– Being innovative is crucial for us to maintain the position we have in our market: That we’re at the forefront and constantly developing. We have many competitors chasing us, and we must always be better, says Managing Director of Vestdavit, Rolf Andreas Wigand.
For Vestdavit, a sharp focus has been vital for their success and growth so far. Vestdavit makes davits and will continue to be the best at only that.
– Our competitors also make davits, but they also make other equipment such as boats, deck equipment and cranes. They don't have that same single focus that we do. That means we have no choice but to be the best: If we miss out on development and innovation, the others will pass us by, says Wigand.
Vestdavit offers their customers the opportunity to launch and pick up boats in extreme weather conditions. This kind of functionality is needed by the navy, the coast guard, parts of the oil industry and offshore winds. Thus, the company supplies the offshore energy market on the one hand, and the global marine and coastguard market on the other, where they’ve built a solid position over the course of forty years.
Rapid growth requires new systems
In Bergen, where Vestdavit has its head office, sits a pure engineering and development environment. The factory, which the company acquired 3 years ago, is in Poland. With its two subsidiaries in the US and the Netherlands, Vestdavit today counts around 120 employees across the board.
– We’ve grown a lot in a short period of time. That triggered a need for a more comprehensive IT and business management system, says Wigand.
Until now, Vestdavit has worked with several different systems which made operations fragmented. The company also struggled to keep the necessary overview of projects and profitability, which required a lot of manual work to obtain.
– The driving force for getting a new ERP system in place now is to streamline our business processes: Getting more processes into one shared system. This will enable us to achieve positive growth in the company without necessarily adding more employees, says Wigand.
He explains that the decision to implement a new system was forced forward a couple of years ago, when Vestdavit bought the Polish factory.
– It helped trigger the decision because they were no longer an external supplier, but part of the family. We realized that we had a lot to gain by streamlining project implementation between our engineers here, and the team that builds davits down there.
At the time of the acquisition, the Polish factory had recently implemented another ERP system, which Wigand considered adopting throughout the business, but decided it would be to jump over where the fence was lowest.
– Thus, we had three systems to evaluate. We concluded that InforCloudSuite LN is the right system for us, because it’s larger and moredeveloped than the others. Although our colleagues in Poland will have tochange systems again, everyone believes that we’ll have more control over thesetup and the way we want things done this way.
The importance of industry competence
To be an industry leader, it is crucial for Vestdavit to deliver on time, and that the products are always of top quality. In the offshore and marine segments, there are also strict demands for documentation, which requires a technical basis that is both time-consuming and often challenging to provide.
The more complex the operation becomes, the more important it is to gather everything into a common solution: With LN, everything from the sales phase, via documentation, project and production, to aftermarket, will be brought together in one integrated system. This way, all Vestdavit’s financial information across all its companies is also collected, resulting is full transparency and control over the entire value chain.
– These are extensive and business-critical processes, which must always run seamlessly. But having the right system in place is one thing, another is finding an implementation partner to get it up and running. It inspired a great deal of trust, going into this process, that Mazeppa had the right industry competence and previous experience from working with our kind of production and an international aftermarket, says Wigand.
He explains that when the davits are to function reliably in a maritime environment, with wear, tear and corrosion is a factor, the customers need to have access to spare parts and service personnel at all times. This creates its own set of requirements for aftermarket services.
– Mazeppa understands the importance of aftermarket, which is incredibly important for both our customer care, but also for the profitability of the company. Therefore, we concluded that if we are to continue our growth in a good and profitable way, we had to do this process together with them.
After recently completing a preliminary project, Vestdavit now starts the implementation phase with the aim of going live in Q3 this year. The company has prepared well by freeing up and preparing resources for the process, ensuring that there’ little resistance to change, and that the employees are excited to use the new system. Nevertheless, Wigand knows that an ERP implementation doesn’t come without challenges.
– The biggest challenge, which shouldn’t be underestimated, will be the phase from go-live until we are in efficient production. For people not only to learn a new system, but to unlearn the old routines, is going to be time-consuming, says Wigand.
Moving forward, Vestdavit will gradually roll out the implementation to the various companies. The goal is to get more done with the same resources, and to create an even more exciting work environment for their employees.
– By taking over some of the routine tasks, the system will free up time for each individual employee to use and develop more of their skills. Thus, we hope that this system change, in addition to creating more profitable growth, will also contribute to making us a more exciting place to work, for both current and future employees, concludes Wigand.