With a strategic ambition to be the leading player within smaller gas tankers and handysize dry bulk carriers, J. Lauritzen strives to optimize internal processes to become even more competitive. SERTICA is an important tool in achieving this as Lauritzen Kosan, the gas carrier division of J. Lauritzen, is actively documenting and using data across the organization to improve performance.
Lauritzen Kosan has been using the SERTICA platform since 1994 and has been an active partner in developing the SERTICA software. J. Lauritzen were the first Danish shipping company using an e-commerce procurement platform in combination with SERTICA back in year 2000. Today, J. Lauritzen have more than 200 SERTICA users throughout the organization and use SERTICA Dashboards actively to take live KPI measurement to a new level.
KPI measurement across departments and organizations
Over the years, Lauritzen Kosan has developed a compilation of dashboards in SERTICA to improve performance in and corporation between each department. Not all of these are in use today as many KPIs have been combined. The aim is to create department specific and cross functional data visualizations and data driven notifications to serve and add value to the entire organization.
Troels Møller, Vessel Manager at Lauritzen Kosan, explains, “We aim to be data driven and believe that it is the combination of data from different departments that tell us where and how to improve our overall performance.”
Claus Jørgensen, HSSEQ Manager at Lauritzen Kosan agrees and adds, “Today, we understand what makes sense to measure in each department, and we know we need to combine data instead of thinking in silos. SERTICA supports this way of thinking as it is one system for all departments with the same screens and layouts.”
Working in the same system creates a transparency that saves time both in the office and onboard the vessels. Anna-Cecilie Nielsen, Procurement Manager at Lauritzen Kosan says, “The crew always knows how far we are in the process of procuring a specific part necessary to perform maintenance. This enables the crew to plan better and save time and money. Instead of wasting time on several homemade systems and a huge amount of Excel sheets, we integrate all data in one system.”
Combining data from different departments gives Lauritzen Kosan a complete overview of the fleet. Through analysis of this data, Lauritzen Kosan can see which changes to implement to improve the OPEX. Monitoring the use of hours and items to complete a job is an example of a change implemented at Lauritzen Kosan, which has improved the performance on completing jobs with more than 60%.
By showing data in Dynamic Dashboards, Lauritzen Kosan can target their tasks and increase performance. Troels Møller tells, “We use the dynamic dashboards internally to present our customers with the best possible technical management service. Hereby the data becomes alive. The dynamic dashboard provides us with a tool to work proactively to improve e.g. customer satisfaction. This proactive work has resulted in an increased customer satisfaction of approx. 50%.”
A performance and planning tool in Procurement
At Lauritzen Kosan the entire supply chain management is covered in SERTICA. The procurement department measures various KPI’s to be able to plan better and follow the performance of the department.
Anna-Cecilie Nielsen, Procurement Manager at Lauritzen Kosan tells, “The dynamic dashboards have become a valuable tool in my daily work as I get an overview of all the data that I need in relation to the procurement flow. My dashboards include incoming and ongoing orders, current requisitions and handling time.”
When working in the shipping industry, time is often of the essence and the procurement department needs to know which cases are urgent and which have a risk of becoming urgent to be able to plan optimally. Anna-Cecilie Nielsen explains, “We use SERTICA as a planning tool and by opening my dashboard screen, I know which tasks are most important. Being able to see the handling time on requisitions, I can also prevent these becoming urgent cases.”
Various KPI’s and indicators are used in the procurement department to give an overview of the current status, trends and performance. Most of these are connected to the daily business and tasks, but some are also used on a management level to show the activity level and performance of the team. Anna-Cecilie Nielsen finds this motivating and tells, “We can see how we perform and how we develop over time, which is extremely satisfying.”
Anna-Cecilie is an experienced user of SERTICA and highlights the fact that the system is intuitive and easy to use. She says, “I only work in a few screens and I have all the data I need in one place. This enables me to finish my routine tasks faster and thereby free resources for more interesting tasks.”
A tool to improve safety through documentation
Lauritzen Kosan implemented the SERTICA HSQE in 2013 and has since then managed safety-related documentation and tasks in SERTICA.
Claus Jørgensen, HSSEQ Manager at Lauritzen Kosan tells, “Documentation is key to maintain compliance and to perform well at inspections. With SERTICA we have all information in one system and since the system is easy to use, almost no training is necessary for our crew. They can easily upload certificates correctly, perform maintenance jobs and they are not afraid to use the system. They know that high quality data is important and that when the data is entered correctly, everything is in control.”
In the shipping business, the crew is often asked to show documentation and with SERTICA it is easy to find. This helps Lauritzen Kosan both when having inspections but also in their daily work since they can go back and see how previous tasks, events or incidents have been solved.
Today, the HSSEQ department is actively using 20 dashboards to improve safety. One dashboard is showing if the vessels have closed their forms, another shows the number of near-misses and a third shows what went wrong in an internal audit and therefore needs fixing.
Claus Jørgensen says, “SERTICA has improved safety as we have more knowledge, which enables us to know what and how to improve safety. You can only change what you know and with SERTICA we know a lot. With the dynamic dashboards we can analyse the data from internal inspections and react faster and thus perform better at external inspections. This has resulted in improved performance when audited.”
Working with dashboards
When asked how to get started with dashboards in SERTICA, Troels Møller answers, “I started out by the trial and error principle. I needed to figure out what the outcome should be and started presenting different dashboards to key SERTICA users. For me, it was a matter of showing what is possible in SERTICA and then slowly I started getting different requests.”
Today, Troels Møller has a complete overview of the entire fleet in a set of dashboards. He works closely with the technical department, HSSEQ and procurement and has established a working group to decide which combination of data is relevant.
Troels Møller tells, “When creating dashboards, you need to know whom you are creating them for and why. Our goal is to use the dashboard as a communication tool between vessel and office. We focus on the combination of data that highlights potential problems or areas for improvement – especially the ones that affect more than one department.”
Example of a Dashboard used in relation to inspections and events:
Claus Jørgensen is a big fan of the dynamic dashboards and states “I use the dashboards on a regular basis, but I have learned that you need to think very focused about what you want to show and why. In my case, I need to see if the work that we have done has a direct positive influence on our performance.”
The fact that Claus Jørgensen started at Lauritzen Kosan at the same time as implementing SERTICA HSQE has helped him keep focus on the result instead of current processes. Claus explains, “When you are new in a company, you look more objectively on both the system and the processes. I believe this has enabled me to make a better fit between the system and our processes.”
The importance of a close partnership and future development
No system is perfect. What is important to Lauritzen Kosan is the fact that the company behind SERTICA is willing to listen and adjust the system according to the needs of its users.
Troels Møller tells, “We value the close partnership with RINA Digital Solutions and we have many good discussions. RINA Digital Solutions challenges our processes and at the same time we challenge the development of SERTICA. I believe this is the essence of a good partnership.”
Anna-Cecilie agrees and adds, “We have benefitted from the support and advice we receive from RINA Digital Solutions. No doubt that they possess valuable knowledge about how to optimize internal processes through their work with several shipping companies. This support is extremely important – as is the possibility to talk to and learn from other SERTICA users.”
When asked what the most valuable development in SERTICA would be, Anna-Cecilie, Troels and Claus each have a favorite idea. Troels is voting for improved Dock tool, Anna Cecilie for a specialized flow for return freights and Claus for the integration of artificial intelligence in SERTICA.