As the global panorama of the oil and gas sector continues to change, the pressure on the production of its supply chain continues to grow. Transportation and logistics in the oil and gas refinery platform are riddled with legacy technologies leading to a gathering of challenges. Ineffective supply chain, safety matters, harmful emissions, and decreasing profits have drilled a gap in the coffers of the refineries.
The refinery industry needs logistics planning solutions that operate with clockwork precision for smooth internal and outward cargo delivery. With 20 years of experience in implementing cutting-edge planning and scheduling solutions that are motivated by highly proficient algorithms and intelligent systems, Cirrus Logistics is optimizing logistics for the refinery industry.
Cirrus Logistics is a UK based firm that specializes in producing decision-support solutions to regional and global corporations in both the supply chain and maritime enterprises.
They supply software and services that utilize exceptional optimization and simulation techniques to enable companies to acquire the best possible business strategies that deliver optimum financial interests.
Global energy consumption confers no sign of decreasing. Increased demand for new sources of energy is needed, most of which are often found in more remote regions such as deep water, the northern, or in politically troubled regions of the world. These unique supply chain challenges require proven solutions to satisfy demand. Unlocked by technological advances, the exciting development of unconventional origins of Shale Gas and Light Oil in the USA has also highlighted a different set of obstacles for the logistics professional. Existing multi-modal supply-chain opportunities for moving raw material from the source point to the refinery are either not explicitly defined or are not there at all – without significant expenditure. Cirrus offers software and services that include; evaluation of project and spares supply chain, optimization of MRO activities, site supply, and traffic flow optimization, satisfy customer forecast demand through primary and secondary, multi-modal distribution networks while minimizing expenses calculated down to delivery point level. It also significantly decreases marine terminal demurrage costs and delay time and terminal shipping operations preparation and control.
All the big companies have been hit by refinery overcapacity and weak requirement for petrol and diesel in slowing western economies, which has effected earnings in their downstream refining and marketing departments. This weakening demand has corresponded with the construction of a new wave of giant refineries in Asia and the Middle East that are placing pressure on older and less sophisticated plants in more developed markets. Some majors have responded by trading their European refineries, though in some cases, they have struggled to find clients. Others are shifting their idea to areas of higher demand increase and lower costs. Cirrus has over 25 years of experience in providing solutions to the oil and gas industry, including; Refinery shipping operations preparation and control evaluates the network effect of territory expansion. Significantly decrease marine terminal demurrage costs and delay time, designate delivery points to least-cost depots, analyze the impression of changes to network infrastructure, establish annual models for practice in negotiating exchange agreements based on costs and quantities, and calculate resource requirements (vehicles, operators) & calculate ‘cost-to-serve’ to outlet level to quantify the value of network limitations.
Through the provision of its industry-leading warehouse layout and simulation solution CLASS, and network optimisation tool COST2SERV, the company is enabling students to apply their knowledge and teaching of live supply chain operations in a virtual computer environment.
Students studying for a Business, Logistics and Supply Chain Level 3 Extended Diploma now have the opportunity to learn how computer modelling can be used to create and support ideas that enhance operational best practice. The CLASS solution is developed exclusively for Warehouses/Distribution Centres. It allows users to design, test and re-fine complex layouts and workflows digitally by changing different parameters and measuring their impact. The specialist software has already yielded significant efficiency gains in warehouses and supported the investment decisions of companies such as John Lewis, ASDA, and Waitrose.
As part of their studies, students will be making visits to warehouse operations where they will be able to relate their CLASS software learning with a live environment. At the end of the course, the students will be tasked to design a warehouse operation to a given specification using CLASS, with the final output being presented to Cirrus Logistics for feedback.
Mark Bentley, supply chain and logistics development manager, South Essex College, and an active member of the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport (CILT) says, “Our courses are designed to develop the skills and knowledge that will serve the supply chain and logistics sector. We look to give our students authentic learning experiences. We selected CLASS because of the impressive number of businesses that use the software to test and enhance their operations. Partnering with Cirrus Logistics was a natural choice.”
In addition to supplying the software, Cirrus Logistics provided training support for three lecturers over five days. Bentley added: “The software was quick to learn and our students have been keen to explore its functionality. It’s providing our young learners with the opportunity to develop meaningful skills that will help them be ‘job ready’.” South Essex College is now looking at the possibility of increasing the number of students that can benefit from using the software, and introducing some learners from other courses for taster sessions.
Simon Shore, managing director, Cirrus Logistics, comments, “Logistics is a global business with great career opportunities in the UK and throughout the world. We’re delighted to be linked with South Essex College and that many young logisticians of tomorrow are using our software to gain a fascinating insight into the industry. We wish them all every success.”