Computerized vehicle Terminal management System for Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
This was the system that won 1st place to the energetic team from Rajarata University a few weeks ago at the Motorola Inter-University Enterprise Mobility Software Development Competition 2012. The system was designed for the Sri Lanka Ports Authority by recognizing the weaknesses of the prevailing system at the vehicle terminal. The intention was to introduce a mobile software solution which is designed for a safe and efficient Vehicle Terminal Management System for SLPA, using cutting edge mobile technologies. And this software solution is enabled by an MC65 device for all tally clerks, security officers and drivers.
“Our intention is to help SLPA provide a competitive edge to importers and exporters by ensuring a cost effective, efficient and reliable service, by establishing a mobile network for the vehicle yard in SLPA. This, we believe, improves the quality of the SLPA service.”
The system is aimed mainly at reducing space and time when parking vehicles; making the vehicle clearing process more efficient, ensuring customer satisfaction, reducing cost of selling price of vehicles, increasing the berthing interest of shipping lines, ensuring speedy turnaround of vessels, bridging the gap between growing demand and the shortfall of available facilities. It is done to ensure the delivery of the right vehicle with the right parts, to the right customer.
The system provides a customer care service that makes communication with SLPA convenient. The reliability of handling inquiries is another benefit provided by this system. Each and every state of the vehicle has a responsible person and the customer is assured of receiving his vehicle fully intact. Capturing photos makes handling inquiries easy and signature capturing ensures further responsibility. Image-capturing also enables the identification of damages to vehicles.
The use of bar-codes, inbuilt GPS system navigating drivers, SMS-based resource planning, automatic generation of bar-codes are the main factors increasing efficiency in this system. Parking slot allocation and vehilcle identification were also streamlined.
“At the design stage, interactivity of the system received a lot of thought. We strove to create a user-friendly interfaces, incorporating suitable color contrasts, icons and images. Buttons, menus are used more than words to guide the user, so that the system is maneuvered with less effort. Error messages are also displayed to guide the user, should anything go wrong.”
What makes this system important?
Since it’s only to the SLPA that imported vehicles are freighted to in Sri Lanka, the vehicle management system they use should be accurate and efficient to manage a large number of transactions.
“Through research, we identified that the current process it follows has several weaknesses. In our solution we addressed the most critical issues of the current process. For example, one tally clerk checks 25 vehicles per hour. Using our system this figure can be doubled. Thus, the efficiency of the process will be increased by 50%.”
Ports Authority is given eight hours to unload all the vehicles from one ship free of charge. For each additional hour, a cost of 35$ is charged. Since a ship generally delays around 10 days, the port is required to pay nearly 0.8 million rupees. But with this system the amount can be reduced by 50%. With the SMS service, all the customers will be notified when their vehicles arrive at the port, so they are able to release their vehicles as soon as possible and the customer can avoid paying port charges.
The main advantage of this system is removing all paper work. In the current process, tally clerk, security officer, wharf clerk and drivers use documents such as tally sheet, payment documents to do their jobs. It’s really inefficient and insecure. Paper has high probability of being misplaced or stolen. But this solution stores all data in a central database and employees access only through their devices.
The wining team representing Rajarata University including six members are as follows:
H.M.N.G.I.P. Herath AS/08/09/028
R.P.M.C. Rajapaksha ICT/08/09/018
K.W.H. Chaminda ICT/08/09/004
C.S. Kumarasinghe AS/08/09/052
M.K.D.D. Sandaruwan AS/08/09/082
M.E.A. Maduranga ICT/08/09/040