Project type: Application, web/windows based
Project title: Decision Support System for a Fuel Management company
Energy Care Ltd (ECL) is a company started with the objective of providing Fuel Management Solution to industrial consumers like power plants, cement plants and fertilizer plants etc within the country. At present they are supplying coal to these organizations. Their overseas business associate EC Worldwide Inc(ECW) helps ECL in sourcing coal from mines located in Australia, South Africa, Russia, China, Indonesia, and other countries.
ECL offers end to end solutions to the customers â€œ from sourcing, procurement, inspection and transportation.
Existing Business system
The process begins with the inquiry received from the domestic customer. The enquiry specifies the quality of the coal, quantity, the delivery date and place of delivery. This enquiry is passed on to ECW for sourcing. ECW, in turn, contacts various miners/traders. On receipt of quotes received from the suppliers, ECW makes a firm offer to ECL. ECW maintains a database of suppliers, quality of the coal offered & other related specs, freight costs etc.
On getting a firm quote from customer, ECL prepares the cost sheet based on the inputs from various departments. Logistics provides information on Inland Freight, Port Charges, Stevedoring/Handling charges, Inspection costs and other miscellaneous expenses. The Finance department supplies details on Interest Costs, Forex rates, Forward cover and overhead costs whereas Marketing department offers finer points of the commercial terms. The cost sheet is translated into an offer, after taking into consideration all the above inputs and is sent to the customer.
The customer negotiates the prices with ECL and places an order.
ECL, on receipt of an order, keeps ECW posted of the order details. ECW enters into a contract with the supplier to meet ECL order. ECW hires a vessel arranges for loading the coal on to the vessel. The vessel details are intimated to ECL who arranges for, places in consultation with ECL, charts the route map for the vessel from the port of loading to port of discharge in India. On the arrival of cargo, ECL arranges for inland transport from the port to the client site either by truck or by train.
The incoming coal is analyzed by the designated external agencies at various points â€œ port of loading, Port of discharge and Railway yard etc. and based on the test results, the client can be billed at a rate different from the ordered prices, in line with the terms of the order. If the quality parameters of the coal are better or worse than those specified in the order, higher or lower rates can be charged. The price variation limits and the acceptable ranges of quality parameters are clearly spelt out in the order. The same procedure is followed when the miner raises the invoice on ECL.
Proposed Decision support system
ECL is looking for a decision support system in addition to the functionalities like Inventory & Financials and tracking the cargo. And all these data/decisions/transactions are to be available for ECW too.
The system should alert the user or pop up a message at the appropriate time that an enquiry for a particular grade of coal for a particular quantity would come from a particular user, after analyzing the track record of that customer.
The system should advise the pricing to be quoted based on the inputs like Stevedoring, truck rates, handling rates, port charges, bank charges and market rates etc.,
The system should guide ECL on the profitable route while cargo is moved. The system should follow the movement of cargo and alert the user on the possible date of arrival. It should also advise the user on booking the plots at the ports for stocking the coal.
The system should advise the amount of coal to be lifted from the miner (depending on the orders on hand and also the space availability in the vessel). This excess quantity should be discharged at a suitable port in the vicinity of a prospective customer.