Project Description

How CalMac Ferries utilised the Microsoft Power Platform to drive operational efficiencies.

CalMac Logo

CalMac is the UK’s largest ferry operator. Their team of 1700 employees work tirelessly to ensure the fleet of 33 ships are able to service even the remotest communities in Scotland.

They have a continued commitment to improve the service they provide, which has driven them to embark on a program of organisational change. The function of which is to further service and safety improvements, drive operational efficiencies, realise potential cost savings, and enhance the customer experience.

Throughout this program, of change, the team at CalMac identified several processes that could be streamlined, they included;

  1. Connecting the management team with data on non-critical defects that occur during the normal course of operation.
  2. The view of how these defects are being resolved and the ability to sign-off once completed by appropriate staff members.

The Solution

An application was created in Power Apps, that enabled the vessel crew to login and report defects quickly, with prepopulated values and logic inline with existing business processes. From there, Power Automate was used to provide automatic notifications to supervisors and technicians that defects had been received. Once notified, those individuals were granted access to those defects through another bespoke app where actions could be decided and logged. All of the data, across both applications, was stored within SharePoint using standard SharePoint lists.

The next step was improving data accessibility for the management team, providing them with up-to-date information regarding the overall health of the fleet. To achieve this a set of dashboards were created on Power BI that collated every defect logged and presented it in a way that was easy to digest, and easy to action. Recurring defects were flagged to management empowering them to take predictive actions, rather than waiting for defects to be logged. Prior to deployment and in line with best practices, the solution was first deployed to a CalMac test environment. With support from the CalMac team, we began rigorous testing on the solution to minimalise bugs and resolve any potential challenges.

The solution was then deployed into CalMacs’ existing Microsoft 365 environment by using the Power Platform solution.

The Outcome

Following a successful deployment, the management team now has instantaneous access to vital information on defects through easy-to-read dashboards. The ability to see these defects in real-time has enabled management, engineers, and crew to work from a single source of information improving collaboration and driving efficiencies. The solution has also improved the speed at which approvals are completed, due to the instant notifications. All defects now have a clear auditable trail and trends can easily be identified and pre-empted across the entirety of the fleet.

“We now have instant access to any new defects that are created, greatly increasing our ability to react and deal with defects, with the aim of reducing the time vessels are out of service. By having the dashboards in Power BI, we can carry out trend analysis and where applicable carry out preventative maintenance before issues occur.
The applications have been well received by the crew, which they have found easy to use and this allows them to provide up to date reports to the appropriate Technical Manager or Superintendent. Ultimately the solution helps us to look to reduce costs and provide a better service to our customers.”
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