At a glance
High volume unstructured email flow
Founded in 1889, TORM is a well established Copenhagen based shipping company that owns and operates tankers and bulk carriers around the world. The company’s tankers carry refined oil products and dry cargo. During the last 126 years the company has been operating a large and modern fleet and today the company owns around 100 ships. TORM has approximately 3000 employees worldwide and revenue of 624 million USD in 2014. To date, TORM has connected millions of cargo with ships – A connection that can only happen through email. Since 2013 TORM has used MARK5 for email management.
The problem: High volume of email
TORM, like any other shipping company depends heavily on email. This means that their email system is business critical and crucial to their everyday workflow. Everyday, the company handles thousands of incoming and outgoing emails – Something that triggers a size overload in the email system. The team previously used the IBM Notes system and had big troubles managing the amount of email data in the system: “Due to the high volume of mails we have every day in a number of departments, the IBM Notes mailboxes reached their max size of 64 GB every other month” says Head of IT Infrastructure at TORM, Stefan Schuller.
To solve the issues TORM attempted to develop customisation of Lotus Notes to fit their needs but unfortunately this caused further frustration. The system lacked support while randomly corrupted mails occurred due to bad coding, causing TORM to acknowledge they needed a new system to handle the high volume of emails. At the time they had a strategy to use Microsoft products when possible: “This meant that we were moving away from Lotus Notes to Exchange” says Stefan Shuller. But, TORM were perfectly aware that Microsoft had big challenges when it comes to big data management: “We knew at the time that moving the high volume mailboxes from Notes to Exchange would not solve the problems and therefore as part of the migration we decided to look for a product to handle high volume mails and at the same time automate the flow”, Stefan Schuller explains.
Searching for a new system
Due to their problems with Lotus Notes, TORM formed a project group to make sure the right platform to solve the problems was chosen. The project group evaluated and analysed three systems: Microsoft Outlook Exchange, Businessmail and MARK5. They then decided to have a test installation of MARK5 – a test that performed very well. The positive outcome of the test finally convinced TORM to choose the system for email management.
The great user experience
The next step was to get all users onboard. To make sure the users had a great first impression of the system and to get the most out of it, the implementation was carefully planned between Nordic IT and TORM. First, Super Users was chosen and they got special training where they received advice and suggestions on how to improve their work with email in the system: “We sat down with them and suggested different features that could make their workday easier” says Stefan Shuller. The Super Users was trained to be experts of the system and be able to guide and help other users after the final roll out. This way, TORM ensured maximal Return of Investment due to a well planed and executed roll out strategy. “The implementation strategy at TORM was a procedure we use for all bigger projects. From our experience this is a well tested procedure of best practice combined with strict project management that makes sure the customer’s migration to the system is a success” says Casper Thalund, Head of Projects at Nordic IT. And Stefan Shuller agrees: “This part with the Super Users has worked very well”.
After all Super Users were well migrated the remaining End Users needed to be migrated to the platform as painless as possible: “We had Nordic IT trainers on-site around the globe” says Vikas Shah, Head of IT Asia at TORM. This, combined with two days of hyper care with Nordic IT present on the floor during work hours, made sure users quickly became comfortable with MARK5 and started using the benefits of the system right away.
“Our Tanker Operations department claim they save 1+ hour per operator per day. Which is a very good result”.
Head of IT Infrastructure TORM
High volume email solved
The system’s primary task at TORM was to solve their problem with high volume unstructured email control. Because the Lotus Notes mailboxes had reached their max size, they slowed heavily down and triggered a manual archiving process performed by team members that cost the company a lot of man-hours. But a migration to MARK5 stopped the manual filtering and instead sorted everything: “Before users had to drag and drop emails to folders and everybody was doing everything by hand. With the implementation it is 99 percent automated. Emails automatically go to the right folder and people only have to look in their own vessel folder where they get the correct mails and not 1000s of mails everyday. They only get to see the information they need to see because of the smart set up” Vikas Shah explains.
The result is that TORM has streamlined their mail flow processes and team members can work much more efficient without wasting time on manual filing: “Our Tanker Operations department claim they save 1+ hour per operator per day. Which is a very good result”, says Stefan Shuller. So after having implemented the system, TORM has not only solved their problem managing high volume email, their users also get a tool that keeps them focused on actual business saving them hours everyday.
“The system has proven to be a stable platform and has been perfectly capable of handling the high volume unstructured mail flow we have at TORM” Stefan Shuller wraps up.
Features TORM users like
You can assign tasks to another user by adding e.g. a mail to their worktray. This feature is very popular at TORM because users can put emails in the worktray and team members can proceed from there.
Also if a colleague is on vacation, you do not need to disturb – you can just put info in their worktray, and they will see it immediately when they open the system.
TORM users like that they can see what has happened to an email. At a glance you can view actions to see who has read, filed, replied and answered. That way users are always up to date and do not have to work on something a colleague has already done. Before nobody knew who had read what and which actions had been taken. But the actions feature makes it easy to see the complete history of an email.
At TORM the search functionality is a user favourite. In shipping you have a lot of history that you need to catch up on fast in order to be up to speed. In the system the speed of finding things makes sure that users get a competitive edge here. Users like the search functionality because they can search specifically and immediately get a list of emails.
Another good feature that TORM highlights is the access through mobile. TORM did not have this in the Lotus Notes environment, but with MARK5 users have access through mobile devices, which makes it easier for users to work on the go even in a shared environment and through department email addresses.