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.
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.
Why HFG start using Novacura Flow?
The shop floor employees in HFG have particular difficulties working with complicated software systems. Personnel was forced to perform many additional tasks, which consume a lot of working hours. Before Novacura implementation employers needed to workstations at first while they should be spending as much time as possible on the shop floor. Therefore HFG needed solution to use ERP on mobile devices which staff could carry around.
Our experience was that shop floor employees do not particularly like to work with rather difficult software systems.
Novacura Flow is able to break down IFS functionality into detailed data transactions, if necessary combined with barcoding. HFG 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?
Before implementation, HFG relied on paperwork supported in various processes. Time consuming actions has affected operations in many ways.
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 (...)
Employees were forced walking to workstations in order to provide data transactions input to the ERP. This approach was very inefficient.
What particular problems did you have to address?
Heavy steel constructions and wide located facilities at HFG, was a challenge to create a wifi network all over the locations, after which several handhelds were tested. Nevertheless this challenge was tackled by Novacura solutions.
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?
Novacura hire many experts that have long experience with implementing ERP systems. Using this knowledge and support from Novacura, expanding existing system over mobile features is less time consuming.
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 (...)
As a solution, Novacrua Flow experts advised labelling pipe spools with a barcodes, as were physical storage areas. Next to, 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, HFG is in the process of implementing Novacura Flows at other locations too.
In what ways does Novacura Flow help you to overcome these issues?
The shop floor employees are now able to record transactions in our ERP system online in real-time, 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.
HFG is able to keep continuous improvement. Novacura Flow allow to constantly expand ERP capabilities with application features that helps perform wider variable of transactions.
Do you think Novacura Flow has been a good ROI for your company?
The question very often arises, if Novacura Flow has it saved time in the workplace. For many companies strict important answer is evaluated by the ROI.
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 (...)
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 (...)
After implementation of Novacura Flow users can see visible changes in very short period of time. Saving costs is the most important input that can be verified across evaluation of the processes connected with the Novacura applications. Is worth to invest in Novacura Flow.