Revolutionizing Laytime Calculations with eSOF: Olam Agri's Success Story

September 28, 2023

 Revolutionizing Laytime Calculations with eSOF: Olam Agri's Success Story

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Olam Agri uses Enqlare software to automate Laytime calculations, eliminating the need for manual data entry, saving a significant amount of time and effort.

In the fast-paced world of global shipping and an ever complex transport supply chain, efficiency, accuracy, and timely decision-making are paramount. Olam Agri, a market leading agri-business grows, sources, manufactures and transports high-quality products to customers around the world.

A very important part of that global trade flow are soya beans, Bastiaan De Jong who is based in Rotterdam is the Olam Agri Trade & Execution Coordinator Global Soy book. He has used the Enqlare Laytime software for approximately 2.5 years and started using eSOFs (a digital Statement of Facts) about 6 months ago.

In this article, we delve into Bastiaan de Jong's journey with eSOF and how it has become an essential part of Olam Agri’s operations when it comes to laytime calculations.

Challenges in Embracing Technology in the Bulk Freight Supply Chain

Historically, the adoption of technology in the shipping industry has been slow. It's not because technology has been inadequate; rather, it's often because previous technology promises didn't live up to the hype and it was easy to resort back to traditional methods.

Where many companies for example were quick to adopt the latest in communications technology, they have been more cautious when it comes to embracing innovative solutions in other aspects of their operations.

Shipping dry bulk cargo requires coordination of a highly complex and fragmented business. In the past companies have spent a lot of time on low value, low complexity work via email, spreadsheets and PDFs, manually entering and re-entering data into a SOF for laytime calculations.

Figuring out how to simplify arrangements to avoid costly mistakes and automate workflows has become the main focus for Enqlare, and was the inspiration behind the eSOF.  

“I cannot believe that nobody else had thought of making a Statement of Facts digital, it makes so much sense to have a document you can edit directly, rather than having to print it off and manually input details from a PDF” says Bastiaan.

Read more: A layman's guide to going digital with a Statement of Facts (SoF)

Enqlare’s eSOF Adoption and Perception

Olam Agri's adoption of eSOF began around six months ago, and like any new technology integration, it had its share of initial teething problems. These were quickly overcome, and today, eSOF for Olam Agri is not just an option but an indispensable component of doing business with their Port Agents.

For the agents using eSOF, they have grasped the workings of this digital solution faster than expected, taking only a couple of weeks to transition from beginners to confident users.

“I've found that when I talk to agents, I don't always need to suggest eSOF from Enqlare; many are already aware of it and tell me they are using it or other Enqlare products” says Bastiaan.

What's particularly noteworthy is that Olam Agri's port agents no longer need to be urged on to use eSOF. It has become an integral part of their own workflows, organic growth through the power of positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Today, 80-90% of Olam Agri's laytimes are now managed through eSOF across all their agents, a testament to the solution that can unlock process improvements, and consistently save time and money.

The Significance of Laytime Automation

Any solution that can lessen the time and effort spent on working through a Statement of Facts and laytime calculations will allow professionals like Bastiaan to focus on higher-impact areas, where a mistake can be far more costly than a miscalculation in laytime.

“Anything that reduces the time spent on laytime calculations is a big win for me. It allows me to focus on higher-cost, higher-risk areas of my job “ says Bastiaan.

Read more: What are the benefits for bulk freight shippers of a digital Statement of Facts?

Benefits of eSOF

Bastiaan's primary goal with eSOF was to eliminate the manual process of data entry and checking, a time-consuming, repetitive and error-prone process.

With the Enqlare eSOF, data is accurate right from the start, reducing the need for double-checking. However, Bastiaan emphasizes the importance of not becoming overly reliant on automation, as there's value in now-and-again manually checking and understanding the picture the data paints.

“eSOF has been a game-changer in terms of efficiency and accuracy. My main goal was to eliminate the need for manual data entry, which saves a significant amount of time. I no longer have to double-check entries because they are right from the start” says Bastiaan.

On average, an eSOF saves around 15-20 minutes per laytime calculation, and in cases with numerous stoppages, the time savings can be even more significant. It saves time by eliminating the need for continual manual updates and reduces the chance of errors.

The eSOF also provides real-time data insights that are invaluable for decision-making. It's not just historical data; it's about what's happening right now. By making sure the latest information and updates can reliably reach the necessary port actors, the eSOF provides transparency on a vessel's time in port, with the data all in one single place for ease of access for all stakeholders.

“The "refresh" feature is fantastic; it eliminates surprises and allows for more accurate provisions when it comes to time and cost estimates for planning future business” , says Bastiaan.

Visit the Laytime page to learn more about how to supercharge your laytime calculations.

Future Aspirations and Potential Collaborations

As for the future, Bastiaan expresses a desire to see eSOF adopted by agencies at ports across the globe for a seamless, one system user experience. Additionally, he envisions a future where all businesses in the industry adopt Enqlare's eSOF as a standard platform for direct data editing and collaboration, thereby enhancing efficiency and communication across the board.

In conclusion, Olam Agri's and Bastiaan’s success story with eSOF showcases how innovative technology can drive positive change, where automation can simplify the shipping supply chain and drive operational efficiencies and savings.

If you have more questions about how you can revolutionize your Laytime calculations contact us at or visit our eSOF page to answer any of your questions.

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