Order and Structure in the Tender Phase: Damen Succeeds

Humphrey van der Heijden (Damen Den Helder) in conversation with Cees Verkerk (Shipbuilder)
Humphrey van der Heijden (Damen Den Helder) in conversation with Cees Verkerk (Shipbuilder)

By The Maritime Executive 11-13-2019 04:37:52

“When I asked my colleagues for the latest version of our project planning during a tender, the file was often outdated. Too often deadlines were not met as well. I knew that this called for a solution on a short term. And we succeeded. More than that, we can deliver projects even faster,” thus says Humphrey van der Heijden, technical specialist at Damen. He is going to tell us about his search for order and structure in the tender phase at the beautiful Damen Shipyards in Den Helder.

Tender Phase

Van der Heijden first explains what the tender phase is about: “In a tender, the construction or upgrade of a ship is requested by a potential customer. To be able to calculate a price and map out a time path, it is essential to have insight into the technical implications. I am responsible for drafting the technical specifications, which implies hundreds of documents with thousands of data. These documents are often revised, both internally by dozens of colleagues, as well as externally by suppliers and by the customer himself.”

Software developed for the maritime sector

“Every colleague filed the project in his own way, in his own folders. This often resulted in a search for the latest version and in the end someone else might still have a more recent version. Mistakes were easily made, with all its consequences, reason why I started looking for a smart data management program that could help us to structure and provide insight into all these documents and data flows. I worked with the software from major software giants, but I have opted for Shipbuilder. In Shipbuilder we keep and update all documents in one structure. Now this may not seem unique, but the software is really tailored for the maritime sector; even its structure looks like a ship. This means you can get started right away.”

Tender Phase 2.0

Van der Heijden looks back with satisfaction on this decision: “First of all we all work in the same, clear structure while other cross-sections are also possible. This means that everyone, i.e. colleagues, customer, classification society and project manager, looks at the same data. Therefore nobody in the project needs to wonder if he / she has the correct data. This saves a lot of time that used to be spent on searching and is much less prone to errors. But I even discovered that much more is possible with Shipbuilder. I enter the entire tender process into the software. In it, I indicate for each task who must respond and when. The software takes care of the rest. If there is no response, I will be notified and can react to that. Everyone immediately sees what he or she needs to do and when it should be ready. So much clearer.”

Delivering projects faster

This clear structure offers Damen an additional advantage: “Because we all work with the same data and I can easily manage all the processes, I see that the project for which we use Shipbuilder is faster. This allows the project to be realized faster. I can even reuse most of the structure that I use for the current project for a new project, which will make it possible to realize future projects even faster.”

Logistics organized

At Damen in Den Helder, we work with a so-called Integrated Logistic System (ILS). In this system all elements that are given to the customer upon delivery, are documented. Van der Heijden: “We now work with a software supplier where we have to re-enter the elements for each project. In my opinion that takes too much time. I have found that you cannot only copy a structure but also all data in Shipbuilder. This means there is a also considerable saving of time there.”

Document of Delivery

Eventually Van der Heijden wants to provide a Shipbuilder file when a ship is delivered. “As the latest, up to date information is neatly stored in Shipbuilder, I can easily provide a set of delivery data. It will allow customers to request all information about a ship during its life cycle. This used to be a lot more difficult. With Shipbuilder I manage to bring order and structure in the tender.”

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