Customer Case

Heerema enjoying the benefits of Novacura Flow

Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG) specialises in the engineering and fabrication of large and complex structures for the offshore oil & gas and energy-related industries. They have been using Novacura Flow® on mobile devices since late 2010. Arjen Hoefkens, Manager Business Solutions at HFG, took time out to talk about why they chose the solution and how it has helped them in their daily work.

Can you tell us a bit about HFG’s business?

“HFG offers a comprehensive range of services, front-end engineering, detailed fabrication design, procurement, construction and commissioning. We have three large fabrication facilities situated around the North Sea, a workshop facility in Poland and in-house engineering.”

Why did you start using Novacura Flow?

“Our experience was that shop floor employees do not particularly like to work with rather difficult software systems. Even worse, they needed to go to their desk first while they should be spending as much time as possible on the shop floor. We were therefore looking to use ERP on mobile devices which staff could carry around.

Novacura Flow is able to break down IFS functionality into detailed data transactions, if necessary combined with barcoding. We can use the Novacura solution to configure flows ourselves without interventions or support from ERP consultants. Once a flow is implemented, it is rather easy to change and modify the configuration accordingly.”

How did you work before you started using it?

“Shop floor employees were mostly working on paper, writing down transactions and subsequently walking to their desks to reproduce it all in our ERP systems. We considered this to be an administrative burden!”

What particular problems did you have to address?

“Given the heavy steel constructions and wide facilities at HFG, it was a challenge to create a wifi network all over the location, after which several handhelds were tested. Novacura Flow is rather easy to learn and apply. It is able to do exactly what is required in IFS by means of our defined processes, using IFS business logic and bringing data directly into IFS.”

How did you find out about Novacura Flow?
“One of the consultants working with us during the IFS implementation had some experience with Novacura products, eventually leading to initiating the new Novacura Benelux branch office last year.
Once aware of the challenges on the shop floor, it was decided to pilot Novacura Flow on a material handling process. Pipe spools were labelled with a barcode, as were physical storage areas. A Novacura app was used by a forklift driver to move pipe spools from one location to another, keeping the actual storage location of pipe spools in IFS continuously updated. After piloting at one location, our company is in the process of implementing Novacura Flows at other locations too.”

In what ways does Novacura Flow help you to overcome these issues?

“Our shop floor employees are now able to record transactions in our ERP system online in realtime, while reducing unproductive time spent walking up and down to their desks. At the same time, it is easy to start using Novacura Flow in small stages, even when the shop floor wants to make changes in the flow after initial implementation.

Business develops constantly and systems must adapt quickly. Novacura Flow is very practical and useful in this way.”

Do you think Novacura Flow has been a good ROI for your company? Has it saved time in the workplace?
“It is always hard to quantify a business case or ROI for software solutions. However in the particular case of Novacura Flow, it can be demonstrated by a typical example. Assuming there is an average 10 employees at 4 locations, working on the shopfloor, they would need to walk up and down twice per day only for data registration, which takes them 0,1 hour.
Implementing Novacura Flow would save 10 x 4 x 2 x 0,1 = 8 hours per day. Calculating 250 working days per year and an hourly rate of €40, it means a saving of €80 000 per year. Leaving out overall investments in networking and devices, the investment of setting up such a flow would take around 5 days – worth €4.000!”

In brief

About Heerema

HFG offers a comprehensive range of services, front-end engineering, detailed fabrication design, procurement, construction and commissioning. They have three large fabrication facilities situated around the North Sea, a workshop facility in Poland and in-house engineering.



The challenge

To reduce the administrative burden with paperwork in the warehouse by introducing barcoding and mobile units connected to the ERP.

The result

Mobile devices and the introduction of a barcode system allows for the registration of transactions in the ERP system online and in real time, minimizing non-productive time on the shop floor. The solution thus saves 8 working hours per day.

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