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CGB Fleet Picture
CGB Enterprises Inc. is an integrated company headquartered in Mandeville, Louisiana engaged in a number of complementary businesses, including:

  ::  Grain origination, handling, storage and merchandising
  ::  Multi-modal bulk commodity terminaling
  ::  Transportation - barge, rail, and truck
  ::  Vessel Anchorage services located in New Orleans, LA

Situation

CGB routes customer barges through processing areas, or 'fleets', located at numerous points along the Mississippi River. Throughout the day, a dispatcher issues scheduling instructions to the barge captains, who then move the barges into position.

Originally, instructions and barge moves were communicated via radio. A stack of sheets with grids drawn on them served as the 'fleet picture'; every time a barge was placed, the barge name and codes representing barge types and commodities were handwritten into the proper cell on the grid. When customers called to check their barge status, the dispatcher scanned through hundreds of grid cells to locate the barge, or sometimes simply faxed the sheets to the customer.

CGB realized that this process was lacking in accuracy and timeliness. By automating the fleet picture, both dispatcher and barge captains could better plan schedules and make decisions. CGB's customers could also be provided with a fast, professional-looking report on their barge status.

Solution

Not Rocket Science and CGB MIS personnel designed a highly visual Fleet Picture solution to be installed on the CGB boats and dispatcher computers and operated via touch screen. The dispatcher enters barge information into an existing CGB application, which sends barge instructions to the master Fleet Picture system.

While on the water, captains synchronize with this system, retrieving their new instructions and updating the fleet picture with their recent barge moves. The dispatcher's instructions and the fleet grids are displayed onscreen, with colors and icons representing barge status. To acknowledge an instruction's completion, the captain taps the instruction, then taps the location where the barge was placed.

Outcome

As a result of the Fleet Picture project, CGB requested a 'Web viewer' application. This allowed employees, customers, and others to log in from any PC with a Web browser and get an overview of the fleets. The Web application tailors its view to the individual (customers see only 'their' barges) and allows users to locate a single barge or print out the entire fleet with a few mouse clicks.


Case Study Highlights
  • Personalized Views per Customer
  • Generates Reports and Statistics
  • Operable via Touch Screen
  • Wireless Synchronization
Services & Solutions
  • Database Design
  • Visual Basic
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Active Server Pages (ASP)
  • Internet Information Server (IIS)
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