Based at the Port of Liverpool, UM Terminals operates eight bulk liquids storage terminals across the UK and has implemented the latest technology to keep customers updated 24/7. Tony McDonough reports
Leading UK bulk liquid storage specialist UM Terminals is now offering its clients 24/7 real-time data to its clients following an investment in the latest technology.
Based in Regent Road within the Port of Liverpool, UM Terminals operates eight bulk liquids storage terminals across the UK. Four of the terminals are located within the Port of Liverpool.
The firm, which employs around 60 people, is more than a century old and currently handles a total of around 2m tonnes of bulk liquid a year. It has the capacity to store more than 300,000 cubic metres of bulk liquid and has an ambitious plan to grow this to 400,000 cubic metres.
One of its biggest products is molasses, of which it handles around 200,000 tonnes each year. This is then distributed in 80 different blends. It is a round-the-clock and all-year-round operation which handles more than 40 different products for up to 30 customers.
Now its recently implemented Client Central Services team can provide customers with a wealth of important information including real-time data to make critical business decisions. The service combines the best of technology with the knowledge and expertise of the UM team.
A dedicated portal gives clients instant access to essential weighbridge documentation and current stock levels for each tank. They also have a secure log-in and can access their data 24/7, 365 days a year via a desktop, tablet or mobile device.
Lynn McCoy, UM Terminals’ client central services manager, said: “We looked at all of the administration going on across our UK sites and started to think about how we could streamline and bring it all together.
“The key was not just about centralising the service, but ensuring that we maintained the same quality of personal service that customers were used to. We worked closely with our group business intelligence developer Adam Pierce to create a whole new way of working.
“Our weighbridge in particular had previously depended upon a lot of manual reporting, but which has now been moved online. Whereas before, there would have been lots of paper trails, we have now moved to a paperless solution in which information is stored electronically. The upshot is clearer, more accurate and faster information.”
The central control room at the Regent Road Terminal is filled with banks of screens giving Lynn and her team visibility of the different weighbridges along with immediate access to all customer information, such as current stock levels, via the client portal.
She added: “We are one important link in the supply chain. Our job is to look after our customers’ products and their movement in and out of our terminals.
“Sometimes we don’t know until the last minute when they are going to be coming in. Operational planning and flexibility are key in a fast-moving environment such as UM Terminals. At terminals such as Portbury in Bristol and Gladstone in Birkenhead we can regularly be handling over 40 vehicles a day.”