Brennan Marine People and Equipment Management Process

Brennan Marine

The Client

Brennan Marine is a Construction, Environmental Services, and Harbor Management company focused on providing quality services to both public and private owners of civil infrastructure. It started as a family-owned contracting firm over 100 years ago on the northeast Iowa frontier. From humble beginnings, they have grown to become a change leader using innovation and technology to work more safely and efficiently.

The Challenge

The organization was using off-the-shelf software to manage its fleet of vessels, with different modules for maintenance, invoicing, purchasing and safety training. The solution, however, had proved inflexible and was unable to accommodate customizations that were needed to reflect the reality of Brennan Marine’s operations and business processes. Brennan Marine is also required to comply with Coast Guard regulations and inspections and to provide detailed reporting about the operations of the fleet.

An important goal was to provide tracking and management of staff training and certifications, and equipment maintenance and repairs for the company’s marine division.  The off-the-shelf solution’s reporting capabilities were inadequate and lacked the ability to customize reports to provide the Brennan Marine team with the necessary insights and analytics required to run their business successfully.

In order to implement safety training, an arduous data entry process made it difficult to ensure that appropriate training was delivered to staff according to the required schedule.

The Solution

As relatively new users of Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online, Brennan Marine was keen to explore leveraging the technology for their People and Equipment Management Processes.

A website built on .NET core 2.0 and deployed to Azure provides the application framework. Crew management is handled by synchronizing users from Azure Active Directory to a Database. SharePoint Online provides a user-friendly interface for management of equipment and training data. A Term Store captures hierarchical structure representing assets and associated equipment while SharePoint lists store the checklist information

A custom web application was developed with Forms Builder to create the dynamic checklists accessed by the crew. These were built to be fully responsive on multiple devices and had smart virtual keypads that allowed for easy data entry on ships, while sync processes were integrated to accommodate lack of connectivity. Various rules behind the checklists provide logic to generate tasks and display when equipment is scheduled for upcoming maintenance.

The forms module ensured that the equipment management part of the process and logging of all maintenance and repairs performed on Brennan Marine’s vessels and equipment was implemented successfully. Periodic operators’ reports were completed to ensure successful operation and safety standards.

Modules for invoices and purchasing were also built, with appropriate security in place for the administrative team to access from their shore-based offices.

Finally, a safety training module was implemented to accommodate the various training needs, schedules, and crew assignment rules. The module ensures entry and display of each crew member’s required training with tracking of completed modules and alerts for missed required training.

Brennan Checklists

The Results

The solution went live just before the height of the season in 2019. All boats and equipment were cataloged on the system and all fleet crews began using it on board their boats with great success. Sync processes ensured that local databases on boats were uploaded to the central database hosted in Azure as soon as connectivity was restored. Senior managerial staff were delighted with the ability to quickly generate custom forms as needed to accommodate the many requirements for successful operation and management of the fleet.

The Purchasing and Invoicing modules also contributed to the overall ease of use and increased overall efficiency of both processes. Managers are now able to successfully track the ordering and delivery of all purchases made for the fleet in a timely manner and are able to generate informative reports at the click of a button.

Finally, a Power BI reporting module provides a wealth of timely and accurate information, with a wide selection of reports that covered the various operational aspects of managing the fleet. It enabled management to act on the basis of accurate and timely information and to handle issues on a timely basis.  

Brennan Power BI