Harris Consulting Group
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ezyLog & STAIRS --- Automated Shift Log with Powerful Data Analysis

Introduction

As the old phrase goes, "if you can't measure it you can't manage it", ezyLog gives you the process to record and analyse data and to compile that data into information to help you to manage the business also meeting legislative requirements at the same time.

eShiftLog was first developed in 2000 and has been in use since 2001, ezyLog is the new program that replaces eShiftLog with:

  • Processing for Road and Rail as well as Harbour Cranes
  • Parameter driven flexibility
  • Cloud based and
  • New / current technology
After eShiftLog was first installed, in the following 24 months, the port productivity increased by 15% while the throughput increased by 25%. This data can be verified at the Australian government published web site for the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics

Stevedoring is a highly capital and labour intensive business, so efficiency improvements can represent significant savings, that go straight to the bottom line. While eShiftLog was not the only contributor to these improvements, eShiftLog helped management carefully plan the allocation of resources without increasing the quay crane count.

The program has fast accurate recording of shift information that during the shift, providing a real time management dashboard to keep an eye on shift progress. At the end of the shift, the shift report provides a few pages of objective shift information along with supervisor’s remarks for management review.

 

Features / Business Benefits

Feature Business Benefit
Real time management Gantt chart information dashboard Management can see in real time during a shift at a glance the status of a shift and if intervention is required or not
Consistent design with simple drag and drop user interface Quick to learn, quick to use, accurate
Multilingual You can change user interface to your local language and business practices
Robust, solid running for years without fault You know you can trust this software to continue to provide solid results
Audit trail, every data entry step is recorded When things go wrong, you can see how they have gone wrong and fix it. Meet audit / legislative requirements, provable result.

 

Process

In some businesses, there is little more than a verbal feedback loop of the yard operations back to management.

ezyLog helps you formalize your feedback process and builds a database of yard operations information for immediate and longer term review. Accurate, easy to access hard data gives management the information needed to make quick sound business decisions.

With ezyLog, you see what is happening on each vessel, each crane, each shift in real time and historically.

Management can track yard activity on their computer screens as the shift progresses. If everything is going well - leave them to it. If something is starting to go wrong, then ezyLog' analysis tools can help management to plan remedial action.

Management has the information at their fingertips on the work practices which do and do not work in the yard.

Longer term operational enhancements can be made and quickly measured for efficiency.

 

Data Collection

ezyLog is designed to provide a rapid data entry facility of port operational data. ezyLog was designed for simplicity, to focus the user on just two primary screens. The Shift screen where the overall shift information is entered and the Events screen which shows a graphical Gantt chart of the events that occurred during the shift.

The events screen is used to provide a graphical Gantt chart display and entry of the events that occurred on a given shift:

The Events Screen is the primary ezyLog Screen. This screen provides a traditional Gantt chart view of the recorded shift events. Points of note on this screen are:

  • Date and time are shown across the top of the display
  • Vessel information is shown in blue with triangles used to show specific times
  • Machine (crane) usage shown as green bars
  • Delays are shown as red, pink or grey bars for special emphasis below the corresponding green crane usage (colour changes depending on the nature of the delay).
  • If it is during the shift, the current time is shown by the yellow "Now" line working its way across the page

This screen provides an intuitive point and click/drag drop user interface, allowing the user to enter or move events quickly and easily. When an event is selected, a context sensitive menu for the event, ship, crane or delay is displayed that lists all of the tasks that can be performed on the selected object (as shown above for a delay).

 

Vessel Visit

A summary of each Vessel Visit is recorded in ezyLog, shown on the Gantt chart as a blue bar. Key times are recorded for each Vessel Visit.

When the supervisor selects a Vessel Visit on the Gantt chart, they can:

  • Record actual time of arrival, departure etc
  • Update the planned number of exchanges
  • Start a new crane usage on the vessel
  • Edit personnel assigned to the Vessel Visit such as planners and agents
  • Edit details for the vessel visit
  • Add remarks

The supervisor can record free text remarks as needed on the Vessel Visit to explain the interaction with the vessel. All formal communications with the vessel should be logged here.

User defined summary information is displayed on the vessel bar, typically this will be vessel code/name, ETA/ETD/ATA/ATD, planned exchanges count, berth.

 

Crane Usage

A summary of each machine usage activity (typically a crane usage) is recorded in ezyLog, shown on the Gantt chart as a green bar.

