Using IoT and track & trace for maintenance and reports

Using IoT and track & trace for maintenance planning & notification automation

How do you remotely manage the maintenance and cleaning of dozens of warehouses spread throughout the port? How do you ensure that reports of dangerous situations in and around the depots can be quickly passed on and followed up?

Katoen Natie Belgium

Katoen Natie develops and delivers smarter logistics and engineering solutions, tailored to the specific situation of each customer. The company operates 150 port terminals, logistics terminals and on-site terminals for the loading and unloading of general cargo, breakbulk, cars and forest products and employs 10,000 people. Their customers are mainly shipping companies specialising in petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and consumer goods.

Management of logistics hubs

In order to steer this enormous logistical operation in the right direction, Katoen Natie built gigantic platforms: these are logistical 'hubs' on the customer's site, in or behind large ports, in industrial centres or close to large consumers. These platforms have a large land area with approximately 50% covered warehouse space.

The maintenance and cleaning of these covered warehouses, spread out in and around the port, proved to be an enormous logistical challenge. Moreover, there was no efficient system for quickly reporting unsafe situations (incorrectly placed material, dirt lying around, dangerous zones, etc.). Employees would pass on reports via e-mail, whatsapp, telephone, etc., and they would be resolved, but not resolved. But because the reports were not registered, it was not possible to check if and when a reported problem was solved.  

Managing maintenance teams with CHECK.connects

Katoen Natie now uses the CHECK.connects management application to manage the maintenance staff & for the 'smart' transmission of urgent household messages from the various platform locations.

Supervise the cleaning teams from a distance

The facility manager creates the checklists on the management platform with a list of tasks to be performed for the daily cleaning in the different locations. The cleaning employee opens this checklist on the CHECK.connects app on his smartphone and starts his job. At the end of his work, he checks in the app whether he has indeed carried out all the tasks. The system then asks whether everything was in order. If the answer is negative, an error report is opened in which the employee can indicate the possible problems. This report can be consulted by the facility manager, who can take the necessary actions and assign follow-up tasks.

A 'smart' QR code to quickly pass on security alerts

Our QR code application turned out to be ideal for the requested functionality: Everyone, both an in-house employee and an external port worker without access to the management application, can scan a QR code, linked to a device or room, with their own smartphone and open a 'guest page' on the CHECK app (without login details or compulsory registration). Via a handy form with targeted, relevant questions, the user can quickly pass on a report, and even add a photo to illustrate a defect, damage or unhygienic situation, for example. The responsible facility manager receives an instant notification and can immediately launch a follow-up task. All reports are registered in a handy overview, which can be used to identify possible danger areas or frequently recurring problem situations.

"The combination of the app and the QR codes in our warehouses throughout the port represents more than just a digitalisation of our housekeeping. The most important asset is that all employees and visitors can report a housekeeping or safety problem in a structured way, without technical limitations. In this way we involve everyone in our 'continuous improvement' philosophy to make our warehouses a safer and better place to work and store goods."

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