Strategic Tool for Headquarter level:
This phase addresses the strategic decision-making and planning needs of the Corporate Headquarters (HQ). This layer provides invaluable tools for top management to analyze business performance, identify both short and long-term opportunities and threats and make informed business decisions on business expansion, contraction and diversification.

The following features provides insight into the kind of functionalities that come “out of the box” in Q-FLX to support the top management in its strategic planning. Those features, we believe, are not to be found in any other typical systems that focus on operational aspects.

1. Setup and Access Control

Phase 3 involves the availability of a Messenger application that enables real-time message exchange or chat across the organisation. It offers options for offline messaging, private messaging, chat logs, etc.

The module is called:
   a. Messenger

2. Strategic Planning
The feature of strategic planning is further empowered by the introduction of a Cost Management module. Its is a cost evaluation & analysis application integrated across the functions in order to record, process and analyse any activity towards cost. The main function of this module is to capture all activities that have a cost implication from across all modules, and to apply the index costs multipliers to generate a more accurate estimation of costs. It then picks up (from the database) information on actual costs incurred by the company on operational activities. The system subsequently compares the actual and estimated costs to generate results. These results can be analysed by the HQ to manage and implement cost reduction measures.

The unique (in all senses) module available under this group is:
   a. Cost Management

3. Sales & Marketing
The Marketing module provides the user with a simplified tool to record and track details such as market growth, own and competitors ‘market share, clients forecasts on potential new businesses etc. The information provided by the application is vital when the user is formulating his/her budgets, business plans, sales plans, renegotiations of contracts or planning new services.

COC* Sales module has been designed keeping in mind the in-depth customer information that leads to an effective sales cycle management. The module links the customer profile information with the organization’s sales force, the expectations, the rates, and so on.

A user can easily create sales plan using the Sales Planner provided with the system. All activities under this module are completely seamless with the auto-population of data being a key feature. A continuous updated field indicates the number of calls made in the month, the TEU on plan vs. calls, and the income derived from there.

The system can further indicate negative or positive trends of the sales call, facilitating planning of future actions. It is able to capture and inform the variances between the planned sales, marketing efforts and actual results.

This complete and comprehensive feature is divided into three modules
   a. Marketing
   b. COC Sales Module
   c. Variance Analysis

4. Operations
In this strategic intelligence level of design and implementation, the system provides modules on Insurance, Stowage and Cost Management. The Insurance module essentially allows the user to record details & terms of insurance policies, to control policies through expiry date & premium due date alerts, to manage insurance claims along with record payment details, etc.

We do not intend to design an application on Stowage at this stage but a Feeder Operator’s current Stowage system can be integrated with this system and linkages can be established across processes and functions.

The facilities offered by this module can be summarized as:
   a. Insurance
   b. Stowage Planning

5. Financial Management
Q-FLX extends its Finance feature to include Fixed Assets and Treasury management options. This module allows the users to record all details related to acquisition & disposal of fixed assets. At all times the present value of assets can be viewed with depreciation calculated automatically. The system also generates accounting reports for acquisition, depreciation and disposal of assets.

Treasury management allows to record, view, manage and analyze all treasury functions such as cash management, cash forecasting, cash position reporting, investments, accounting, etc.

Cash flows can be reflected in real-time and it is possible to drill down to the base data in order to interrogate the source of the cash flow. Bank statements can be downloaded and the user can perform automatic reconciliations.

The Finance Closing (Voyage) module handles the financial closing of a voyage and handles receivables. Each individual receivable can be reviewed while the system records and update ageing details. Similarly all payables are recorded, updated and subsequently reconciled. The Results module is validated with the data of actual receipts and payments.

This high-end module includes:
   a. Fixed Assets
   b. Treasury
   c. Voyage Closing (Financial)

6. Customer Relationship Management
The Web Portal designed at this stage provides remote login for users at customer sites. Customers can look-up voyage schedules, tariffs, agreed discounts, etc. They can also check the availability of slots or the details of invoices. The system’s data access control ensures that customers can see only their own company's data.

This facility is called:
   a. Web Portal

7. Knowledge Management (Reports)
Cubed Reports are specifically designed for a client’s needs; these are reports where multiple locations or multiple vessels’ data can be progressively summarized to finer levels and represented in a single report.

On the basic level these reports can be generated using MS-Excel pivot tables but the system can be configured to meet the client’s needs by integrating high-level business intelligence tools such as Cognos.

The preferences, concerns, priorities and requirements of data delivery from top-level management have been kept in view while designing The Dashboard module. The application provides an immediate snapshot customized to the needs & wants of the manager. The data is presented using gauges, charts, tables and other graphic representations. Though still at the planning stage the application will be designed in a drill down map format.

From the global level overview the user can drill down to get regional data, go further down to country, to port, inland destination or depot and get the relevant information. The data representation at each level will show the last status, summarised averages, history or trends.

As example, typical fields for a port could show bookings, forecasted or closed freights, vessel departure with operational details and cargo details, status of containers, status of receivables, payables and a whole host of other data available up to the last replication inputted the system.

As discussed the two modules are:
   a. Cubed
   b. Dashboard


GUI = General User Interface

TDR = Terminal Departure Report. The report generally submitted by the terminal or the port agent and confirming the activity along with the details of the services purchased.

EGM = Export General Manifest

IGM = Import General Manifest

COC = Customer Owned Container

The Three Layered Architecture:
Phase 1 | Phase 2 | Phase 3

Also see:
Q-ILS  A Complete Liner System
Q-MIA  TheLiner Agency Solution

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