I have just finished one of my longest consecutive client visit trips I have ever had. I visited a total of 13 clients on this trip:
- Horizon Shipbuilding
- Huntington Ingalls Industries
- Gulf Coast Shipyard Group (Trinity Offshore)
- Signal International
- Leevac Shipyards
- Conrad Shipyard
- Bollinger Shipyards Inc.
- Edison Chouest Offshore: North American Shipyard
- C&C Marine And Repair
- Trinity Marine Products
- C. Fly Marine, LLC
- Austal USA
Visiting clients is definitely one of the best parts of my job and even though it causes me to only sleep around 4-5 hrs. a night I feel rejuvenated when I return. Ok I need to catch up on my sleep first and then I feel like I new man 😉 .
The majority of the discussions I had with clients on this trip revolved around some of the main challenges that they face, not just with the software but more on the industry, market and business side. Clients and their projects are much more complicated requiring much more in a shorter amount of time which is why everyone is looking at how they can be more efficient.
The challenge that I saw during this visit as well as on my previous visits is we are all trying to be more efficient with minimal amount of investment (time & dollars) possible. This really just boils down to the cost vs. benefit equation which in theory is easy but in practice is very difficult to calculate.
I want to share some recurring topics I discussed with several of the clients I visited that they were not aware of. The discussions revolved around how SSI can help them be more efficient. This was not related to adding new features, improving ShipConstructor workflows or even creating new products. It is how SSI is providing you better information to allow you to be more effective.
Some of the ways SSI can make you more efficient that you might not know?
One huge initiative we currently have at SSI is to provide more valuable information that is discoverable, searchable and consumable to our end users. SSI personnel do a great job at answering clients’ questions on Nexus (our ticketing system), telephone calls, skype, virtual meetings, site visits, consulting and training; however, when we answer the questions on these platforms only the user asking the question will benefit from our effort.
When we asked ourselves how we can be more efficient we realized we can do a much better job if we had a platform or platforms where any user can ask a questions, search and discover solutions to a specific question they are having.
Benefits of having better platforms would be:
- Clients do not have to stop working on their current project to get trained or consulted on a particular area
- These platforms would supplement training or consulting and therefore should not be considered to replace them
- Quick answers to determine best practices or processes
- Share and learn from others
- No cost to our users
- Time zone independent
- SSI will not have to invest too much extra time since we are answering these questions anyways
To give you a better idea of how we are currently using other platforms as well as some other activities we are doing to improve our information flow to our user, I thought I would go over some of them briefly.
I am a bit surprise that many clients are not aware of our knowledge base website. We have had the knowledge base for several years and just recently updated it to improve the searchability. This is a great place to get started when you have an issue or a question.
There is a new AUGI community which just launched and it is focused on the Marine industry. SSI sees great value in having a marine industry community which is why we are not just a supporter of this community we are participants. Several of the SSI team, including myself, monitor AUGI Marine daily and this is where we can have discussions which can benefit our whole community.
If you want to know some of the best ways to do something, feel free to ask a question on the forum. Either SSI or another user may answer the question.
This is open to absolutely everyone and is not affiliated with SSI, therefore it does not require ShipConstructor subscription. Even if you are not a subscription user, SSI will answer any questions where we can provide value.
Please go visit the AUGI Marine community forum and contribute. Again it just started so it is a bit bare, but it will not take long to fill up.
Starting this September SSI will be conducting monthly(ish) webinars on our products and features. This will be a hands on demonstration by the SSI team on how to use some of the products you are not familiar with. We will start by focusing on our newer products and then our newer features. We will then be extending this to other areas of ShipConstructor such as best practices.
You can send me an email if you want to make sure you are notified about these webinars.
We just started having “Hangouts” which is like a virtual round table discussion. This is a bit different from the webinar where SSI is presenting to you. A hangout is more like an unstructured meeting that is focused on a specific topic. SSI personnel will attend and contribute but more importantly other users will participate and contribute. Each hangout is only an hour long and anyone can ask questions, present their thoughts and share general knowledge. These topics can be related to ShipConstructor or can be a general marine topic. Examples:
- QR Codes in Shipbuilding
- Best practices to detail your production drawings
- Distributed environments: Multiple locations
- Workflows to manage sister ship configurations
- Mostly unused features in ShipConstructor
- Best way to create Workshop / 2D Arrangement / Approval drawings
- How much information to include in engineering
- Ask the ShipConstructor Experts
We are very open to your thoughts on topics so if you want to suggest a topic please feel free to send it to me.
