Background for the Grand Bahamas Group (GBG)
Freeport, Grand Bahamas is in a free trade zone and 65 miles off the coast of Florida. It is strategically placed for ships on transatlantic crossings and those en route to the Panama Canal, together with Caribbean and US Eastern Seaboard trade. With the harbour having a minimum depth of 45 feet, the Freeport container port is currently the deepest container terminal in the region, with substantial shipping traffic providing the opportunity for GBG to fulfil a hitherto largely unmet need. GBG currently has quayside frontage of approximately 800ft and is looking to expand this frontage to 1,600ft in 2013 to be capable of taking the post-Panama Canal extension for ships that will be coming through the widened Panama Canal in 2015.
The challenge for GBG is to be able to project their services to passing ships and existing customers and shipping lines. To make available their large capacity to offload ship slops in port or at sea via their barge Martha. To schedule in advance a slot in port to offload used oils prior to visiting the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Ships require being able to order in advance fresh water and food services and for that service to be paid for locally or via their corporate headquarters. In short ships wish to minimise their stay in port and to maximise their time at sea. Ships also need to be able to refresh their fuel and lubricants whilst in port from reputable suppliers and brands and this needs to be ordered in advance to make sure the volumes are in place. All this can be brought together in Freeport by GBG.
GBG then provides physical processing of these slop materials and for their disposal and resale according to the grade of the disposed oil. In due course GBG plans to provide further processing into fuel and other oils through establishing a waste oil and hydrocarbon recovery facility nearby including the re-use of the disposed oil once processed locally to the large users of fuel based on the island, with a view to helping the economic viability of the island as a whole.
With so many remote stakeholders from ships at sea and GBG management on the move, to ship owners located around the globe, the challenge for GBG management was how to manage all transactions and keep everyone informed.
GBG chose the STAATUS solution as it brought all the operational and financial requirements into a single cloud based solution with secure role based access for all stakeholders. As a growing company there was no appetite for setting up a traditional data processing department nor was the island ideal for a secured 365x7x24 service.
STAATUS provides GBG with the real time management of all business transactions with complete transparency of all operations, reporting and financial analysis. The service also had to be over time easy to use and be able to be accessed from any internet connected device in a dynamic web format as the potential users have a variety of access devices. Also as a growing company where acquisition and development of what GBG do well is paramount, the offer of software as a service (SaaS) meant they could retain capital in the business rather than in their IT system. This SaaS as provided by STAATUS initially includes:
- Online booking by ships or agents to schedule docking and offloading estimated amount of slop.
- Online ordering of provisions (lubricants, water, foods etc.) for ships or agents worldwide in any currency.
- Offloading of ships slops with actual amendments.
- Storing of slops based on grading.
- Selling on of slops with pricing based on grading.
- Assigning of slops for reprocessing.
- Selling of reprocessed fuel oil as dictated by the American Petroleum Institute (API.)
- Auditable cash to cash management cycle detailing who ordered what and when for easy order processing and payment.
- Management reporting covering their working capital and drill down facilities in real time to each individual order placed and processed.
STAATUS manages all aspects of purchasing, inventory, sales, finance and audit, relating to all of the above from a secured data centre.
STAATUS delivers “Situational Awareness” of the business with maximum impact for effective decision making.
“Being the UK based CEO of a company operating internationally and having to travel constantly, I was looking for a solution that could provide the financial reporting and operational transparency on our business activities as they were happening whenever and wherever I happened to be in the World.
Being Cloud based, STAATUS have been able to provide what I couldn’t find elsewhere from other solutions and are helping to improve our business management as we grow our business, develop new revenue streams and maximise our margins. The transparency and accountability makes me feel comfortable that I have every angle of the business covered even if I can’t be physically present at our facility”
Michael Fitton, CEO