Hareb Marine overhauls software stack

New developments such as the Dubai Marina, Dubai Festival City, Dubai Maritime City (DMC), the World and the massive Palm Island projects off the Dubai coast are estimated to add 4000 new marina berths by 2009. The Gulf region’s burgeoning ship building industry is hoping to capitalise on the boom by first getting their IT systems and processes in place. Hareb Marine is one such company.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  November 30, 2004

|~|Prashant_gupta1.jpg|~|Prashant Gupta, sales & business development manager at Hansa World Middle East.|~|New developments such as the Dubai Marina, Dubai Festival City, Dubai Maritime City (DMC), the World and the massive Palm Island projects off the coast of Dubai are estimated to add 4000 new marina berths by 2009.

These large-scale maritime developments are expected to provide a major boost to the Gulf region’s burgeoning ship building industry. To ensure that it is ready to meet this demand, luxury boats and yacht builder Hareb Marine has overhauled its IT infrastructure with Hansa World Enterprise 4.1, an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and e-business system.

“To compliment our exponential business growth we were evaluating IT solutions that could help us plan, provide realistic pricing, manage accounts, track expenses on projects, allocate resources and access information in real time and improve customer service levels. Our existing systems are functional but not customer focused,” says Mohammed Hareb, manager at Hareb Marine.

The company typically bids for tenders for customised boats priced at about US$160,000 based on information collected on disparate accounting packages and spreadsheets. Hareb Marine was operating with islands of information from each department manually, which led to escalation in costs and time delays.

Such operational issues are common when small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) start to grow, according to Hansa World. SMBs do hot have a huge IT budget, so end up using less sophisticated applications. “After having convinced more than 65,000 SMBs in 75 countries, we found it comparatively easy to convince Hareb Marine by offering them all the standard features including an Arabised version of the software,” says Prashant Gupta, sales & business development manager at Hansa World Middle East.

After a pilot project, Hareb Marine migrated to Sun V60 Xeon processor-based Red Hat Linux servers to run the vendor’s solution. Using Hansa World’s HAL (Hansa Application Language) user screens, applications were customised to ensure that Hareb Marine’s employees were able to use the revamped system.

“Since the deployment time was minimal, the return on investment (ROI) was apparent. Like any project, we expected learning curves and stumbling blocks. Compared to other solutions available, we found Hansa World transparent in terms of database, user and terminal service licenses. By integrating the ERP and database on a Linux platform, the security issues were minimal and database and network administration costs were slashed drastically,” Hareb adds.

Hansa World claims that since the system is written in ANSI C it compiles much faster on standard hardware compared to similar solutions. Hence, transactions are processed faster with minimal response time.

“The screens and graphics are all held on the client machine so all that is sent on the network is data enabling its employees in a multi-user, low bandwidth network to operate normally. Hareb Marine doesn’t require any middleware or thin client software licenses when its employees access the ERP remotely. The bundled 128-bit Hansa client takes care of that,” explains Gupta.

Since the deployment of the ERP solution, information is easily available to the company’s 10 users through PDAs, network clients and the internet. Hareb Marine says it is reaping benefits both in terms of time and costs. For example, once the tendering process starts, the new system synchronises everything for the boat builder, from budgeting to material and labour costs. This data is then archived and used at a later stage to estimate future orders accurately.

“We are now seeing a disciplined and integrated workflow covering everything from accounting, CRM, group mail to project management. The implementation has made it easier for us to maintain the required inventory levels. It is also helping us achieve tremendous savings in addition to improving staff productivity levels. The new infrastructure should take care of our information technology requirements for the next three years,” Hareb adds.||**||

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