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logo emoStrategically located at the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam, EMO (Europees Massagoed-Overslagbedrijf B.V.) fulfils a pivotal role in international dry bulk shipments.

Its deep water ports, infrastructure to unload at a capacity of 140,000 tons a day and nearly 50 km of conveyor belts provide the capability to handle the biggest dry bulk carriers in the world and make it the largest storage and transshipment terminal of Western Europe. From its 160 hectares large terminal, coal and iron ore are distributed by sea, river or railroad, whereby different batches can be blended into the desired quality as an optional service.

The Challenge

Managing such a massive and prominent operation requires carefully designed processes and sophisticated IT support. For EMO’s customers to rely on EMO for their logistics and quality control, full transparency of all goods movement, from beginning to end, is crucial. On top of that, the ability to share data with customers, surveyors, agents and shipping companies is taking on increasing importance.

The Business Dimension

IT systems that support EMO’s business are not easily available off-the-shelf. So, when EMO came to the conclusion that its terminal management system was reaching the end of its lifespan, it started a long-term project to replace and enhance its system. After EMO and its IT Provider had completed a lot of groundwork, EMO senior management realised that a successful implementation of the new system would require an extra dimension, the business dimension. Voorne Partners strongly advocates that major IT projects should be treated as business projects and thus gladly acted on EMO’s request for support.

The Approach

Interactive sessions involving EMO users and Voorne Partners experts helped EMO to take the definition of its business processes to the appropriate level of detail and dot the “i’s” for its business requirements. The Voorne Partners experts also supported the project’s Steering Committee to gain a broader perspective to ensure that the project would fit EMO’s business ambitions. Integrating the business side of the project with the IT side was another area of focus, with the business side dealing with the change management aspects of the project. Training and testing were an important tool to not only check the system against its specifications, but also to familiarise the users with the new tools and processes.

The Result

At the end of 2011, EMO enjoyed a successful go live of its newly configured system. Having gained experience and confidence with it, EMO is now convinced they have the state-of-the-art platform they need as a solid base for future development. With the increasing demand for product quality optimisation by mixing different batches, a new control system for this purpose is one of the items on EMO’s list of innovations, together with a new terminal planning system and terminal visualisation system. These are the tools to further improve EMO’s customer service in a mature, but ever important and continuously developing business.vessel

EMO men with vessel in background

As Mathijs Pelsma, Managing Director of EMO put it: “Voorne Partners, with its very pragmatic and hands-on approach, played a crucial role in the change management aspects of the project. Furthermore, they were the linking pin between the business and IT while continuously balancing the requirements. Their approach contributed significantly to the success of this project.”

EMO, the European dry bulk goods and transshipment company, is the largest terminal for coal and iron ore in Europe. The biggest seagoing vessels from all over the globe berth along the EMO quay. The state-of-the-art facilities unload seagoing ships fast and efficiently. The machine-driven transport conveyor system moves cargo across the terminal for storage, processing or transshipment. EMO serves clients in the energy and steel sector. Power plants produce energy for consumers and industry. The steel industry processes millions of tons of iron ore, transshipped by EMO to become numerous products, from cars to industrial machinery, as well as steel construction for the building sector. EMO’s clients come from all over Europe. EMO offers clients added value, not only meeting their demands but by taking that extra step and proactively responding to their needs.