Operations management assignment essay help: Logistics in Singapore
Logistics is one of the important functions at the port which is located in Singapore. If few logistics functions of the port are improved then it can be said that the overall productivity and revenue of the port will be improved for sure. Logistics as a function takes care of all the problems that are associated with transportation, it covers aspects like that of supply chain management, packaging, time management and anything that allows a good to be transported from one place to that of another. The Maritime and Port authority of Singapore has been in existence since 1996 but much improvement hasn’t been seen in the port because certain things are left unnoticed at the port.
The logistics department at the port hasn’t been given much importance thus; the port doesn’t take care properly of the logistical problems. The port is located in Singapore and hence, they work as per the Government policies of Singapore only but the policies all over the world are different. There are certain standard norms which can be undertaken by the port so that the port can transport goods from and to all the parts of the world. The port also needs to take care of the inbound and outbound logistics. Outbound logistics are very much well managed as that creates an impression about the port to the customer but the inbound logistics are overlooked. The employees at the port are really stressed with the work load because they have to do a lot of hard work. Inbound logistics processes need to be improved as this will improve the efficiency of the outbound process.
Solving the above mentioned issues isn’t a difficult thing to deal with as implementation of certain simple things will help the port to grow at a faster rate. Customer service at the port needs to be improved so that the customers feel that they are valued. Apart from that, an IT department needs to be set so that they can set up a proper network which will allow the employees and managers to work efficiently.
The port shouldn’t ignore the environment and hence, before implementation of any policy, they need to think about the effect that it will be creating on the environment. If the port undertakes environmentally friendly policy then initially they will have to spend some money but in the future, this cost will be returned in the form of increase in the revenue. The port must replace its ships with new fuel efficient ships. The port must also rebuild the warehouse so that the usage of electricity is reduced to minimal.
The port was run in a very traditional way till date but the the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore needs to understand that they should change their policies so that they can be ahead in the competition. If the current situation prevails in the port then the port will be left behind as the customers will opt for some other port rather than that of this one.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary. 1
Issues at MPA.. 4
Strategies that can help MPA to reduce cost and increase quality in logistics Network. 6
How to implement green logistics in the port?. 8
MPA is working really hard to improve the port but they need to understand things logically. Logistics function at the port is not one of the functions but it is one of the major functions and hence, the issues needs to be identified and addressed at the earliest. Apart from the issues, there are certain things which can be implemented at the port so that the port can grow to international heights.
Issues at MPA
There are various issues which need to be addressed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) so that they can become a renowned port, not only in Singapore but also worldwide. Few issues that need to be addressed by the logistics and supply chain management of the MPA are as follows: -
- The motto of Maritime and Port authority of Singapore (MPA) is to be a global hub port so the government needs to understand that they shouldn’t ignore the global policies. It has been noticed that the global supply chain management policies have been ignored by the port. The rules and regulations, which are, currently prevailing aren’t suitable for countries worldwide so this thing needs to be changed at the earliest so that the growth of port isn’t stopped (EPIQ, n.d.).
- MPA is ignoring the inbound logistics of the port. Might be, MPA is thinking that the outbound logistics of the port are generating revenue so the inbound logistics isn’t important. The port shouldn’t forget that the inbound logistics isn’t important but if perfection is achieved in inbound logistics then only the outbound logistics will work in accordance with the plan. The inbound processes should be clear so that the outbound process can work as planned.
- Usage of information technology is minimal at the port. Most of the information regarding the goods that they have and the goods that has been transported is being completely done manually. Usage of information technology may initially seem to be a difficult task but one needs to realize that this will allow the complete process to get automated thus, increasing the speed of the process. Technology has improved to a large extent and the users have said that with the help of technology, 99% problems that were present in the past are solved (Porter, M 1985).
- Lot of wastage of inventory is one problem which the employees in inventory department are putting across. Proper inventory management needs to be thought about and it needs to be implemented accordingly so that the losses are reduced. Apart from the financial losses that the port faces due to mismanagement of inventory, a lot of stress is created among employees who are directly dealing with inventory thus, this leads to dissatisfaction of employees as well.
- Integration is something that really needs to be worked on for the betterment of THE PORT. The integration among the departments which work at the port is the best but the same co-ordination and integration isn’t noticed with departments that operate outside the port. The warehouse is located at some distance from the port so the employees aren’t, generally, aware about the arrival and departure of goods from warehouse to port or vice-versa. Simultaneously, if a good need to reach the final destination then the receiving party needs to be aware about the time so that they can be ready with the storage facilities or anything else that the good requires (Craig, n.d.).
