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Gulf Craft Cruises to new horizons with Focus



Focus Softnet solutions helps Gulf Craft to manage global operations.

Gulf Craft Inc, a leading UAE based manufacturing company, designs and builds superyachts, quality motor boats and cruisers that meet and exceed international standards of excellence.

Over the last three decades, the company has graduated from building small boats to designing and manufacturing bigger and more sophisticated luxury vessels such as its Majesty Yachts and Oryx Sport Cruisers range. The company now stands as one of the leading boat builders worldwide, building more than 400 vessels annually exporting the majority of its production to Europe, Australia, Asia and across the MENA region. As Gulf Craft’s business continues to expand, the company has started demanding more from its business applications and systems. Implementing a good enterprise software system to aid its growth plans had become a top priority for the company.

“Over the last few years, Gulf Craft has grown tremendously with customers across the globe. We have been constantly innovating and customizing our boats and yachts to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. More than a decade ago, we were using Focus 5.1 and eventually upgraded to Focus RT in 2007, which helped us streamline our business processes and operations. We have now upgraded to Focus i and in the process we have not only added a new dress to the software or user interface but we have also added brand new features and functionalities thus enabling us to automate our financial and operational processes and helping us make better decisions by organising, analyzing and generating reports out of the ERP data,” says Erwin Bamps, Chief Operating Officer of Gulf Craft.

Gulf Craft has over 1,500 people working at its offices, yards and service centres across the UAE and the Maldives. While the company’s clientele is spread across the globe, the company’s manufacturing facilities are in the UAE and the Maldives as they require highly technical resources and continuously evolving engineering. Gulf Craft has service centres at different locations where boat owners can come for the first line of troubleshooting or get initial repairs done. The company also flies engineers who have been involved in building the vessels to different parts of the world as they understand the workings and minute details of the vessels.

“Gulf Craft is a vertically integrated company and as a manufacturer we go beyond what most other manufacturers do, being a A-to-Z manufacturer rather than an assembler. We create all the parts of our vessels from scratch. We start with a simple sheet of stainless steel, a leather hide or wood from a tree that is coming from Indonesia and we create a fully finished superyacht out of it. Everything from our manufacturing, management and activities including accounting, stores, logistics are integrated and accounted for with our ERP software,” Bamps explains.

Gulf Craft evaluated solutions from different vendors but decided to go with Focus as they understood their requirements and created customised modules to address those requirements. Focus i is a cost-effective solution that combines Focus’ highly customisable ERP with business intelligence tools.  It is not only scalable, flexible and easily customizable but it is also easy to use. Another major deciding factor in choosing the solution was Focus Softnet’s local after-sales service and support.

Focus Softnet was also able to integrate third party software such as the biometric software and the bar coding software with Focus i, which helped Gulf Craft get data on its inventories and production in real time. With this integration, Gulf Craft was able to bring man hours into the costing module as well as bring real time store management where even the smallest inventory item used in production could be tracked in real time.

“For the first time in our company’s history, we are now able to print out a costing report as of the current date, which includes costs for materials and services provided, and salaries paid including the actual hours performed on that project. This is a major achievement for us as we can actually manage and monitor production through an up-to-date logistics and man hour costing module.”

The implementation of Focus i is also helping Gulf Craft maintain quality controls not just at the finishing stage of the product but throughout the manufacturing process. The after-sales service is done by Gulf Craft itself and hence it was also important to maintain a proper service record for each vessel.

“The lifetime of a boat could easily be 60-70 years as there is no limitation to the lifespan of the fiberglass material if well-built. Hence it is also essential to maintain a service record for each boat, where we can track service history even if the owners change,” Bamps adds.

Gulf Craft decided to invest in extended IT automation for its employees as they needed terminals for data entry but they did not want to spend on expensive software licensing fees. The company proposed working over a Linux environment, which would help the organisation save on costs. Gulf Craft worked closely with Focus Softnet to adapt Focus i to work on Linux. Through its integration on Linux, Focus i now allows Gulf Craft to get more raw data direct from the floor and cut out on the reprocessing steps of data entry.

“Gulf Craft has been working on Focus’ solutions for over a decade and is a valuable customer to Focus Softnet. We studied their business requirements and customised Focus i to suit their requirements. This implementation helps Gulf Craft access the application from any of their locations across UAE, Maldives and other representations across the globe seamlessly over a Linux environment thereby helping the organisation reduce costs. The solution has helped Gulf Craft achieve greater efficiency in their day to day operations by avoiding delays in retrieving information and posting data online to the ERP from the stores and inventory locations,” says Sunil Mathew, Executive Vice President of Focus Softnet.

Deploying the customised version of Focus i has brought in many benefits for Gulf Craft including introducing a performance linked reward system to encourage employees to perform better. “Traditionally employees were given salaries and a regular increment if they performed well on the job. Now we have a rewards system in place where the software allows us to gauge targets and performances and reward the deserving employees accordingly. So I can effectively say that Focus i is allowing us to create new rewards systems, which is a win-win situation for both the company and the employee,” says Bamps.

Gulf Craft is in the process of updating its ISO 9001 certification and it goes parallel with the implementation of Focus i. “The Focus i implementation process is also a continuous learning process for the organization, not only in terms of our own ISO 9001 procedures but also in general on how we deal with each other’s offices and so it is changing the way we deal with our company on the ground and on the floor,” he adds.

While exploring and implementing the features of Focus i, Gulf Craft is now looking forward to implementing Focus mobile accessibility to help faster decision-making in the near future.

 

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