Case Studies

Success Stories Highlighting Saved Time and Money

 

Ferry Increases Frequency and Speed of Safety Updates for Smoother Sailing

BC Ferries wanted to revamp its manual methods for updating crucial policies and procedures to consistently follow best practices and comply with changing regulations. Maintaining up-to-date printed policies and procedures on its 35 ships and at its 47 terminals presented major challenges. “Every ship had 26 feet of binders full of our policies and procedures. Together, those binders would reach the height of the Eiffel Tower,” recalls Rob Morrison, IT Manager for BC Ferries.

Whether it's for a family vacation or a daily commute, more than 20 million people rely on BC Ferries to get them to and from 47 destinations along the British Columbia coast each year. The company's mission is to provide safe, reliable, and efficient marine transportation services that consistently exceed the expectations of its customers, employees, and communities. The company complies with the latest safety regulations and strives to implement best practices wherever possible, learning from previous situations to enhance safety.

"Laborious" Manual Processes Lead to Infrequent Updates

Updating policies and procedures involved a laborious manual process of physical signoffs, rife with version control issues and confusion about who needed to approve which changes, says Rob Morrison, IT Manager for BC Ferries. It was such a time-intensive process that BC Ferries provided updates only once or twice a year.

“Every ship had 26 feet of binders full of our policies and procedures. Together, those binders would reach the height of the Eiffel Tower,” Morrison recalls. “In addition to taking up precious space, that much paper made it extremely difficult for employees to find information and heightened their risk of being unaware of regulatory changes.”

The Right Solution Means Timely Updates

BC Ferries and itgroove, an IT consulting firm, developed several workflows, the first of which supports the company as it revises and approves new policies and procedures. The workflow includes more than 340 steps and is used by hundreds of document authors and more than 50 approvers. In addition. employees now have a mechanism for quickly viewing only recently updated information, helping ensure that they remain constantly aware of important safety and regulatory changes.

“We saw that we could use Nintex Workflow and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 to streamline the approval process and that BC Ferries could use the same solution to improve other business areas,” says Sean Wallbridge, President and Principal Consultant at itgroove.

Known as eFleet, the solution went live in January 2012. The solution integrates Nintex Workflow with the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint tool, which BC Ferries had previously purchased and which includes native support for Nintex Workflow. BC Ferries can use an automated workflow process to combine documents into PDF fields. The solution can process more than 10,000 raw documents in under five hours.

What We Gained

Had BC Ferries continued on its previous solution path, the company would have spent three times the amount that was invested in Nintex. BC Ferries gained a straightforward way to produce and consume key policy and procedure changes that supports the company’s focus on safety for passengers and staff. The solution also boosted employee productivity because eFleet is searchable, making it easy for employees to find information.

“Easy access to current, relevant information and policy is critical to make effective, consistent and safe operational decisions,” says Morrison. “The eFleet system is designed to streamline the old paper-based system and help employees stay up-to-date. SharePoint Server 2010, Nintex Workflow and our friends at itgroove make this possible.”

“Before we implemented Nintex Workflow, we sent out and updated information with delays, sometimes exceeding six months, because of the laborious process involved,” says Brad Judson, Manager of the Safety Management System for BC Ferries. “Now we provide updates on a weekly basis and can keep our employees fully aware of ongoing regulatory and safety changes.”

Easy access to current, relevant information and policy is critical to make effective, consistent and safe operational decisions. SharePoint Server 2010, Nintex Workflow and our friends at itgroove made this possible.

Rob Morrison
IT Manager
BC Ferries

BC Ferries
Company
BC Ferries
Visit Website
Country
Canada
Industry
Transportation
Business Situation
BC Ferries had a time-consuming method of manually revising and distributing paper-based process and procedure information to its 35 ships and 47 terminals, which increased the risk that employees would not receive important safety updates in a timely manner.
Solution
The company worked with partner itgroove to implement an automated approval and publishing system based on Nintex Workflow, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010, and Muhimbi.
Benefits
  • Greater employee efficiency
  • Easy-to-find information
  • Fast speed to market
  • Cost-effective solution for rapid ROI

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