KWL aims to improve services in 2010
Fritz Pinnock (right), executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute makes a point to Grantley Stephenson (left), chairman and chief executive officer of Kingston Wharves Limited and Trevor Riley, general manager of the Shipping Association of Jamaica.
Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL), one of the Caribbean's leading multipurpose terminals, is upgrading its warehouse services in an effort to improve service to customers.
Grantley Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of KWL, said that the aim is to improve the customer's experience through the simplification and automation of current processes, resulting in faster delivery of cargo.
"This is a work-in-progress," Stephenson said. "However, one of our main challenges is the fact that we do not control all the processes in the chain."
To initiate the process, the KWL team identified, sorted and delivered all overtime cargo from all three warehouses to its customers. This allowed for the more efficient use of valuable warehouse space and an opportunity to improve storage and retrieval procedures.
Additionally, in collaboration with the Jamaica Customs Department, KWL implemented the centralisation of the customs manifest to the customer lobby. The centralised customs manifest is complemented by the terminal's newly automated customer service process that produces a KWL service number. This is used by the operations team to mobilise resources for locating and preparing customers cargo for inspection ahead of customers' arrival to the berths.
"KWL's intention is to implement more customer-focused initiatives in the coming year to continuously improve cargo delivery," Stephenson said. He was speaking at the KWL-sponsored Shipping Association of Jamaica's (SAJ) lunch and learn seminar last Thursday. The lunch and learn seminars are held monthly to inform shipping industry members on new developments in the local, regional and international shipping industry.
In addressing the lunch and learn topic, 'Preparing for the challenges ahead in 2010, while adding value to business, work and life', Stephenson reminded the attendees that even in the face of weaknesses and threats, there are opportunities.
Quoting from the Harvard Business Review article entitled 'Three Questions Executives Should Ask for the New Year', Stephenson said the questions posed are relevant to the industry. The three questions the publication posits that should be asked are:
If there is one thing I could do to improve my business, what would it be and how would I make it happen?
If there was only one thing I could focus on to improve my personal performance, what would that be and how would I make it happen?
What messages am I not listening to or refusing to confront in my business and personal performance and how am I going to overcome this year?
"The above questions are as important for executives as they are for line staff; and are especially so in the context of the International Monetary Fund negotiations, the increased taxes, the declining remittances from abroad, the increase in General Consumption Tax, and so, some revision and/or amendments to one's modus operandi will have to be made to achieve the desired results," Stephenson said.
He implored individuals to take the business of goalsetting seriously. On the issue of resolutions, Stephenson said, "make the exercise one that you have to do and not one that you want to do." He added that a reasonable timeframe must clearly be outlined and that persons should seek the guidance of individuals who have had success with similar goals.
Stephenson pointed to family life and healthy lifestyle changes as two areas that should be given increased focus in order to add value to life.
He remained confident that despite the challenges currently being faced by the country, all will survive. "We will not all wither and die, but we are going to emerge from this period of turbulence a stronger, fitter and more caring set of people," Stephenson said.