Gibraltar-based ship repair yard Gibdock is starting to reap the benefits of investing in an automated and harmonised estimating, quotation, specification and invoicing system. The state of the art Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system overarches the yard’s finance, stock management, project management and HR systems. It is part of a strategic back-office upgrade, supporting Gibdock’s reputation for high quality repair and conversion work.
The new software delivers a seamless administration operation that Gibdock expects will offer customers better documentation of its acknowledged record for quality control. First phase development, combining off-the-shelf and bespoke elements, went live at the turn of the year, with the second, more yard-specific phase being rolled out before the end of 2014.
Nathan Boccaccio, Gibdock’s Financial Controller, who is leading on this project, says: “The next phase will allow us to improve the way we track quality certificates and information related to our quality control processes. For example we will be able to automate the tracing of items placed onboard a vessel during a repair and their compliance with quality standards.”
The HR component of the Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP will also be significantly enhanced in the second phase, especially as far as training and certification are concerned. “As a result we will be able to confirm more quickly not just that a particular pipe or steel plate is of the appropriate quality standard, but also that the welder or technician who installed it has the appropriate training and up to date certificates in place, ” Mr Boccaccio points out.
While it is still being rolled out, and has not yet reached full functionality, the ERP system is already making a considerable difference to operations at Gibdock. “We can now generate more detailed management reports, even faster than before, and we can give our project managers more information so they can do their job more efficiently and effectively, ” says Mr Boccaccio. “They now have quicker, easier visibility across the whole process, can instantly see the cost make up of different projects, and are better placed to implement effective solutions in line with the requirements of our business and that of the client.”
The new system is all-encompassing one and will eventually touch almost every aspect of Gibdock operations. Mr Boccaccio, says: “Our clients, especially in the offshore sector, place great store on quality processes, and the new ERP system means we can respond even quicker than before to individual requirements in this context. The new ERP also enables us to manage our resources better, which will make the business still more robust and cost-effective in what is a highly competitive market environment.”