DP World Antwerp, one of the largest container transhipment companies in the Port of Antwerp, wants to digitise the logistics behind its container loading and unloading as much as possible. This is quite a big job for CIIO Patrick Putman and his team, so he’s happy he can leave the project preparation and execution to his IT partners.
Better, more secure collaboration by DP World
Thousands of containers are loaded and unloaded every day, with hundreds of lorries driving on and off site, manoeuvring between the many container cranes and giant ships that cannot be late – it’s a logistical challenge that matters. So it goes without saying that it’s a process that benefits greatly from a careful, sophisticated IT approach. To fully focus on it, CIIO (Chief Information & Innovation Officer) Patrick Putman can’t also be worrying about the day-to-day IT activities that all companies needs to deal with: email, data management, updates to office applications, etc.
Photo by Arthur Los
Better, more secure collaboration
Microsoft Office 365 plays a major role in this, explains Putman: ‘This technology enables our employees to collaborate without taking up too many resources. We often collaborate ad hoc. Colleagues can consult with each other, share files and work on presentations via Microsoft Teams.’ Using the new tools – correctly – means they need fewer physical meetings, which saves lots of time and improves productivity. The analytical tools that are part of Office 365, such MyAnalytics, help with this and improve IT security too. ‘Our physical protection is regulated very strictly in accordance with international legislation, and our IT systems were a bit behind on that front,’ explains Putman. ‘But we’ve more than made up for lost ground now.’
Think in the present
Ensuring this his colleagues can work together optimally is important, but the CIIO mainly wants to focus on preparing for the challenges that DP World Antwerp is going face over the next ten to twenty years. ‘IT needs to be like electricity or water,’ he says. ‘It needs to go almost unnoticed and not take too much effort. So it’s very important to choose a good IT partner, and you need to work together well. Companies need to stop telling their partner what has to be done, and instead ask for solutions.’ Choosing a partner he can trust with his organization’s ongoing IT concerns leaves Putman’s hands free to look ahead to the future.
‘There’s no concrete plan for a long-term approach like this’, he says. ‘You need to have a good look at what’s going on around you and be inspired by what you find. And definitely not think inside the boxes.’