Unifying the Port of Long Beach

April 23, 2010

When it comes to any major project, being able to effectively manage costs is of extreme importance to ensure the efficiency of the operation. The Port of Long Beach, www.polb.com, Long Beach, Calif., is currently working on a $3 billion capital improvement program.

The Port’s cost data wasn’t easily accessible to staff members because it was stored in various locations in the system. As a result, employees at the Port were spending a substantial amount of time during their shifts dealing with various processing tasks involving the cost data such as structuring, recording, and reporting. The Port then decided it would need a PPMS (program and project management system), as well as a CMS (cost management system), covering the entire port to bring all of the cost data into a single system so employees would be able to locate the data in realtime.

Ultimately the goal was to implement a system that would enable the Port’s staff to access cost data at any time to more effectively manage the financial performance of the project, as well as predict future costs. In an effort to help its staff manage the program more effectively, the Port implemented the Unifier solution from Skire Inc., www.skire.com, Menlo Park, Calif., to collect schedule, budget, and cost data and integrate it into a unified system.

With the Unifier solution, the Port’s staff will be able to collect data associated with labor and various costs near the source and create cost reports in a timely manner. Unifier will also help to improve other processes including both time recording and invoicing. The Port won’t have to deal with any additional applications as well because the Unifier will meet the requirements of the PPMS and CMS systems.

A major benefit to Unifier is in addition to realtime program management, the Port will be able to manage funds from bond programs for future projects. Using realtime data, the Port can more accurately project the flow of future funds, which will enable it to lay out future projects.

As processes change throughout the duration of the project, Unifier will automatically be able to manage the changes without needing to be reprogrammed. For a major U.S. seaport such as the Port of Long Beach, operational efficiency is a top priority so a solution that can manage all of its operations in a uniformed process is essential.