. Given the port’s remote location, company accountant Kara King said in a statement, there was great appeal to having a fully hosted solution that would free up those employees’ time.
“As we are a small-to-medium business, NetSuite’s cloud-based solution was very appealing to us,” she said. “It means we can be cutting edge with the latest advancements in technology, without having to manage and upgrade it ourselves. We don’t have a full-time IT person and we are in a remote location, so having NetSuite helpdesk at our fingertips is a big thing.”
The system has already shown great promise for the operation, with ship movements tied in with business metrics and all components fully integrated with each other.
Senior management has access to real-time performance data, with end-of-month reporting considerably faster and employees freed up from administration to focus on business development and other activities. Timesheets are automated and processed in half the time as in the past.
“The introduction of NetSuite has also streamlined our data gathering and insight capabilities, saving us considerable time at month end with reporting,” King said. “We can now run reports whenever we want and that has freed up about 30 percent of our time that we can now focus on other core functions.” – David Braue