Over the last year, Kalmar has been focusing on new business models and ways of innovating in the cargo handling market. "It's not just about the technical development of our cranes, equipment and software," says SVP, Sales and Marketing Günter Schmidmeir, who oversees the development of OneTerminal at Kalmar. "Many of our customers have been voicing an interest in longer-term engagements for our services. We keep hearing over and over again that customers don't just need the machines and software, but a deeper service commitment from Kalmar."

As an integrated automation solution, Kalmar OneTerminal is the perfect way to start meeting this demand, both for greenfield terminals and existing terminals looking to increase their automation level. Kalmar OneTerminal is a field-proven, pre-integrated automation solution that brings together Kalmar and Navis software systems, equipment and services for seamless deployment.

"When we first launched the offering a couple of years ago, it was very much about the integration of our cranes and software, but we're much further now," notes Schmidmeir.

Field-proven, pre-integrated automation solution that brings together Kalmar and Navis software systems, equipment and services for seamless deployment.

"A significant change is that for the first time, we are now ready to offer performance-based contracting with Kalmar OneTerminal."

As part of the OneTerminal solution, Kalmar is now able to offer specific performance or availability guarantees on a contractual level. These guarantees are given on the premise that the customer adopts the standardised, proven OneTerminal solution as well as the related services and support. In return, Kalmar is ready to provide – and guarantee – a mutually agreed performance level for the required key performance indicators with OneTerminal offer such yard crane performance and availability.

Being there for the customer

Performance-based contracts are a radical departure from traditional business models in the cargo handling industry. In addition to depending on field-proven, standardised solutions, the model also calls for an increased level of commitment from Kalmar and its service staff. "In order to provide guaranteed automated terminal performance, we need to have more of our people spending time at the customer site, helping them reach and sustain their targets," says Schmidmeir. "This is important, whether we are talking about maintenance services or software-based process optimisation."

Guaranteed performance depends on continuous improvement. As part of the OneTerminal offering, Kalmar's experts will spend time at the customer site, working with the customer assessing factors such as performance optimisation, control room setup and the usage of various software solutions.

"For example, we can often suggest small changes to the control room layout, review processes, use of software, equipment and other elements that help operators get the best out of the system," says Schmidmeir. "This is part of helping the customer reach and sustain the key performance indicators that we have guaranteed to them. We have found that really being there at the customer site lets them automate with confidence and keeps the focus on continuous improvement."

Kalmar's experts will spend time at the customer site helping the customers get the best out of the system.

With time, as operators at the terminal gain experience with their automation solution, fewer visits are typically required by those involved with the continuous improvement programme to assess optimization. "We have to rethink the traditional project model where a supplier delivers a system and then only comes back if there is an issue," Schmidmeir notes. "Even after the initial setup, it requires a concerted effort to ensure the terminal hits and then sustains the required performance levels. We are there to help the customer accomplish this."

Stepping into the lead

Schmidmeir points out that even though the industry has been developing rapidly in recent years, many terminals are still wary of undertaking automation projects. Pre-integrated, standardised solutions can make automation accessible to terminals that would not have previously considered automating their operations.

"Until recently, many terminal automation efforts have been run like complicated science projects. We need to move away from this mindset, providing an integrated package that lets terminals automate with ease," says Schmidmeir. "For customers that are ready to adopt Kalmar OneTerminal as a standardised solution, we are now ready to offer guaranteed performance in return."  

Schmidmeir expects that performance-based contracts could mean a significant step for the whole cargo handling industry. "Automation should no longer be seen as a complex, one-off project run by people with secret knowledge. In today's industry, we need to build on standardised solutions delivered by a single organisation, with easy deployment and guaranteed performance. This is what our customers have been asking for – and what we are now ready to provide with Kalmar OneTerminal."