- Cost factor, which is, involved in the transportation process isn’t given much importance but that is not the right thing to do. If the cost factor is ignored then it will be realized that, end of the year, the cost is much more than that of the revenue. If the management thinks that the cost factor involved in particular factor cannot be reduced further then they should increase the price of the service rather than that of working at a loss. Apart from that, management should note down the complete process that takes place inside and outside the port and then they should identify the wastages that are incurred. The wastage, that is, being incurred in the process should be eliminated or they should be reduced to the extent possible (Craig, n.d.).
- Communication channel at MPA needs to be improved. It is being seen that the Port manager is held responsible for all the activities that take place in the port but this is not the right way of managing. MPA should assign different responsibilities to different managers rather than only the port manager. This will improve the performance of port manager as he will be relieved from the stress of managing all the random activities.
- Security is being ignored at the port. The MPA shouldn’t leave any stone unturned in terms of security because if any unethical activity takes place then the image of the port will be damaged. A tight security is, merely, impossible because all the leaks and all the goods that are being transported cannot be checked but security should be tightened to the great extent (Lynch, 2011).
Strategies that can help MPA to reduce cost and increase quality in logistics Network
MPA should look for logistics management policies that will allow the port to grow and at the same time, it shouldn’t harm the growth of employees and revenue. Initially, certain things may seem to be difficult but on the long run, they will be considered to be beneficial by the port. Few strategies that will allow the port to grow are as follows: -
- First and foremost, MPA needs to do a proper research on the things that are going around in the environment. For the last 40 years, the social and cultural environment is continuously changing so the logistical policies of the port need to be changed as per the changing environment so that the customers are comfortable. Apart from the competitor in the industry should also be analyzed at regular intervals. Doing this will help MPA to understand the competitiveness that they have in the industry. If any good customer friendly policy is introduced by some other port then MPA should adopt it at the earliest so that they don’t lag behind in the competition. Many may not be aware regarding the impact that the social environment can create on the port. The infrastructure of the port should be comfortable so that the customer feels spacious while he enters the port. The port should also keep a track of the government policies that are changing continuously (Waters, D, 2010).
- Customers should be satisfied and this is the key to success not only for this port but for any business in the world. There are various ways by which the customer satisfaction can be taken care of. If MPA introduces a facility then they should market about it to the potential customer is aware about it. If the potential customer isn’t aware about the availability of service to the port then they will opt for some other service provider. Customer service is also important and hence, MPA should set up a department that will take care of the complaints. If a customer isn’t satisfied with any service then their query and problem should be solved. If a query or problem from the customer cannot be solved then a solution should be prepared for the same so that such problem doesn’t occur in the future to any other customer(Waters, D, 2010).
- MPA must set up a separate IT department so that all the information can be loaded in the computer and the same can be retrieved as and when required. There are many software available in the market and these softwares are designed for logistics management at ports. If a manager wants to have a look at the inventory that is available then he can just log in into the software and get all the details rather than that of going personally to the place where the inventory is stored. MPA should establish a proper intranet, Extranet and internet service for themselves so that the employees, managers at the port and the customers can get access to all the required data at all the point of time (Waters, D, 2010).
- The performance of all employees at the port should be tracked at regular intervals so that the management as well as the employee is aware about the revenue that they are generating for the organization. MPA gives a standard appraisal to all the employees and this is not a right thing to do as this will frustrate the employees who are performing better than that of others. Balance scorecard is one of the best methods that can be used for performance appraisal as this will give a brief idea to the employees regarding the tasks that they have performed in the past and at the same time, the employees will also be aware regarding the things that they need to do in the future so that they can be value adding to the organization also (Waters, D, 2010).
- MPA can outsource their logistics to any other third party and this can be beneficial to MPA. If the port has to set a logistical network in some other country then that can be an expensive deal; rather than setting up a complete network, they can outsource this process. Outsourcing is beneficial as MPA can save cost and at the same time, there won’t be any compromise in the quality of service that they will provide to their customers thus, the customer will come back to them again (Rushton, C, B, 2010).
