Pacific Tug – Selecting and Implementing OPMS Personnel Management Software
Interview with Jade Griffiths
In February 2017, we received the great news that Pacific Tug had selected OPMS as their new personnel management software. Pacific Tug supplies tugs and towage services both domestically around Australia and the Australasia region. It’s a family owned business, with over fifty years of experience and they employ over 150 specialised personnel. Pacific Tug’s head office is in Brisbane. The IT infrastructure, data integration and user training for the implementation project was all managed remotely as we are based in Perth. Initially, I thought this might become a challenge, however was pleased to realize that a software implementation project can be very successfully managed using screen sharing technology rather than airplanes.
Jade Griffiths from Pacific Tug was leading the implementation. I asked her a few questions about the project.
Q: Jade, why was Pacific Tug looking for a new personnel management software and how did you come across OPMS?
We had been looking for a better solution for our HR management processes for almost two years, trialling a few in the process. We operate a range of vessels on different work scopes from river and inshore work, through to dredging support, coastal towage and harbour towage, all with different requirements.
While many programs do the basic certification management we had not found a system that was able to match certifications and basic requirements to a vessel or work scope in the way that OPMS can.
Brendan Cooley from IMS suggested we look at OPMS and put us in contact with Colin & Tiiu.
Q: How many software platforms were considered and what was the selection process like?
While searching for the right program to meet our needs we looked at 3 programs (after already trialling a few others). A demo was done with each system and the advantages and costs analysed.
OPMS was selected as the preferred program and this was presented at Management Meetings for approval. As we were fairly quiet at the time, the decision was initially made to hold off, but a few months later approval was received.
The upfront cost was a bit of a hurdle to get past management but already they are seeing not only the benefits of the system but also the cost efficiencies overall. (While the upfront cost may be higher than what some companies offer, the ongoing costs are quite reasonable and the support team have been great. Queries are answered promptly and any suggested improvements are taken on board for future development.)
Q: What were the main reasons for OPMS being selected?
- The system is tailored to the maritime industry
- The document & certification controls are great and able to be matched against different vessel requirements
- Comprehensive ‘employee file’ fields, allowing lots of data, availability and notes
- OPMS can manage the rostering systems that are unique to the maritime industry
- Tiiu – she just seemed to understand what we needed and presented the demo flawlessly
Q: The implementation process started at the beginning of March and by 17th March all data was imported and the software was handed over to you. From my perspective, 14 business days is a very fast and smooth system implementation, it’s the fastest implementation we’ve done to date! One of the main reasons for the success was you providing all the data promptly and in a good format. Thank you!
What was your experience leading the implementation like? Did the outcome of the implementation meet your expectations?
From my end it was also extremely smooth. Having experience with implementing several new systems I expected a few hiccups, and for things to not quite work as we’d initially expected.
Our experience with OPMS has been quite the opposite. It has worked exactly as it was shown in our demo’s and all promises have been delivered. In fact we keep realising there are even more great features in OPMS that we did not initially realise.
Tiiu managed this implementation and provided template forms that made the whole process very simple to follow and she was readily available for any queries we had.
The implementation process was far better than my expectations.
Q: For me, this was the first implementation where all the user training has been conducted remotely. I have been a strong advocate for face to face training in the past, but must admit, the remote training worked and I felt that you learned the system very fast. Without doubt, it was the more cost-effective solution for Pacific Tug.
How did you find the training sessions via remote connection? Was it difficult to learn a new system and integrate with the business?
I personally found the remote training worked very well and I think was easier to fit in with our schedules (a few shorter remote training sessions vs full days).
Being ‘remote’ or working via a shared screen was not an issue and Tiiu was able to clearly explain and show us through the system.
I think it also helped to be able to do the shorter training sessions (ie 1-2 hours), then work with the system for a week or so before learning more. (There is only so much I can take in at a time)
OPMS is very user friendly and I found it quite easy to learn, integrating it fully into our business processes will take a little longer though. (OPMS is already functioning better than prior systems but we know there is much more it can do.)
Thanks for your outstanding work, support and time, Jade. I look forward to moving on to the next phase of this project and maximizing the organizational benefits OPMS delivers for Pacific Tug.
Thank you Tiiu, Colin and the OPMS team. I also look forward to using more of the system’s functionality.