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Seeking Automated Customer Quotation System

Background / Description

The Open Innovation Platform (OIP), an initiative by the Info-Communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), aims to connect real business challenges to problem solvers.

CONTEXT

TEHO Ropes & Supplies Pte Ltd is a well-established major provider of rigging, mooring, lifting and safety systems within the marine, offshore oil and gas, and construction industries. Headquartered in Singapore, TEHO Ropes has extended its operations to key maritime centres around the globe, including Europe, USA and Shanghai (with strong support from sister companies under TEHO Group).

TEHO Ropes & Supplies maintains almost 150,000 square feet of ropes, chains, synthetic sling and related fittings in inventory to ensure availability and facilitate a quick turnaround time. Offerings such as the design and fabrication of rope and chain products to specification, tensile testing, and rope analysis and optimisation further provide TEHO’s customers with convenience and quality assurance. From TEHO’s offices and warehouses in Singapore, Houston, Rotterdam and Shanghai, and logistics points in Dubai (UAE), Algeciras (Spain) and Panama, TEHO is able to reach customers in the world’s most important ports.

The current process from receiving a customer enquiry to providing a quotation is as follows:

  • Customer enquiries about rope purchases to be used on vessels are received by email or via third party platforms.
  • TEHO staff review all enquires in order to ascertain the customer’s requirements (e.g. rope length, diameter, material, quantity) and quote a price accordingly, based on pricing and product information from the sales quotation management system.
  • TEHO staff checks current stock levels of the applicable product on the sales quotation management system.
  • TEHO staff enters details of quotations into the quotation system (linked to SAP), and then outlines within an email or into a third party platform in response to the customer’s enquiry.

This process is labour-intensive. TEHO is looking to explore options for automating the customer quotation process, taking into account the corresponding vessel’s specifications and journey pathway, in order to improve speed, accuracy and consistency. This would enable staff to focus on following up on quotations and building customer relationships in order to increase sales, in turn improving margins and market competitiveness.

 

PROBLEM STATEMENT 

How can we automate the process of providing quotations to customers, from capturing relevant customer requirements from enquiries to analysing and providing recommendations on the best product option available in stock based on the vessel’s specifications and journey?

Technical Specifications

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR

  • Proof-Of-Concept (POC) of an end-to-end automated solution for the customer quotation process
  • Integrates or interfaces with TEHO’s existing systems and various platforms e.g. SAP, sales quotation management system, web/email applications, ERP, third party platforms
  • Recognises the different material and brand names for the type of rope required e.g. nylon can also be referred to as polyamide
  • Detect patterns in sales from repeat customers (which forms approximately 90% of current customer base) and identify when a product replacement is required, proactively sending out prompts/alerts to these customers
  • Analyses the specifications of the customer’s vessel (e.g. size, type, journey data), identifies and provides quotes for the best product in compliance with regulations based on the vessel type e.g. for oil tankers, Oil Companies International Marine Forum (authority on the safe and environmentally responsible operation of oil tankers)
  • Preemptively quotes and recommends re-stocking to customers during a vessel’s journey by following the journey through websites tracking the vessel’s movement, and anticipating whether its stock needs to be replenished at one of TEHO’s other global warehouses
  • Cost-effective

There are no restrictions on the geographical location of the problem solvers who may choose to apply to this challenge. However, the POC needs to be demonstrated in Singapore.

 

POSSIBLE USE CASE

  • A customer enquiry is received. The solution successfully identifies the customer’s product requirements, recommending the best product option based on relevant industry knowledge, applicable regulations in line with the vessel type and current stock levels.
  • The solution will calculate and communicate a quote to the customer, logging the details of the quote onto the service quotation management system.
  • The solution can proactively detect if a customer requires a product replacement based on their last order date and the product quantity ordered, sending out a prompt to re-order directly to the customer.

 

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU 

  • SGD 30,000 of prize money for each winner of this challenge (see Award Model)
  • An opportunity to collaborate with a leader with significant domain expertise to develop and commercialise the solution
  • Potential deployment of solution across TEHO’s offices worldwide and significant market access to the global shipping industry
  • TEHO will publicise the winner at the end of this challenge.

 

Award Model

30% of the prize money will be awarded to each selected finalist at the start of the POC, with the remainder 70% to be awarded during the POC, based on milestones agreed between TEHO and the solver.

Note that a finalist who is selected to undertake the POC will be required to enter into an agreement with TEHO that will include more detailed conditions pertaining to the POC. 

 

Eligibility

We are open to global and Singapore-based individuals, research providers and companies that have digital technology expertise and innovation capabilities. Some of these include Info-Comm and Media (ICM) start-ups, SMEs and larger companies. Problem Solvers should have the ability and desire to co-create and innovate with Problem Owners or/and other partners to translate their ideas into solutions that can address real business needs. 

Global solvers may apply for challenges on the OIP. However, from time to time, some Problem Owners may require applicants to have a physical presence in Singapore in order to perform a demonstration of the Proof-of-Concept or Prototype. Global applicants must be prepared to bear the additional cost of travel. Applicants are encouraged to check the respective challenges if there are such requirements before applying.


Further Details

Technical details of the problem statements as well as information related to the innovation calls can be found on the IMDA Open Innovation Platform (OIP) which you will be redirected to after clicking on the 'Proceed To Details' button below and filling up a short form with your basic information.

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration
  • Business Collaboration (Joint Venture, Distribution)

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