13 December 2011
ANYONE who walks through the gates of Keppel Shipyard in Singapore for the first time is completely awestruck by the sheer size of the giant vessel conversions that dwarf the plethora of machine and hull shops, fabrication units and grit processing plants that are situated in the shadows of these vessels.
Operating three yards in Singapore, Keppel Shipyard is the industry’s trusted partner for ship repair and refurbishment, and it provides such services to an average of 400 vessels in a year.
Keppel Shipyard is also the world leader for the conversion of Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) units, Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessels, and Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRU). It has delivered to a global clientele more than 95 conversion projects to-date.
The conversion and repair of such large vessels is naturally a highly complex project and comes with an intricate set of purchasing requirements to ensure that the project is completed on schedule and most importantly to budget.
Committed to provide value-added services, Keppel Shipyard is constantly refining its processes to improve efficiency and integration.
“We had been monitoring and testing various e-commerce systems for quite a while. We felt that an e-commerce platform would further standardise our procurement activities, and raise the level of traceability and transparency in these transactions,” said Charles Ong, Purchasing Manager at Keppel Shipyard.
ShipServ was approached in 2007 to look at how it could improve Keppel’s procurement process.
“Providing user-friendly, web-based and cost competitive solutions, ShipServ was selected to support our efforts to establish a strong online trading network between our suppliers and us.”
“The effectiveness of an e-commerce platform is dependent on the wide-spread adoption of the system by our suppliers. Without their participation and cooperation, the system would not be as useful.”
“We collaborated with ShipServ to host two road shows to ensure that all of our approved suppliers – which numbered more than 400 at the time– were fully aware of how the e-commerce platform we were working on operated,” elaborated Mr Ong.
The e-commerce platform TradeNet was first implemented at Keppel Shipyard’s Tuas Yard.
Achieving good results, the platform was subsequently rolled out across Keppel Shipyard’s other facilities, Keppel Singmarine and Keppel’s yards in the Philippines.
Keppel now has over 1000 suppliers using TradeNet .
“Encouraging our suppliers to adopt the e-commerce platform has been well worth the effort. We have reaped significant cost savings from streamlining our purchasing processes,” explained Mr Ong.
Keppel Shipyard’s purchasing team continues to work very closely with the ShipServ Client Relations team to refine the platform and add on useful features and functions such as integrating it with its in-house financial system.
Reflecting on Keppel’s relationship with ShipServ, Mr Ong said:
“Our relationship with ShipServ, particularly with its Client Relations team, is very strong. There is open communication and when problems crop up, they are dealt with promptly and quickly.”