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UM innovates with Client Service Portal

Posted on 18 November, 2020

One of the UK’s leading bulk liquid storage specialists has rolled out an innovative customer service solution.

UM Terminals’ Client Central Services team can provide customers with a wealth of important information including real-time data to make critical business decisions.

The service combines the best of technology with the knowledge of a team with over 115 years’ experience between them.

Based out of its Regent Road Terminal in Liverpool, the new service integrates all weighbridge and administration from across UM’s 8 terminals.

A dedicated portal gives clients instant access to essential weighbridge documentation and current stock levels for each tank. They also have a secure log-in and can access their data 24/7, 365 days a year via a desktop, tablet or mobile device.

Lynn McCoy, UM Terminals’ Client Central Services Manager, said: “We looked at all of the administration going on across our UK sites and started to think about how we could streamline and bring it all together.

“The key was not just about centralising the service, but ensuring that we maintained the same quality of personal service that customers were used to.

“We worked closely with our Group Business Intelligence Developer Adam Pierce to create a whole new way of working.

“Our weighbridge in particular had previously depended upon a lot of manual reporting, but which has now been moved online. Whereas before, there would have been lots of paper trails, we have now moved to a paperless solution in which information is stored electronically. The upshot is clearer, more accurate and faster information.”

The central control room at the Regent Road Terminal is filled with banks of screens giving Lynn and her team visibility of the different weighbridges along with immediate access to all customer information, such as current stock levels, via the client portal.

Lynn said: “We are one important link in the supply chain. Our job is to look after our customers’ products and their movement in and out of our terminals.

“Sometimes we don’t know until the last minute when they are going to be coming in. Operational planning and flexibility are key in a fast-moving environment like UM Terminals. At terminals like Portbury in Bristol and Gladstone in Birkenhead we can regularly be handling over 40 vehicles a day.”

Bryan Davies, Managing Director of UM Terminals, said: “We have to continually look for ways to innovate and enhance our customer service in what is a very traditional industry.

“We want to add value to the service we provide our clients and we believe the Client Central Services function has been a game-changer in providing customers with real-time data when they need it to assist their decision-making.

“We have combined a very experienced team, with strong commercial and operational know-how, with cutting edge IT solutions.

“It means our team is able to keep pace with the constant flow of customer requests and allows us to provide a one-stop shop bringing together stock information, contracts and invoices and various other information and data.

“Rather than having to deal with different departments, the beauty of Central Client Services is that customers have a single point of contact.

“Even during Covid-19, when we have been working remotely, the quality of customer service has remained the same.”

Lynn added: “While we have had a really positive response from customers to the centralised service, we know there is even more potential in the future to develop the client portal and the kind of reporting we can offer our customers. Ultimately, our job is to listen to and meet the needs of our clients.”

UM Terminals currently has a capacity of over 300,000 cubic metres of bulk liquid storage across 280 tanks of varying sizes. The plan is to grow this to over 400,000 cubic metres.

Product solutions include vegetable oils, industrial, food and feed, chemical, fertiliser, fuels, biofuels and base oils.

Services include blowing, blending, heating, processing and sampling among others.

The company, which employs 63 people, recently rebranded from UM Storage to UM Terminals to better reflect the range of services the company offers its clients. It is part of the UM Group which has a distinguished history stretching back almost 100 years.

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