Oceanco: Knowledge Management as Innovation Accelerator
Building some of the most innovative and complex superyachts in the world has been at the heart of the Oceanco success story. The creation of these multi-faceted vessels involves an enormous amount of data and know-how, all of which has to be available throughout the company in a streamlined way.
This is the daily challenge faced by Jaap Kouwenhoven, director knowledge & innovation at Oceanco, the company behind the software package Shipbuilder. “We are working with Shipbuilder in order to switch over from a document-driven to a data-driven approach and to have the right data at the right place and at the right time. We are also adding knowledge to this data to stimulate colleagues to learn from each other.”
Document driven to data driven for consistent information
“I have known Shipbuilder for quite some time and see it as a true maritime knowledge partner,” continues Kouwenhoven. “Working together with Shipbuilder director Geert Schouten, we have optimized our ICT strategy. In the past we used Excel lists throughout the process and it worked well. However, after making the switch to the Shipbuilder derivative Yacht Builder, we were surprised that the software could identify inconsistencies in the information. Add in the ever-increasing complexity of superyachts, I could only conclude that storing data in Excel was a potential risk. This is why we quickly took the step to a data-driven approach with Yacht Builder.”
Data available to everyone in real time
There are other benefits to taking a data-driven approach according to Kouwenhoven. “We work with partners in a so-called Co-Makers Alliance. In addition to the fact that Yacht Builder gives us real-time access to all data, our co-makers and suppliers will have soon permanent access to the information they need and can supply data themselves. The software provides a framework which streamlines and supports the process. This way, we can avoid working with outdated or inconsistent Excel files and increase efficiency right from the start.”
Knowledge development and a data-driven approach
In addition to managing data, knowledge management is also an important subject at Oceanco. The company has two parallel knowledge bases. One to store build-related knowledge in order to adapt new insights and remove excess or outdated information and a second base (a Yacht Builder base) to store specific technical knowledge and provide it to the right people at the right time.
“This enables us to stimulate people to gain knowledge even before they start working at Oceanco, which obviously benefits the process,” says Kouwenhoven. “In the future, we will establish a smart link between the software and use the knowledge tool as an accelerator of our innovative strength through artificial intelligence.”
Knowledge party: master skills needed
It is vital to Oceanco that (software) suppliers are genuine knowledge partners. “We distinguish three levels: professional, expert and master,” Kouwenhoven explains. “A master is at home in complex situations and offers an easily understandable answer in challenging circumstances. This is where we find Shipbuilder. We had and have many complex software challenges to which Shipbuilder offers simple solutions. With the use of Yacht Builder we can keep pushing our own forward thinking mindset further.”
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.