Simon Storage is using the Agility system for maintenance management and incident reporting resulting in labour savings and aiding compliance.


As part of the Canadian infrastructure group Inter Pipeline, Simon Storage, together with its sister company, Denmark-based Inter Terminals, forms one of the largest independent tank storage businesses in Europe.


It owns and operates eight bulk liquid storage terminals in the UK, Germany and Ireland. The eight terminals have a combined capacity of 1.28 million cbm and together have extensive experience in storing a range of hazardous substances including, petrol, gas oil/diesel and aviation fuel, and also handling and blending biofuels.


Simon Storage is a large scale and complex organisation handling more than 100 products for a wide range of customers. In 2013, the company handled 4.9 million tonnes of products through 119,000 road vehicles, 6,700 pipeline transfers, 6,600 railcars and 1,800 ships.


All the Simon Storage UK sites are top tier COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazard) sites due to the nature and quantity of the substances they handle. This means they must take all measures necessary to prevent major accidents, limit their consequences to people and the environment and produce rigorous safety reports outlining how these measures are put into effect.


The company has an extensive network of assets, including safety critical equipment, non-safety critical equipment, primary containment (tanks and pipelines) and electrical and mechanical subgroups. Managing the health of its assets allows it to improve process safety and reduce the risk of major accidents, enhance the safety of employees and operate more efficiently and effectively as a business.


Common Solution


Back in 2010, Simon Storage identified the need to review the systems being used to monitor and maintain these assets across the various terminal sites. As a result of the review, it was identified that a single common software solution was needed to allow a consistent approach to be achieved across all sites within the group.


Mike Cook, group technical and environmental manager explains: “Simon Storage has several sites across the UK, and each previously operated a different computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). The systems were decentralised, asset schedules were fragmented and group data was difficult to gather and evaluate.”


After a selection process from a number of suppliers, the Agility CMMS from SoftSols Group was chosen. First established in 1983, SoftSols, based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK, was one of the first companies to enter the CMMS business.


“SoftSols’s approach was to simplify the complexities inherent in the original systems and to develop an implementation plan to satisfy our specific needs both at a group level and on a site-by-site basis,” Cook continues.


“We have been able to develop asset registers and schedules, group task details for planned preventative maintenance, the recording of breakdowns, failure on test and failure on demand statistics. The system assists us not only in the day-to-day planning of maintenance work but also the tracking of major inspection works requiring substantial capital.”


Incident Reporting


As part of Simon Storage’s safety management system, which is required under COMAH regulations, any incidents must be recorded, thoroughly investigated and reported. In 2012, Agility’s use was extended to include incident reporting for the bulk liquid specialist. Agility has been linked across all sites to give visibility between the maintenance management and incident reporting functions.


Simon Storage has seen significant savings in the administration time associated with incident reporting across the eight sites, an estimated 500 working hours a year.


Richard Staples, operations manager explains: “Working with the team at SoftSols enabled us to tailor an incident reporting system to our specific needs. The team was easy to work with and fully understood what we wanted to achieve. The incident reporting project has resulted in improved and more efficient processes throughout the Simon Storage group.”




Within the UK sites there are now 45,000 equipment assets in Agility, with approximately 15 data entries and a minimum of two planned preventative maintenance activities scheduled against each, giving 765,000 data entries all being managed by the Agility system.


Simon Storage is now able to give particular focus to managing safety-critical equipment helping to comply with the requirements of COMAH. The reports generated through Agility give asset reporting at both a terminal and group level.


Mike Cook adds: “Agility with SoftSols’ development work has provided Simon Storage with the necessary tools to demonstrate to the regulators that equipment is being maintained, inspected and tested to the appropriate frequencies, in the correct manner.


“The systems transparency at site level ensures that work orders are managed according to the priorities allocated, while the centralisation of data enables group statistics to be collated, reviewed and monitored with ease.”


Simon Storage has connected the maintenance management system with incident reporting to gain insights into potential incident causes and asset health. The sites in Germany also use the system through a German translation.



28th September 2014