SSI have been posting videos on YouTube for several years now. You can access it here. This includes release videos for some of the new features for each release as well as some very good product overview videos.
After each major release you should reference this channel to see the videos we have created for the features in that release. We usually have the videos posted at the same time as the release however for the soon to be released ShipConstructor 2015 the videos will be a bit delayed.
One thing that you may not know is that there are partners who have their own YouTube channel such as Marine Technologies Ltd and 6Sigma. This is a great source to see some basic and advanced ShipConstructor How-To videos. I guarantee you will learn something; I did on several occasions.
For those who cannot access YouTube because of corporate policy, you can let us know and we can give you the location where you can download them from our website.
I started this blog to communicate to the marine industry about various technology trends and their applicability as well as provide information to SSI’s users (VP’s, managers, engineers, draftsmen, production, planning, IT, etc.) on how they can leverage the ShipConstructor solution.
I occasionally post topics related to tips & tricks, best practices, how-to or did you know. I am going to start writing more posts on how you can use ShipConstructor and the Autodesk platform to solve some of your time wasting challenges.
ShipConstructor has so much capability and many of our users do not have the time to keep up-to-date on all the new features and how they apply to their organization. With these future posts focused on how, you will learn how you can improve the way you use the tools you already have in your toolbox.
Based on this client visit I already have ideas for 3 Tips & Tricks blog posts. If you have any suggestions let me know and I will create a blog post about it.
We also have two other very informative blogs:
Crows Nest: – Bird’s Eye View of Shipbuilding & Technology : written by SSI’s CEO Darren Larkins
Lighthouse – SSI Client, Company and Industry News Blog : written by SSI Marketing
Standardized training curriculum
We are currently working on a standardized training curriculum which will have a class for each product and area within ShipConstructor. This includes step by step instructions regarding how to use each product as well as includes a fully functional ShipConstructor project for you to follow along. It is very structured and can be used by the most experienced ShipConstructor user as well as a newbie.
The training curriculum is structured by classes which will vary from ½ day to 3 days depending on the topic.
This training curriculum will be made available online for the clients who cannot fit the on-site training into their schedule. This would also be good to train new employees with reducing the cost and time of the new employee interrupting more senior staff. The online training will allow users to get trained in new products which may be of benefit to you as well as keep up-to-date with the products you use every day but have not been trained in for a while.
SSI Americas ShipConstructor User Conference 2014
I hope Y’all (ya I said itJ) know we are having an Americas user conference in October. This is looking like it will be just as good as the last one. We will have some awesome presentations about ShipConstructor and Autodesk products but we will also be discussing some of the major industry challenges we face. This will also be accompanied by some hands on workshops on the last day.
Even though the material we will be presenting will be useful I think most attendee’s will agree that they get a lot of value from the networking aspect of the conference. It is not often do you get such a high concentration of ShipConstructor users in one place.
Unfortunately I will most likely not be attending since my wife and I are expecting our 2nd around then, but I will definitely be following the conference virtually.
If you want to register or get more information click here
Efficiency…how can we do more with less? This is something everyone is struggling with and is a necessity for us (SSI and you) to continue to be successful.
SSI has an initiative to provide more resources and access to valuable information to our users. This initiative has been at the foundation of many of our activities and platforms such as: knowledge base, blogs, contributing to AUGI Marine forums, webinars, hangouts, YouTube videos and the standardized training curriculum.
This initiative from SSI now gives you many different ways to search, discover and find ways you can be more efficient. With these resources you have a more accessible opportunity to be more efficient; however, it will take a little bit of investment of time for you to leverage it.
We both know you are busy so you should do what it takes to be notified of all these things in the post now. We both know if you do not do it now, you will forget to do it later.
Here is a summary for you:
- Subscribe to this blog: Type in email on the top right of this post
- Subscribe to the Crows Nest: – Bird’s Eye View of Shipbuilding & Technology
- Subscribe to the Lighthouse – SSI Client, Company and Industry News Blog
- Register to get notifications for AUGI Marine: Subscribe to the community
- Subscribe to SSI YouTube Channel
- Subscribe to my (DenisMoraisX) YouTube channel
- Bookmark our knowledge base website.
- Register for the SSI Americas ShipConstructor User Conference 2014