- This is a very large port and hence, it is very spacious. The place that is available on the port should be utilized completely and efficiently. The distance between the warehouse and the shipping area should be reduced to a minimum. This will allow the costs of transportation to be reduced to the minimum and apart from that, the energy of the workers will also be saved and hence, they can utilize the same into some other work (Rushton, C, B, 2010).
- Inventory management technique that best suits the port needs to be chosen. Everyday opening stock and the closing stock should be calculated as this will give the management, a rough idea, regarding the revenue that they generate on everyday basis. Apart from that, FIFO (First In First Out) method should be used while transporting the goods from the MPA port to that of another. A FIFO method needs to be different for regular goods and perishable goods so that the perishable goods reaches the final destination in proper state. MPA can distinguish the goods that need to be sent urgently and the one which can be sent as per the regular time schedule. If a good need to be sent urgently then extra money for the same needs to be charged thus, this will increase the profit margin of the organization (Rushton, C, B, 2010).
How to implement green logistics in the port?
Every organization is trying its level best to reduce the utilization of chemicals and other products that are causing harm to the environment. The governments of all the countries are motivating companies to reduce the usage of carbon and apart from that, many countries have even passed strict laws regarding the use of carbon. Every country is given a carbon limit on the amount of carbon that they can emit. This port is not an exception and hence, they also need to undertake steps that will help to be in the competition and at the same time, many customers prefer to be associated to organizations that environmentally friendly. If an organization is environmentally friendly but if they have tie-ups with organizations which aren’t environmentally friendly then the environment friendly organization’s reputation is spoiled thus, good time companies avoids such mistake.
MPA should reduce the usage of carbon in the ships that they use. Ships run on fuel so there are fuels which emits less carbon so MPA should opt for such fuels. These fuels may be considered to be more expensive than that of the regular fuel but that will be beneficial to the port in the long run. The distance between the warehouse and the shipping port should be as short as possible. If the distance between the warehouse and the port is longer then a car or truck will have to be used to transport the good and this will again emit carbon. If the distance is reduced then automatically the emission of carbon will be reduced due to the less usage of vehicles.
The ship, that is, used for the transportation of goods should be cleaned and maintained at regular intervals. The ships whose engine isn’t cleaned at regular intervals emits a huge amount of carbon dioxide due to the inefficiency of the engine. Initially, cleaning engines may seem to be an expensive task but in the long run, MPA will realize that this increases the lifespan of the ship and at the same time, fuel saving also saves money (McKinnon 2010)
This is a very old port and they have been in existence for years and hence, they have lots of old ships with them. MPA needs to understand that the older ships aren’t fuel efficient. There are many ships newly introduced in the market which are fuel efficient and hence, slowly and steadily, MPA should replace their old ships with that of new fuel efficient vehicles(Enmett, S 2010).
MPA should opt for goods that can be recycled. Goods that can be recycled are considered to be good for the environment because with the help of recyclable goods, the usage of virgin raw materials is reduced. MPA should use reusable goods in all the processes that they can think of. If a ship is used for a long period of time then it shouldn’t be just scrapped as scrap isn’t environmental friendly and hence, MPA should look for ships that are environment-friendly so that they can be used in the production of another ship. The paper, that is, used for the purpose of packaging should be such that they can be used again for the packaging of other goods as well again, in the future (Enmett, S 2010).
MPA is willing to grow and hence, they might be thinking of building new warehouses so while doing so, they need to keep the design ideas in might. If MPA requires lots of light in the warehouse then they should make arrangements for windows so that natural light can be utilized rather than that of electricity. MPA should fix the light fixtures in such a position that a single tube light can spread light in a maximum area thus, the usage of electricity will be reduced (Enmett, S 2010).
Packaging of goods utilizes a lot of paper and wood so it is better to avoid packaging to the extent possible. MPA managers should identify the goods that can be transported without packaging as this will save the resources used for packaging (Enmett, S 2010). MPA should continuously track their performance in terms of environment friendly policies so that they can be happy about the improvement that they are making. This is a continuous process and hence, it shouldn’t happen that MPA implements certain policies and then they tend to forget about the new process and hence, they should look for ways that will help them to improve further.
MPA may not be sure about opting for environmentally friendly policies but they will have to do it sooner or later due to the societal and political pressures from not only Singapore but also from many developed countries in the world. If MPA addresses all the above issues and sorts it then the growth of the port cannot be stopped.
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