Blog July 8, 2013

M&S Logistics improves cost management with Monitor4000

By Nicola Byers

M&S Logistics, the tank operating division of the Multistar Group, has purchased Monitor4000 tank operating software from MRI Intermodal Software to manage its fleet of around 3,000 tanks. With extensive growth plans, the UK based operator is moving away from an in-house solution and plans to go live with Monitor4000 later this summer.

Headquartered in Cheshire, M&S employs 50 staff globally and has offices in Houston, South Africa, Rotterdam and Singapore. It specialises in providing tank operating services to niche markets particularly within the oil and gas sector.

The leasing division of Multistar was already successfully using MRI Intermodal’s container leasing Rental4000 software so it was easy for M&S to make a decision to move tank operations across to Monitor4000. David Kew, M&S’s Managing Director, headed up the team responsible for the selection of a new system.

“We needed a solution that was designed specifically for the tank market and was ready to meet our requirements,” explained Kew. “Our legacy system needed replacing and in-house development just wasn’t an option. As MRI was well known to us and the leasing solution had been very successful, we made a decision to implement Monitor4000.”

A major benefit for M&S Logistics will be the integrated vendor tariffs database within the Monitor4000 solution. At present, the team uses a separate costing system and relies heavily on user knowledge to produce quotations.

“By implementing a solution with an inbuilt tariffs database, we will be able to improve the accuracy of our quotations and reduce the variances between the sale estimate and the final invoice,” declared Kew. “Monitor4000 stores all of the vendor costs which relate to specific journeys so we know we’ll be able to use the most cost effective tariffs for each job. By tracking all costs accurately, it will save valuable time creating quotations and it will help us to monitor and increase the profitability on each job.

A major influence on our decision to install Monitor4000 was the knowledge that a specialist IT system was an essential component of our exciting growth strategy,” continued Kew. “We have plans to double our fleet size over the next two years and have already added an additional 700 tanks this year. A bi-product of business growth is invariably the need to employ more people and a comparative workflow analysis of our current IT system against MRI’s demonstrated that we could mitigate this significantly and seriously improve profitability. One example of this is Monitor4000’s Plan Board which considerably speeds up the process of allocating equipment to jobs. Another is the Business Intelligence capability which, amongst many other benefits, removes the need for some regular reports by providing management with instant exception warnings – for instance, when a job margin is below target.”

M&S is an important addition to the many tank operators using MRI Intermodal’s specialist tank operating software. Others include Hoyer Global, VOTG Tanktainer, Newport Tank Containers, Paltank Ltd and Tank Management A/S.