Bahri is one of the world’s foremost transportation and logistics companies. Established as the national shipping carrier of Saudi Arabia, Bahri has played a leading role in the transformation and growth of the global shipping industry through an unrelenting focus on innovation and a commitment to delivering technology-driven, value-added onshore and offshore services.
Bahri believes in a digital future for the maritime industry. “In the industry today, every player – ship management, commercial, operations, chartering – is still behind in terms of technology,” commented Waleed Al-Sobayel, IT Support Manager at Bahri. “Maritime needs to be pushed forward. And it is the role of the players in this market to believe in these innovations in order to do this.”
The company has turned this belief into action, pursuing a strategy of digital transformation in partnership with Veson Nautical.
Bahri has long leveraged technological tools to accomplish mission-critical tasks. The company first implemented Veson Nautical’s Integrated Maritime Operations System (IMOS) in 2006, when it was still the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (NSCSA) and owned only 7 VLCC vessels. In the years since, Bahri has grown to become the largest owner of VLCC’s worldwide and has expanded its business units to include deep sea chemical tanker and bulk carriers.
In 2017, the company set a new digital strategy; one of the main initiatives was to evolve internal IT solutions in order to future-proof systems and operate more efficiently in increasingly volatile markets.
“One of the main initiatives of our new digital strategy was to transform the IT solutions at Bahri to reach the next technological generation,” commented Al- Sobayel. “And of course, one of our main technology partners is Veson Nautical, so we worked with the Veson team to achieve the transformation.” A key aspect of this transformation was their on-premise IMOS system to Veson’s innovative cloud solution, the Veslink IMOS Platform.
Managing A Successful Migration
As a long-term Veson Nautical client, Bahri was familiar with the business logic behind the Veslink IMOS Platform. The main changes involved in a migration to the Platform were due to new functionality native to the cloud solution; updated data automation and decision engines, increased opportunities for data sharing and access, and a modern user interface. Before migration, the implementation team needed to optimize workflows to accommodate new functionality and ensure organizational support of the cloud-based Platform.
“There can often be wrong perceptions about cloud-based technology, and it is important to get the proper internal buy-in and support,” reflected Al- Sobayel. “The Veson and Bahri teams went through a number of meetings and presentations around the migration, and through making the team aware of the technology – the benefits to the business, our process, and the future – we got full support from management and the team.”
As a pioneer in data-driven decision-making in the maritime space, Bahri was especially interested in the advanced availability of data on the Platform. “The system can be accessed anywhere, anytime, from any device,” commented Al- Sobayel. “The data is more convenient; this is a very positive impact on the day to day operations.”
Bahri implemented the Veslink IMOS Platform in three phases, divided by business unit; Bahri Dry went live first, followed by Bahri Chemical, and finally, Bahri Oil. Throughout each implementation, a close collaboration between the Veson and Bahri teams ensured new processes were executed optimally, and all data was effectively transferred between systems.
The process of migration itself, Al- Sobayel noted, was “very smooth. The team from Veson was dedicated, committed, and very accurate in terms of milestones, deadlines, and targets. We haven’t experienced any issues or any difficulties.”
“It is rewarding for us to see a long-term Veson client such as Bahri evolve their solution so successfully,” commented John Veson, CEO of Veson Nautical. “The Bahri team is committed to a strategy of innovation, and we are honored to help advance their digital capabilities with the Veslink IMOS Platform.”
Now live on the Platform, Bahri is beginning to see the impact of a modern technology solution. Online accessibility enables faster decision-making, allowing the Bahri team to complete daily tasks more efficiently. Enhanced automation helps the team leverage historical data to inform future decisions. Integration capabilities provide the opportunity to easily incorporate third-party systems into one standard workspace.
Most importantly, the Platform has enabled the Bahri team to accomplish more in less time, as standard tasks become automated. Al-Sobayel noted, “With the same manpower, the Platform lets you manage expanded business with the aid of the system and technology. That shows efficiency and effectiveness.”
While new functionalities required updated process workflows, Bahri is enjoying the efficiencies they provide. “We can now let Bahri customers access their data in a controlled way, the operational and commercial processes apply more automation, and stakeholders have access to view information in real time. Many things changed from the process side, and we believe Veson played a good role with this process.”
A Strategic Digital Partnership
Bahri intends to continue their work evolving industry standards for technology, incorporating the latest innovations into its solutions portfolio. While Bahri’s successful migration to the Veslink IMOS Platform represents a significant step forward in their digital transformation, the company recognizes that innovation continues to evolve, and looks forward to future collaboration with trusted partners to drive continued growth. “We appreciate Veson’s commitment and focus on quality; we hope that the relationship will remain for a long time,” commented Al-Sobayel. “As we grow, we depend on our technology partners. Veson is the first on the list.”
Veson Nautical too is grateful for the long-term partnership. “As we work to drive transformation in the industry,” commented John Veson, “it is incredibly valuable to have clients that share our passion for innovative solutions and are eager to explore new technology as it applies to the maritime space. We are honored to collaborate with Bahri in this capacity”
As both companies work to deliver impactful, innovative solutions, Veson Nautical and Bahri have evolved their relationship beyond that of a traditional software vendor and client. “Veson represents the technological expertise, and we represent the business expertise,” commented Al- Sobayel. “That maturity of the relationship, is a key for success in business and technology as well. We need to work together for the industry to benefit all.”