As a 32-year veteran of the turbocharger repairs and parts supply industry, Mr David Loke, Group Managing Director of Tru-Marine Pte Ltd, has witnessed, through the years, the drastic dwindling of the time vessels spent in port from the previous 7 days to the current 7 hours. For Tru-Marine’s maritime customers, this means that, upon their vessels’ arrival at a port of call, they have only 7 hours to discharge or load their cargoes, while having their turbochargers, engines and on-board equipment serviced. Any additional hours spent in port means higher docking costs and potential losses, especially if the cargoes transported are perishables.
Facing this time crunch, Tru-Marine knows that meeting its customers’ demand for excellent service quality within the shortest turnaround time requires its staff to “get their work done right the first time”. Once the vessels’ turbochargers are serviced, they should not require another servicing until two years’ time. To achieve this, Tru-Marine’s entire value chain from its spares warehousing, turbocharger repairs and eventually customer delivery, has to be tightly integrated to run like clockwork.
Ranked third in the 2008 Singapore Enterprise 50 Awards, which recognizes Singapore’s most enterprising privately-owned, local companies across all sectors, Tru-Marine has consistently garnered double-digit growth over the past 5 years. To sustain this growth, Loke wanted to build new business efficiencies through a tightly integrated business operation.
“To better serve our customers, we require not just a well-trained workforce but also real-time information availability, which will empower us to make fast and accurate decisions. We believe a proven, industry-leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can help to integrate information flow and streamline processes to help us better meet our customers’ needs,” said Loke.
After several proof of concept exercises, Tru-Marine chose Microsoft Dynamics™ NAV and Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM to empower its business. “Besides the integrated functionalities to handle our complex operational and financial requirements, we are assured by Microsoft Dynamics’ scalability to support our future growth. We also like its ease in management reporting, flexibility and user-friendliness. We have also selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM to better manage our sales pipeline and enhance our customer insights,” explained Loke.
Tru-Marine deployed these Microsoft Dynamics NAV modules at its Singapore headquarters, namely: Analytics and Dimensions, Financial Management, Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, Service Management and Supply Chain Management. The system went live in January 2009.
The implementation was handled by Cyrus Technology Pte Ltd (Cyrus), a Microsoft® Certified Partner, who has developed a custom solution for the marine industry. This solution includes the automatic generation of service quotes from repair advices; tracking of service jobs by vessel and turbocharger type; streamlining warehouse management processes to issue materials for various uses, and around 50 customized reports.
Pleased with Cyrus’ service and level of support, Loke said, “As a technology partner, the Cyrus team is responsive, friendly and obliging. Backed by their technology expertise, we are assured that Cyrus is committed to continually improve our system to maximize our investment.”
According to Loke, the biggest benefit from the new system is seamless information integration, which has improved management visibility. Information required for periodic and ad-hoc management reporting can now be easily extracted from Microsoft Dynamics, thanks to its multi-dimensional functions. This has reduced management reporting from days to hours. Data analysis is now much easier, with more capabilities to slice, dice and extract the right information.
|Investing in Microsoft Dynamics has definitely|
enhanced our efficiencies, which increases our potential for growth and speeds up our
global expansion – giving us a key competitive
Mr David Loke
Group Managing Director
Tru-Marine Pte Ltd
By integrating the operational and financial processes, data now flows seamlessly between the sales, service, purchasing and financial functions. The elimination of manual data entry has resulted in time savings and enhanced data accuracy. With all customer-related information including inventory, customer orders and service interactions residing in a single system, Tru-Marine can now better serve its customers and accurately track account history by customer, vessel and turbocharger type.
The new integrated system also increases accountability amongst the Tru-Marine staff. “With a tightly integrated system, any process failures now show up glaringly. This keeps our staff on alert and gives us more visibility into processes that can be further streamlined. So far, we have seen a smoother billing to cash flow process,” said Loke.
Spares management is one function that has seen vast improvements with Microsoft Dynamics. Loke explained, “With Microsoft Dynamics, we have improved our visibility into spares costing, which helps us accurately allocate our costs and ensure timely invoicing. As a service-based business, these enhanced capabilities in warehouse and service management are instrumental in helping us turnaround service jobs quickly, while ensuring sound cost management.”
With the seamless integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Tru-Marine can now look forward to tighter monitoring of their sales pipeline and customer follow-ups to convert leads to revenue. More targeted campaigns can be created to better meet customers’ needs. Increased visibility into customers’ needs and build-up of its service case management knowledge base enable more effective best practices sharing and improve overall customer experience.
Looking ahead, Tru-Marine is planning to scale its Microsoft Dynamics system to cover its 7-subsidiary footprint across the globe. “Investing in Microsoft Dynamics has definitely enhanced our efficiencies, which increases our potential for growth and speeds up our global expansion -- giving us a key competitive advantage. I strongly believe that enterprises looking at growing and expanding, should consider an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics to speed up the process,” concludes Loke.
- Eased management reporting: Cuts ad-hoc management reporting from days to hours. Ease in extracting the right information and the tight integration between Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft® Office make management reporting a breeze.
- Integrated information flow: Automatic information update across integrated processes improves data accuracy and eliminates manual data entry. Consolidation of business information in a single system enhances customer service pocesses and improves account tracking.
- Increased business visibility: Real-time business insights into daily business operations provide birds’-eye view for overall cost optimization and faster decision-making.
- Enhanced staff accountability: Integrated processes enhanced staff accountability with improved controls.
- Improved spares management: Real-time inventory information enhances lot control and purchasing planning, which greatly improves cost control and reduces inventory obsolescence.
- Enhanced pipeline and customer service management: Better manage sales pipeline to convert leads to revenue. Enhanced tracking of service case management builds up service knowledge base, enabling better sharing of best practices.