Amsterdam Port(s) Performance Measuring
In 2008 the Port of Amsterdam started with the development of a corporate datawarehouse to collect, to share, to save and to connect data about the operations of the port. A connection is made between internal financial (e.g. invoicing system) and operational systems (e.g. port management system) and external data sources. It took some time to make this connection possible because e.g. a harmonization of definitions was needed and a validation of the data was necessary for some sources. A next step which has been made recently was the development of dashboards for managers. Managers can see at their own dashboard the performance of their own customers, cargo flows etc.. Those dashboards are custom made per manager. Now in 2014 we are at a stage that we aim to share a part of our information with our partners e.g. our customers.
What we have seen is a growth model starting with collecting data. The next step was enriching data with other data sources, followed by the transformation from data to information. Finally there is the stage of control. A crucial point in this model is to start always with the need for information and not with the ict-systems or the supply of information. This model can also be seen in other organisations and in the theory of information management (so called BI Maturity Models from e.g. Gartner). It’s not only important to have the right information but also to do the right things with the information. Then you’ll really improve the performance. You should avoid that performance measurement will be an objective in itself.
The role of information within the society and more specific, within companies is changed. Nowadays it’s more or less a production factor like capital and labour. Information will have a value. To stay in terms of transport you can even see information as the 5th modality. A company needs a good infrastructure, the right connections, reliability and a proper speed.
The project of performance measuring gained momentum due to the corporatisation of the Port Authority in 2013. Our shareholders and our supervisory board requires insight in the performance of the port and the company. Also stakeholders do require monitoring of performance. In the discussion about future extension plans we need to provide evidence that expansion is needed and that we have done everything we could to utilize our resources optimally (e.g. maximization of throughput per hectare). The new “Port Vision 2030″ will be an important guideline for future performance measurement since the long term targets will be chosen.
Participation in the Portopia projects of ESPO makes it possible to learn from other ports, to share our knowledge with other ports and last but not least, to benchmark our performance with the European Port Cluster. It’s important to constantly compare our performance with other ports to keep our current position in Europe.
Port of Amsterdam
Dept. of Strategy and Innovation
Photo credits: The Business Energiehaven Economie, Photograper Eelco-Wartena