Dormac Drydock, image credit - Marine & Engineering, a division of Southey Holdings, has selected Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise to replace its existing Infor LN ERP solution. The project will be conducted by IOCO, a certified Infor partner based in South Africa.

Dormac is a leading engineering company specialising in the delivery of full turnkey solutions to clients in the marine, offshore and industrial industries. The firm conducts repairs and conversions for the Oil and gas industry for a range of vessels, including submersibles, Jack-Up Rigs, Drillships and support vessels. It also conducts repairs both afloat and in dry dock for all ships, including tankers, passenger liners, container ships, bulkers and Navy vessels. It is also capable of supporting other industries, including mining, automotive, paper & pulp and sugar.

Dormac conducts operations from five sites across the East and West coasts of South Africa. With shipyards in Cape Town, Durban, Saldanha, and Walvis Bay. It also has a mobile shipyard in a box. Enabling it to move the shipyard to the vessel if the vessel cannot move to it.

The background

Dormac has a long history of using Infor solutions. In 2014, the firm replaced its Baan IV solution with Infor LN with the assistance of IOCO. However, as the company grew, the implementation of Infor LN Dormac started to show its age despite continuing to deliver value. The firm, stuck in an old version, could no longer take advantage of the latest updates. A modern, cloud-based approach started to appeal more and more.

Siva Pillay, IT Manager at Dormac, said, “As a business, we realised that the latest service pack and new feature releases were no longer going to support the version of LN that Dormac was on. Now the question became whether to change our entire ERP system or upgrade to the Infor Cloud.”

Sensibly, Pillay chose to consider other solutions as well as the upgrade to the cloud version of Infor. The decision came down to Syspro or Infor. However, Pillay and his team realised that any shift away from Infor would mean that much of the functionality it already used would need time-consuming and costly customisation. Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise already included all the Infor LN functionality. Infor had added even more functionality for its modern solution.

The added advantage was a clear migration path for its data, which it wanted to maintain, as well. The decision was finally made on the operational and financial advantages that choosing Infor delivered. Pillay added, “As a business operating in a project environment, a single day’s delay could cost us millions. We knew that the solution we chose had to be agile, automated, and offer unmatched reporting capabilities.”

The contract was signed on June 30th 2023, and Dormac, with the guidance of IOCO, started the implementation project.

The project begins

The project started in October 2023. Dormac quickly got to work with IOCO to identify the processes and reports that it would need to replicate in the new solution. It wanted to take advantage of the best practices that the CloudSuite solution provided, But it also needed to ensure that it would continue with minimal disruption to the business.

IOCO has developed a specific approach for customers, with a spokesperson explaining this saying, “At iOCO, we follow a hybrid project process in line with Infor’s governance requirements which is called the Infor Deployment Methodology. What makes this unique is the ability to bring the client closer to the functionality at an earlier stage of the project than a typical waterfall approach. The methodology is flexible and allows room to custom fit it to a client’s business requirements. 

“In the case of Dormac, and because we are particularly familiar with their needs, we can upgrade and configure a like-for-like solution at Inception of the project. We will then demonstrate the improvements in our Elaboration phase and close gaps during the Configuration phase. Once done, the client will engage in rigorous testing and we will transition the business to the improved system. We reserve a final phase known as the Optimisation phase to tweak the system and consolidate new needs that may prove beneficial to Dormac.”

Data is critical

Dormac also wanted to take all its historical data to the new system. Thus enabling it to produce reports in the context of historical projects. With the data stored in the Infor Data Lake, accessible from dashboards, it will enable Dormac to track the full service and project history of any work done on a vessel. This is important as the firm often conducts repairs on vessels that move between owners during their lifespan.

Another advantage of doing this is the company intends to switch over to the new system rather than conduct parallel runs for a period. Enterprise Times asked IOCO how they would achieve this. They replied,

“Dormac are migrating from LN 10.3 on-premise to LN 10.8 multi-tenant cloud. All ERP data will first be upgraded from 10.3 to 10.8 on-prem, using the LN DUE module (Data Upgrade Engine) prior to loading into the cloud ERP environment. This will facilitate the migration of all data, including historical data into the cloud environment.”

Looking forward to the completion

IOCO estimates that it will complete the migration in Q2 2024. By then, it will have rolled out several modules. Including TP Projects, Finance, Service, CRM, AP, AR, Inventory, Sales, and Purchasing.

Belinda Best, Solution Executive at iOCO, said, “This upgrade will help strengthen and continue the development of the way Dormac does business. From the Infor OS cloud platform, dashboards, and workflows to true automation driving efficiencies — and the value of utilising an existing licensing model with no additional costs — this cloud approach is set to drive massive business value.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

For Dormac, this continues a long history of working with Infor and IOCO. It demonstrates the importance of maintaining relationships with partners who understand the business. In IOCO and Infor, Dormac has a partner and vendor that it has a strong history with. While it was right to consider other solutions, the decision to remain with its trusted partners is warranted.

Devon Simpkins, Dormac’s Financial Director, said, “We are excited, as the Dormac team, to embark on this upgrade journey with Infor, our trusted and long-term ERP partner. This upgrade to the Infor Cloud, with the release of related new features, perfectly aligns to our strategic vision of incorporating cutting-edge technologies into our shipyards. We aim to enhance operational efficiencies and, ultimately, passing these benefits onto our valued clients through our ever-improving service offerings.”

For Infor, while this is not a net new customer, it is a validation that its cloud based solutions are fit for purpose for organisations that have outgrown legacy products.

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