MMC embarks on major digital transformation

System upgrade: (clockwise from top left): Che Khalib, Venketrama Raja and Ramco Systems chief executive officer Virender Aggarwal holding up their copies of the memorandum of agreement after the virtual signing ceremony.

PETALING JAYA: MMC Corp Bhd has embarked on a three-year major digital transformation programme, which will see the consolidation and standardisation of processes of its ports.

MMC Port Holdings Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MMC Corp, will be collaborating with Chennai-based Ramco Systems Ltd, a global software solutions company to digitally transform MMC”s port operating companies to implement an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

This will include Pelabuhan Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), Johor Port Bhd, Northport (M) Bhd, Penang Port Sdn Bhd and Tanjung Bruas Port Sdn Bhd.

Building on an earlier implementation by Ramco Systems of an ERP system for PTP where about 90% of the system has achieved Go-Live in phases over the past 10 months, the enhanced rollout will digitalise processes while providing real-time business information.

MMC will also be able to consolidate various business support functions such as finance, human resources, enterprise asset management, supply chain management and logistics management across ports into a single integrated ERP system, all accessible on an integrated dashboard.

Over 8,000 MMC employees across the ports will be plugged into the platform on their computers or mobile devices, which will eliminate duplication, errors and other bottlenecks, allowing efficient business processes and enhanced data visibility.

The system will also include smart features such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which will provide employees with greater insight, predictive alerts and chatbots, which can reduce human error and save time.

MMC Corp group managing director Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said the implementation of the ERP system for its ports will be done in phases, which will be completed by 2023.

“With the implementation of a common and integrated system, it will allow MMC to have group-wide visibility on various business and operational data on a more transparent, immediate and accurate basis.

“Having a centralised ERP system will drive standardisation of processes across our ports and enhance the ease of doing business for customers and suppliers, providing faster and more accurate information sharing.

“As a group, MMC is one of the largest port operators in Malaysia, hence having a digitalised and efficient system will further highlight Malaysia as a thriving logistics global hub, ” he said in his speech before the virtual signing ceremony of a memorandum of agreement with Ramco Systems yesterday.

He added that the transformation will enable various opportunities for cost savings across the companies, which could come up to about 20% on the back of a reduction in data centres and a scaled-down IT team for the ports’ systems.

Che Khalib said the group currently has 79 systems in use for all its ports and the ERP system will contribute to a reduction of around 70%. The ports and logistics business is a major one for MMC Corp, which contributed RM3.23bil or 72% of the group’s revenue in 2020.

Asked on the group’s allocation for the digital transformation, Che Khalib said it was in the “high double-digit millions”.

He said the most significant benefits of the ERP would be its assistance in procurement, engineering system and staff management.

Ramco Group chairman P.R. Venketrama Raja said the implementation of Ramco’s systems will optimise operational efficiency at MMC group, thereby translating into faster turnarounds at Malaysian ports and impacting Malaysian trade.

“We at Ramco have established a strong Malaysian presence through our many years of engagements with multiple large conglomerates within the country and this engagement was only possible through the hard work of the Ramco team in providing digital transformation to PTP.

“We look forward to working closely with the MMC team and I am confident Ramco’s software will bring great value to MMC’s ports, ” he said.

On a separate matter, Che Khalib said PTP is expected to register a spike in cargoes handled over the next few weeks due to the Suez Canal blockade, which is a positive outcome for PTP.

“Due to the blockade, the ships have to find a temporary area to place their cargo and at PTP, we’re able to accommodate the requests, ” he said.

Even as the blockade caused by Japanese-owned and Taiwanese-operated MV Ever Given was finally dislodged, a lot of vessels and onboard cargoes are behind schedule.

Che Khalib added that due to this, many were utilising transhipment hubs like PTP to re-route their cargoes and to optimise the turnaround times of their vessels.

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