Navig8 Group is a fully integrated provider of shipping management services and the world’s largest independent pool and commercial management company. As an experienced ship owner and operator, Navig8 is also an active charterer, enabling the company to offer employment optionality to owners. With a uniquely broad range of vessels and the largest member base, Navig8 pools span the clean and dirty tanker, chemicals and offshore sectors. By taking an entrepreneurial, customer-focused approach, the size and diversity of the fleet has grown. This provides an unrivalled transportation platform on which to meet customers’ highly diverse shipping needs.
Navig8 Chief Digital Officer Jan Wilhelmsson believes that agile technology, provided by the right partner, is the only way forward in an increasingly complex industry.
“Digitalization and connectivity in itself are changing the traditional ways of operating vessels,” commented Wilhelmsson, Chief Digital Officer at Navig8. “As we operate in increasingly volatile environments, we are seeing more disruption in the tech segment. The need for quick, agile response to new business needs is critical.”
In 2016, Navig8 recognized that its existing tools for commercially managing freight and pooling operations were not sustainable for long-term growth and success. As the world’s largest independent pool and commercial management company, Navig8 needed a solution that would repair and modernize its existing workflows and empower its team to deliver maximum value to its customers and pool partners.
Over the previous several years, limitations in the company’s core voyage management system had forced Navig8 to invest in a series of disparate point solutions, spreadsheets, and manual processes just to keep up with the evolving needs of its global business.
“We felt that if we replaced the system, all of our internal processes could be more efficient in their workflows, because they would be all within one solution,” commented Guy Murphy, Operations at Navig8. “It was better for our own workflows, but also for our pool partners; the decision showed them we were investing in our technology and systems in order to offer the best service.”
The Navig8 team set out to identify competitive solutions in the market, judging each against its capacity to meet business needs, expand internal capabilities, and easily integrate within the global IT structure. Most importantly, Navig8 sought a long-term partner; one the company could trust not only to provide a solution for the present day, but also to grow and evolve alongside the maritime industry.
“A few years ago, a company could build their own solutions to fill their own needs,” commented Wilhelmsson. “But as business gets more complex, your in-house solutions are not going to be enough to build exactly what you need – you need to work with partners. We are happy to partner with Veson rather than building in-house, because we get a better solution that can evolve with the market and our needs while not carrying the development load ourselves.”
Instead of focusing time and resources on developing and maintaining an in-house software ecosystem, Navig8 focused its sights on building digital connections, driven by collaboration and partnership.
“It was a matter of risk management for the business,” recalled Nick Gole, Systems & Process Architect at Navig8. “Our former system didn’t have a roadmap to deliver a product with any sort of longevity.” The company was looking to find a partner with a more collaborative approach to development.
Navig8 found that partner in Veson Nautical, signing on to Veson’s web solution, the Veslink IMOS Platform.
Success Through Collaboration
As a global market leader, Navig8 was uniquely positioned to provide insight and expertise throughout the implementation process. The Navig8 team communicated needs, offered business cases for new features, and provided strategic guidance that helped evolve the Veslink IMOS Platform. Navig8 and Veson Nautical worked closely together throughout implementation, go-live, and initial usage of the system to develop a highly relevant solution that will provide value not only to Navig8, but to the maritime industry as a whole.
“The team was very good at understanding our needs,” commented Murphy. “We spent 2 weeks in Singapore working through what our requirements were and then we went to Boston for a week to work with Veson developers and work through the development we wanted.”
Navig8 has successfully implemented the Veslink IMOS Platform across all global offices and internal departments. “The Platform is central to our workflows,” affirmed Murphy. “Every workflow touches the IMOS system, and all of the departments in our company use the system during their day. From chartering to postfixture, through to accounting and analysis – it is essential to our systems and our data.”
In addition to leveraging the core Veslink IMOS Platform functions, Navig8 was able to achieve its goals of replacing obsolete and inefficient point solutions and seamlessly integrating with other mission-critical applications, namely Microsoft Navision. “These things were the biggest wins for us, in terms of integration,” commented Gole, “We could retire our old systems, and are using quite less now.”
Navig8 continues to work with the Veson team to contribute ideas to the product roadmap as a member of the Veson Advisory Board.
Driving Value in Today’s Digital Landscape
As a forward-thinking organization focused on digitalization, Navig8 understood the value of a modern cloud solution as opposed to systems entrenched in yesterday’s technology.
“The web platform was actually one of the biggest selling points for us,” noted Gole, reflecting on the company’s decision to select the Veslink IMOS Platform. “If we had maintained our old architecture,” continued Gole, “it would have been too hard to roll out other cloud solutions. A lot of other system upgrades were preempted because of our decision to move forward with the Veslink IMOS Platform – as a result of the cloud interface, the business became a lot more strategic.”
Navig8 has managed to move all technology solutions to a cloud-based private server following the implementation of the Platform. This is proving especially useful as the Navig8 team expands and adapts globally, since the system grows and scales seamlessly alongside the business.
Dedicated to the digital transformation of their operations, Navig8 views the Veslink IMOS Platform as a key component of its digital strategy and overall competitive advantage. “Our selling point to put people’s ships in to Navig8 pools is to get access to this headway of technology adoption much faster,” commented Wilhelmsson. “It is a faster way to digitalization, effectively. They don’t need to do it themselves, they can just join the digital system we have built, and we can do it together.”