When the supervisor selects a Crane Usage on the Gantt chart, they can:

  • Record exchange details
  • Record personnel assigned to the usage such as foremen and drivers
  • Add a new delay for the selected crane usage
  • Edit details for the usage

When the usage is complete, the operator will enter a reason why the usage was stopped. The reason codes are user definable, typical reason codes could be:

  • Planned sequence completed
  • Planned sequence changed and completed
  • Planned sequence NOT completed for operational reasons
  • Planned sequence NOT completed for maintenance reasons

Also, the supervisor can record additional free text remarks as needed on the usage to explain the results of the usage.

User defined summary information is displayed on the usage bar, typically this will be Machine code, Foreman, Start/Stop time, Duration, Effective time (after delays), Total Containers moved, Crane rate, Target exchange count.

 

Crane Delays

Each time the crane is delayed during a crane usage a delay is entered in ezyLog. The delay is shown on the Gantt chart as a red, pink or grey bar depending on the nature of the delay.

  • Red - A non deductable delay
  • Pink - A deductable delay
  • Grey - A delay that does not overlap the crane usage time (note during ezyLog setup, one of the rules that needs to be set is what delays, if any, can extend past the start/end of a crane usage)

ezyLog will correlate these delays to help you to determine possible root causes of various problems, enabling more efficient use of critical resources.

Using the pop up data entry screen, the actual entry of a delay only takes a few quick mouse clicks from the main Gantt chart screen.

Each delay is assigned a delay code to assist in analysis. The delay codes are automatically associated with other previously defined descriptive information (setup during implementation, where you can define your own delay code to meet your own specific organizational needs). Delays come in a few standard categories:

  • Planned - Used when the delay is a planned delay, such as meal breaks
  • Deductable - For delays that may be "officially deducted" from the usage time. For example, this could be the delays that are caused by the crane owners/operators. Management define what is "deductable" at their port.
  • Engineering - For delays that are caused by engineering/maintenance

 

Review

ezyLog provides for data review locally on the same network or remote consolidation of multiple terminals.

 

Management Dashboard

The Management Dashboard is a program that authorised managers can have running on their machines to see in real time what is happening in the terminal so that they can decide if intervention is needed or not. The Management Dashboard uses the same Gantt chart user interface as the ezyLog data entry screen except that the screen is read only. If there is an item of interest to management, then further detail is available for analysis through the drill down process.

 

Shift Report

The Shift Report is compiled directly after the shift is completed with the key objective shift data and subjective remarks for management’s review. The report includes:

  • Start / stop times for the shift
  • Key shift personnel
  • Labour statistics
  • Cargo movement summary
  • Shift Remarks
  • Voyage Summary
  • Crane Summary
  • Remarks
  • Gantt Chart
  • Detail page per vessel in port

 

Analysis - STAIRS - Stevedore's Terminal Analysis Information Reporting System.

Analysis is provided through the STAIRS program - Stevedore's Terminal Analysis Information Reporting System. STAIRS is a separate program to eShiftLog that supports:

  • Standard predefined reporting
  • User defined ad hoc reporting
  • Data extracts (to various popular 3rd party programs.)
  • Locating and highlighting exceptional performance (both good and bad)
  • Graphing trends for high level analysis and detailed separate analysis of individual performance factors
  • Analysis of underlying trend causes
  • Drilling down into detailed data to identify performance triggers

STAIRS provides data as clear graphics rather than columns of numbers. This provides a better quicker understanding of the situation.

 

Implementation

Implementation of ezyLog is very flexible and based on your requirements. ezyLog can be installed on a single, standalone PC or on a network. A network-based implementation will allow multiple users to simultaneously access and update ezyLog data.

If needed, ezyLog can also be set up for remote access over a network or even in the cloud. In most sites, there are many more viewers of the data than there are data entry personnel.

Installation is performed at your site by one of our trained consultants. The basic installation requires just a few days. This can be extended depending on the specific customization and training requirements at your terminal.

The basic installation procedure includes:

  • Gather together all site requirements
  • Identify required hardware
  • Installation of database on server
  • Installation of application on client machine(s)
  • Adjust application parameters to meet specific site requirements
  • Identification and training of primary user(s)
  • ezyLog end user training
  • Official ezyLog, go live launch
  • STAIRS end user training
  • Official STAIRS, go live launch
  • Analyze data from ezyLog using STAIRS to gain insight into possible port optimizations
  • Apply the optimizations to the port and review the result through ezyLog and STAIRS

As you use ezyLog to gain additional insights into your terminal operations you will refine your ezyLog implementation by adjusting the operational parameters such as adding extra analysis codes. The implementation that you start with will not be the implementation you are using in 6-12 months, so there is no requirement to get the parameters right the first time through.

