Every process in a shipyard requires data, and every activity creates data. The variety and scale of processes associated with modern naval projects ensure that there will never be a single monolithic software program that is the right fit for every situation. Guaranteeing that all the systems in place within your organization can push data to and pull data from any source – while taking advantage of the brownfield infrastructure that works – is crucial.
The Need for the Right Information
There is so much information contained in our environment, and much of that information is already accessible to the various stakeholders within a shipyard. However, the challenge your teams have is how to provide that information in the context and format that everyone can consume without spending hours searching. For example, your purchasing department will find it challenging to consume BOM information from a collection of drawing PDFs. However, it would have an easy time consuming information from a single Excel file with a list of all the parts, assemblies, spools, and relevant BOM data (not necessarily listed on the drawings) that they were interested in.
Liberating Information Through a Platform of Platforms
With so many stakeholders and systems within a shipyard, the generated information and its relationships need to span across multiple platforms. Each one of these platforms must be designed to be connected, synchronized, linked, federated, etc. with each other and any other platform. Technology providers understand that to be successful, it’s necessary to connect with other systems from different vendors, even if they are your competitor in some areas. While this platform of platforms approach deviates from the locked-in nature of many solutions, it removes the burden of connecting systems from the end user. Simplifying the experience for the organization ultimately eliminates the root cause of many issues that previous integrations and approaches have.
The software landscape has changed, and the companies that are fully committed to the platform of platforms ecosystem understand that seamless integration as a first-class citizen is the way forward. This is the same reason you hear many companies now talking about APIs and promoting their partner ecosystem. The goal with APIs is to make it easier for other software partners in the ecosystem to be able to consume and distribute information into your platform or tool. In essence, any software vendor that focuses on continually adding to and improving their APIs will end up with better, more natural, and seamless integrations that you, as a shipbuilder, do not have to implement.
With data configuration taken care of for you through open integration, there’s no need to spend time manually figuring out how to use data within sources and sinks like:
- Production documentation
- Assembly drawings
- CAD geometry
- CNC data
The Business Advantage of Open Integration
Every software vendor and integrator must make sure that information flows seamlessly across the ecosystem while remaining invisible to the user. For this to happen, SSI continuously creates and improves on how we expose our information and processes. By working with a partner to create an integration, sometimes within 2 or 3 hours, that is robust and blurs the lines of where one application starts and the other ends, we remove the burden of integration from the end-user. For the organization, this means less time spent making data work for you and fewer areas where you remain locked into your platform and of course automation of any process removes costly human errors.
Shipbuilders that embrace the idea that information must freely flow across many systems, tools, and companies are at an advantage. Doing so makes it possible to innovate rapidly, make better decisions, and focus on shipbuilding, without spending time and effort on implementing solutions manually. They can guarantee that information is available to the right stakeholder, in the right format, and at the right time – without fear that they will be left behind.
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.
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.
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.