As one of the nation’s premier seaports, the Port of Long Beach provides roughly 316,000 jobs in Southern California and handles more than $155 billion worth of products, from clothes and shoes to lumber and steel, that pass through its harbor annually.
In addition to it being an economic powerhouse, the Port is a leader in providing environmental initiatives to minimize or eliminate negative environmental impacts.
With such a huge economic, logistic, and environmental footprint to track, the Port needed a reliable system to monitor its operations, such as tracking the high volume of vessels and cargo that pass through its waters to managing invoices and the billing system.
Ignify’s specialized implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX improved operating efficiency by automating the invoicing and accounts receivable processes, increasing oversight of revenue recognition an analytical reporting systems, enhancing productivity, and providing complete visibility of Port processes.
“Ignify came up with an ingenious idea,” Douglas Albrecht, Director of Information Management of the Port of Long Beach said at Ignify’s CXO Breakfast Series. “We have built data interfaces with partners such as the Marine Exchange and the City of Long Beach; almost all data flows into the system electronically now, everybody works from the AX screens.”
The CXO Breakfast Series featured Albrecht as the keynote speaker. He shared how choosing Microsoft Dynamics AX has streamlined previously burdensome manual processes in order to make the Port’s operations run smoothly and efficiently. This has, in turn, strengthened overall port processes while improving customer satisfaction.
Albrecht said that the number one complaint he would receive from staff prior to implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX was the inability to access important information. The staff could work more efficiently if it didn’t have to dig through information.
The billing system was the first main target area.
“Replacing our billing system was one of the most significant things we had on our plate because that’s where our revenue comes from,” said Albrecht. “You don’t want to disrupt that information flow for a moment.”
With Microsoft Dynamics AX, the Port’s data is correct, accurate, and accessible at any time. The invoices became consolidated—instead of 30 or 40 invoices for one vessel call, there is one invoice for everything, from inbound to discounts to the dockage.
The Port’s successful implementation and usage of Microsoft Dynamics AX was recognized by Microsoft as they were a finalist for a 2014 Customer Excellence Award.
“What I want to share is we don’t do IT projects,” said Albrecht. “We do business projects; and the way we do this—the way we make this real—is we bring business managers in as project managers on our IT and business projects.”
Ignify’s port solution is based on the Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics platforms, and provides the following functionality to port authorities, shippers, and marine terminal owners: vessel information management and vessel scheduling, billing and invoicing, contract management, property management, and electronic data interchange.
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Brianne Schaer is an Assistant Copywriter at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.