Client: Nordic Tankers
Nordic Tankers is a leading chemical tanker company that transports specialized liquid products in bulk for large chemical producers and oil majors. Building on many years of industry experience, they offer premium services in all core trade lanes. And for all types of specialized liquid products. Nordic Tankers addresses the factors that generate value for their customers by delivering on specification, on time and always with safety as the number one focus.
Despite their traditional past, Nordic Tankers also believes in bringing the shipping industry into the next decade. They pride themselves in being a company that dares to step out of the box, trying new technologies, challenging the shipping conventions always with a fine balance of being professional, ambitious and having fun.
In 2011, Denmark’s Nordic Tankers A/S embarked on an in-depth analysis of commercial systems to find the one that would enable them reach two key goals. First, they sought to unify two companies’ processes, Nordic Tankers and Herning Shipping, and streamline operations across multiple office locations around the world. Second, Nordic Tankers wanted to improve reporting on their global business.
After a detailed evaluation, Nordic Tankers selected a nearly out-of-the-box implementation of Veson Nautical’s Integrated Maritime Operations System (IMOS). During project roll-out, Nordic Tankers partnered closely with Veson Nautical to align their business processes with the industry standard IMOS workflow.
Following their recent “Go-Live” in IMOS, Helle Bjerre, Nordic Tankers Senior Vice President, and Tone Ekman, a Senior Consultant at Veson Nautical, answered some questions about the project.
What business challenges did Nordic Tankers look to solve with a new commercial management system?
Ms. Bjerre: “We wanted an efficient system with a user-friendly interface and strong reporting capabilities. Voyage P&L and improved commercial performance reporting were particularly critical. It was also important for us that the supplier of the new system had a good track record with other implementations, and that we could expect the system to be continuously developed.
“Our most important business challenge was to bring two companies [Nordic Tankers and Herning Shipping] onto one common platform and align all our processes across the company, and stick to standards in the system as much as at all possible.”
Has Nordic Tankers achieved those objectives by adopting IMOS?
Ms. Bjerre: “Yes, we have achieved these objectives. Now we will start working on our next objective, which is to achieve more process efficiency. We expect to implement new modules, in particular Veslink, and also to engage with Veson Nautical and other Veson clients to help guide the direction of the product.”
Can you describe the business process review that was part of Nordic Tankers’ IMOS implementation?
Ms. Ekman: “Whenever a client implements IMOS, you have to map their business processes to IMOS’ capabilities. It’s a critical part of the project. Basically, we meet with the client’s BPOs [Business Process Owners] to carefully document company processes as they are prior to IMOS. Then we match those processes to the new IMOS workflow and gain agreement from the stakeholders. It can be a time-consuming and detailed activity, but it pays big long-term dividends.
“Nordic Tankers is a great success story in this regard. Veson and Nordic Tankers took time to understand the vision and goals for the system, and our close collaboration supported Nordic Tankers’ IMOS adoption and workflow. I’ve worked on a number of implementations, and I think the process alignment was especially useful as the Nordic Tankers and Herning Shipping entities merged into one path.”
Ms. Bjerre: “The project of aligning our business processes in a joint effort by our BPOs and the Veson team has been extremely useful. It has been very important for us to involve representatives from all departments and major offices in the process, to ensure we find the best processes and have the right ownership of the processes decided. In addition to now having a well-functioning system, a nice bonus result of this work is that we now have extensive process descriptions that serve as both educational material and user manuals.”
What advice do you have for shipping companies who are considering a new commercial management system?
Ms. Bjerre: “Be careful when determining whether custom software development is really needed or whether your internal processes or ways of doing business are really what ought to be reexamined.
“I can only reemphasize the importance of taking time to align your organization’s day-to-day processes with the new system’s workflow, and the involvement of the different stakeholders in the process. Much of the resistance against change and insecurities will be naturally addressed in this process.”
Ms. Ekman: “Veson Nautical’s philosophy is that clients are our partners, and we take this very seriously. If you’re considering a new system, look at the vendor and not just the software. These projects are a big investment for any company — take a close look at the provider’s track record, values, vision, and the time they are willing to spend to understand your business. Really evaluate if they’re a partner for your long-term success.”
Would you recommend IMOS to other shipping companies?
Ms. Bjerre: “Yes, I would recommend IMOS and Veson to others. Having been through our evaluation and RFP process, and now system ‘Go-Live,’ I can say we’re pleased with our choice.”