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Kenya's port deploys new software for faster operations

20 March 2013, 16:42

Mombasa - Kenya Port Authority (KPA) said it will deploy a state-of-the-art software application system that will increase efficiency at the Port of Mombasa.

The system, which will be deployed next Monday will fast track clearance of cargo and will also form part of an upgraded Enterprise Resource System, administrative software which has been running since July 2002.

KPA Managing Director Gichiri Ndua said the system upgrade is part of the major transformation package being implemented in line with the corporate vision to become "world class seaports of choice".

"Among the key requirements is an Information Technology (IT) system that will ensure accurate and real time reporting for operational, management and administrative functions and decision making," Ndua said.

The Mombasa-based port facility is the best equipped on the East African coast being the second largest port in terms of tonnage and containers handled after Durban.

It serves the hinterland markets of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Tanzania, Southern Sudan and Ethiopia.  

The move marks the dawn of the ambitious electronic trade era in the port business where Port customers will now be able to transact with KPA faster, efficiently and securely.

Ndua said customers will be able to receive invoices, make payments, lodge claims/disputes and receive statements of accounts and other services at the comfort of their respective offices.

He said members of staff will now easily access personal information and will be accorded authorization to make various applications online.

"The employees will also be able to update certain self-data without making applications in writing. They will be enabled to obtain faster services from those with responsibilities hence realizing Real-time service request and responses," he said.

Deployment of the new solutions is in response to advanced business requirements and efforts towards making the Authority realize a competitive edge.

The functional upgrade streams that have been deployed in Phase 1 of the implementation include, New General Ledger, Financial Supply Chain Management, Employee and Manager Self Service and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM).

To enable swift take off, the KPA has notified stakeholders and the general public of the disruption of certain applications from 12:00 on March 23 to 06:00 on March 25.

"Port users will be able to Gate-In and Gate-Out cargo already paid for before the downtime.  They can also continue to lodge manifests, Loading Lists, and Delivery Documents though billing will not be possible," Ndua said.

The Authority realized its 10 year (2000 -2010) IT strategic plan which implemented an Enterprise Resource System (SAP) as a management and administrative software which   has been running since July 2002.

The Kilindini Waterfront Automated Terminal Operations System (KWATOS) which is an operations management tool has been running since 2008.

Ndua however said in that business transactions in KWATOS will not be affected by this downtime except Interface with SAP. But still the Authority would not be able to bill or receive payments during that time.

- Xinhua


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