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Synchronising the Coal Supply Chain in Partnership with Coal Producers

The CoalSync Solution

SL2 - Coordination

Building on a foundation of a unified coal chain view, service level 2 adds a coordination component to the CoalSync Solution, enabling stakeholder agreed rules and protocols to be automated.

The CoalSync Solution offers proven business intelligence and modelling tools from our technology partners to support its coordination functions. Rules can be defined in a simple graphical environment, and are able to be directly executed by the CoalSync Solution - automatically and impartially. Rules implemented in this environment are self descriptive, completely transparent, and readily auditable.

For example, should a chain wish to implement a simple quota/capping scheme (admittedly a rather simplistic approach given the flexibility available to CoalSync customers, but used here because it is readily understood) a rule can be created like this:

The CoalSync graphical rules engine, implementing a simple capping/quota system.

This rule can be applied automatically by the CoalSync Solution. Rules can be applied to implement agreed operating practices across an entire chain, or applied to selected parts as required by stakeholders.

By way of example: A rail operator uses an agreed protocol to apportion rail capacity across an entire chain. This may be implemented in a set of rules within the CoalSync Solution. A small group of coal mines in close proximity have a good relationship and want the flexibility to dovetail their individual peaks and troughs if needed (maintenance, outages etc.). They want to ensure that they are rewarded for making trains available to their close neighbours, and will be able to reclaim any capacity given up. They seek agreement from the rail provider to exhange trains within their cluster, and establish a set of protocols to manage how the trains will be allocated between themselves. The protocol can be implemented as a rule in the CoalSync Solution, and applied automatically. This small group of mines are now able to operate comfortable in the knowledge that if they experience loading problems, they will benefit by passing their train to a neighbour, because the allocation rules will compensate for this, and return that capacity next week when they're going to need it. Now, almost all trains running into that loop are used, and where (on average) 5% of trains may be lost to other miners, this small group has a better opportunity to use them all.

The same rules engine is used within CoalSync to validate incoming data, and to calculate KPIs. Rather than agreeing to a specification and then trusting that programmers have implemented the functionality faithfully, coalsync customers are able to see the very logic that is being applied, without needing a degree in computer science.

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