The realities of shipbuilding drive the need to focus on the next milestone. Financing, timelines, and the sheer scale of projects all play a part. Ensuring your organization can respond to market changes, innovate without jeopardizing current projects, and align investments with what needs to get done allows you to focus on shipbuilding.
Shipbuilding’s ROI challenges
Unlike in other industries, where businesses are willing to look at returns months or years down the road, the best shipbuilders aim to see ROI on the current project, or even the current block about to be cut, no matter what. Any new investment cannot impact the delivery of any existing or future project.
With only a finite amount of resources to put towards a digital transformation, any capital investment that does not have a clear ROI is a potential risk. With so many different tools, scripts, and systems already in place within a shipyard, and with existing ongoing projects that cannot be disrupted, it’s essential that any new solution works within that existing reality. The challenge is to use the best available tools, but without lngthy implementation or adjustment periods.
The keys to seeing a quick ROI in the world of digital shipbuilding are:
- Authoring data only once.
- Re-using information across departments, systems, and hulls.
- Streamlining processes to precisely what is needed.
- Have pre-configured data with item types, including parts, assemblies, drawings, spools, systems, and nests.
- Be ready out of the box to show engineering, planning, and production teams the information that matters most to them.
Getting up to Speed Quickly
Since our founding over 30 years ago, SSI solutions have been built on industry standard, commercial grade platforms that are familiar and make it possible for users to become proficient in weeks rather than months. A Microsoft SQL Server backend and Autodesk foundation fit naturally with the current skills of your team and with your current security and backup procedures. With designers and engineers that are already familiar with the underlying technologies and interfaces, the amount of time it takes for your organization to start seeing clear value is minimized and your teams are more productive than with any other shipbuilding CAD/CAM software on the market.
Strategies to Achieving Benefits from Day 1
With a ship, the value for the owner is the entire ship. If you only build part of a vessel, it has no value to the end customer. Technology and business implementations are completely different. You can provide a small piece of your entire project, and it can add tremendous value on its own. This difference in the value proposition means that shipbuilders need to have a completely different mindset when they implement technology than when they build ships. Having an enterprise architecture that will be able to support all current and future activities, especially the ones that we do not know of yet, ensures that the benefits are immediate and also don’t need to be replaced down the road.
Transitioning systems, whether they are CAD, PLM, ERP, or any other system, always adds additional risk. Picking the tools and strategies that make it possible to complete such a transition – in a way that reduces the time spent making the change – should be the number one priority for shipbuilders. An incremental overlay strategy is one way of mitigating these risks.
An overlay strategy makes it possible to simultaneously adopt the new system while temporarily maintaining the old system. Doing so means that the additional benefits of a new system are unlocked right away, no functionality is lost, and as processes switch over to the new system, the old one can be deprecated. For SSI, this incremental strategy is made possible thanks to the open architecture behind our solutions. By being able to consume from any source and push data anywhere it needs to go, it’s easy to use data from existing sources without friction. This strategy is what allowed us and our partner Aras to implement a PLM solution at Ingalls Shipbuilding within only nine months.
Get access to the full eBook
There is no single secret to success in the shipbuilding industry. However, there are some universal truths. In this eBook, SSI’s co-CEO Denis Morais outlines five key areas that forward-thinking shipbuilders need to focus on to see long-term shipbuilding success.
Other Strategies for Shipbuilding Success
Shipbuilding Specific Solutions
Your organization’s teams know better than most that shipbuilding is unlike any other industry. As a unique industry with unique challenges, shipbuilding requires a solution uniquely built for shipbuilders.
Getting Control of Data
The scale and complexity of the projects your organization takes on mean that an enormous amount of data is generated at every stage. Having control over your shipbuilding data puts you at a huge advantage over a shipbuilder who is drowning in it.
Change is a constant behind any shipbuilding project. Understanding what changes every activity results in and moving the right information to the right stakeholders are the keys to better, more informed decision making.
Breaking Down Silos
Working from the same up-to-date information is a key to success. Every time a team or department struggles to move critical information to where it is needed most additional risk is added to the entire project.