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International Shipping Company Overhauls Complex Maritime Crew, Payroll Systems with Microsoft Dynamics AX-Based Solution

by Jill Rose
Contributing Writer,

Vroon shipmates 

Imagine you have seven management companies keeping track of 170 ships around the world. Now imagine you have 4,000 crew members aboard those ships who need to be paid each month. Welcome to the world of international crew management and payroll.

Rob Frenks is the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Manager at Netherlands-based international shipping company Vroon, and in 2012, he and his colleagues realized the company's crew management/payroll situation needed an upgrade. Each of Vroon's management companies used different processes and software for payroll, and most of them used Excel-based solutions, some of which were running out of support. So says Frenks, "We took this project as an opportunity to bring the group together by creating alignment and uniformity in processes, definitions and reporting."

Frenks had the IT department and the crew management department draw up a list of requirements and invited 10 software suppliers to respond. After narrowing the list and viewing several demonstrations, they selected Seanique, a Microsoft Dynamics AX-based solution developed by Cyprus, Greece-based SOFTimpact for maritime businesses. Then the real work began.

Diverse environments

"The major challenge on this project was the diverse environments  ̶  not only the software in use, but also the processes," says Markus Schmitz, managing director at SOFTimpact. "We were not just installing software, we were looking at partially reengineering and optimizing processes at seven branches with diverse cultures."

Fortunately, the SOFTimpact team had experience with this type of endeavor, and it did two very smart things. First, it visited each branch seeking process commonalities. Second, it selected Vroon's ...

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About Jill Rose
Jill Rose is co-founder of content provider Landscape Creative. She is a long-time business writer specializing in technology and health IT topics. She can be reached at
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