 

Your next step is to contact Harris Consulting Group to schedule a demonstration and/or implementation of eShiftLog and STAIRS at your terminal.

US Sales Office   Australian Office
Michael P McCarthy,
Fort Lauderdale, FL,
Ph 954 - 663 - 6807
  Greg Harris,
Sydney, NSW,
Ph + 61 - 407 - 942 982

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the future of ezyLog?

HCG is working to improve ezyLog on an ongoing basis to provide you with improved functionality on a periodic release basis. Some of the major enhancements that are currently being considered are:

  • Remote data entry with a Smart Phone linked back to the main system
  • Increased web enabled functionality
  • Enhance the "Expert Advisor" function
  • Port status display (show status of all machines on large public monitors)

 

Can ezyLog be customized to meet our specific requirements?

Yes. The ezyLog application employs a modern object-oriented architecture and so most modifications can be performed in a timely manner. Please tell us what customization you require, we'll review it and tell you how long it would take and provide a quote for the customization.

Normally customization work is performed on a fixed bid contract basis and is invoiced in addition to the eShiftLog license charges.

Note: In many cases, customization may not be required, rather just adjustment of the system parameters. We can do that for you, or train your personnel.

 

What technology is ezyLog based on?

ezyLog is a flexible parameter-driven application that utilizes the latest Microsoft Windows technology to provide a user-friendly interface Client/server architecture and utilises a web interface for report display and remote monitoring. Data is held in an industry standard MS-SQL-Server database

 

What database does ezyLog and STAIRS use?

ezyLog and STAIRS ships as standard with the Microsoft SQL Server Express database

 

How long should we allow for the installation of ezyLog?

One of our consultants can install the standard version in a few days. If customization is needed, more time is required. There are very few implementations that run for more than two weeks.

 

What maintenance and support options are available?

To ensure that any issues that arise with ezyLog are quickly and effectively resolved and to protect your investment in ezyLog, an ezyLog Support Agreement is offered as part of the overall package. Please contact us for ezyLog support pricing information and a quote for the support services you require.

 

Is ezyLog likely to conflict with my existing applications?

ezyLog has been developed according to accepted industry standards for application development. It should not impact any other applications that are running on the same PC.

 

What is the ezyLog release schedule?

ezyLog goes through a continual update and improvement process as new functionality is added. HCG releases ezyLog and STAIRS versions on periodic basis which will be shipped to all sites that have current support agreements.

 

How is ezyLog and STAIRS priced?

ezyLog and STAIRS are licensed on a per terminal per crane basis with. A volume concession is available when a license for more than one terminal is required. ezyLog and STAIRS are priced in US dollars. Please contact us for a quote for your ezyLog and STAIRS license requirements. Ongoing support and maintenance fee is 20% of the current purchase price.

 

What is the process if a problem is found with an ezyLog release?

HCG will work closely with you to resolve the problem and ship an emergency release to fix the problem. If this does not meet your schedule requirements, you will always be able to roll back to the prior version. This has never happened, but part of our standard implementation plan always includes a roll back plan.

 

How do we know ezyLog is stable?

ezyLog has an extensive range of automated unit tests to verify the validity of the software. eShiftLog has been running at Port Botany, Sydney Australia since 2001 without any major problems. It was then installed at other major ports around Australia. As soon as any problem with the software is communicated to HCG, the problem is corrected a new version is sent out to all sites (immediately if the problem is considered critical).

 

How do we know HCG will remain in business?

HCG has been in business for over 25 years and supplies services to well-known companies such as:

  • IBM
  • Hewlett Packard
  • P&O Ports / DP World
  • American Express
  • Singapore Telecom

 

What security & integrity features does eShiftLog have?

Each user has their own unique login ID with a secure encrypted password, users can be assigned a variety of privileges that will allow/restrict access to specific features. The history of every data entry action is recorded and associated with the user's login ID. This provides an ideal audit trail of operation A full history audit trail is kept of every data entry action and is recorded in the database associated with the user's login ID.

 

To contact HCG, see the contacts page or send an email to