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Vigor International: A Story of Partnership

Before their acquisition by Vigor Industrial, for Todd Pacific Shipyards the completion of customer work had very little dependence on information technology.

For more than 15 years their business application environment had been a mix of independent, disparate, and complex software applications. Central to their problem was an outdated human capital management application based in COBOL and a flat file database system. This, combined with the jumbled variety of interfaces, software languages, and other utilities, made alignment appear impossible.

Leonie Markgraf, Director of Information Technology, recognized these problems. She had a vision to build a dynamite IT team that provided a level of computing capabilities, system flexibility, infrastructure stability, and service that one would never expect to find in a 100 year old shipyard. She also wanted to place the company on track to serve its customers efficiently for another 100 years.

Markgraf realized a trusted and experienced partner would be required to make her vision a reality. The tasks before her were gargantuan, and her team of ten information technology professionals required support and assistance to succeed. She needed an experienced consulting firm to help transform systems, inspire staff, and lead Todd Pacific Shipyards into a new era of operational efficiency. Markgraf selected Raining Virtue Solutions.


Raining Virtue Solutions, serving as an extended member of the Information Technology team, has led the implementation and rollout of core business applications such as IFS and Kronos. Working with internal teams, we have helped create excitement for and foster adoption of the new systems.

It was a team effort. Markgraf herself performed extensive research and worked closely with the business community to determine Todd Pacific Shipyards business processes, systems and information requirements. Her research consisted of a thorough review of the collective bargaining agreement, evaluations of past practices, conversations with subject matter experts, review of internal and external audit documentation, and shadowing craft management and employees.

Focused on making the craft business and operational environment as productive, efficient, and user friendly as possible; Markgraf and the Vigor and Raining Virtue Solutions team asked questions around process, information, and the everyday challenges of craft employees. Markgraf herself shadowed multiple Production Supervisors over a series of days to better understand how the current, homegrown timekeeping system was being used and what was and wasn't working for the production staff. The results of the research were eye-opening.


Operational Efficiency

As a result, Raining Virtue Solutions, in coordination with the Vigor Industrial Information Technology team, helped transform and align human resources, payroll, workforce timekeeping, and leave and attendance functions through the implementation of Kronos- an enterprise wide resource planning system and human capital management system. We also implemented a centralized business intelligence reporting system.

The Kronos implementation will save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 5 year period. And because all human resources, payroll, timekeeping, leave, and attendance functions are now supported through Kronos' software suite of applications, their built-in integration, expert support, and consistent and compliant upgrade path will save Vigor and Todd Pacific Shipyard some additional hundreds of thousands of dollars in application management, administration, and maintenance over a ten-year period.

Accurate Metrics Generate Business Insights

Attendance events are now effectively monitored and reported on and employees are no longer overpaid when they arrive late because the attendance system is tied to the timekeeping system. There is a good audit trail of who entered and changed records, which contributes to a company culture of accountability. Because of this, accurate and consistent information is readily available via an organized and powerful business intelligence portal. Vigor Industrial \ Todd Pacific Shipyards have moved from a "data" strategy to an "information" strategy. Instead of using independent spreadsheets and "one off" reports, supervisors can now easily track what's happening in one place. Dashboards, graphical displays and alerts and automated distribution have and will continue to replace the marshaling and storing of independent data.

Through this process Raining Virtue Solutions was committed to working with the business, not just for it. Raining Virtue worked with the business to define requirements and followed through with the software vendor to ensure the software was configured in accordance with those requirements. Raining Virtue Solutions also managed all facets of conversion, systems integration, training, and "Go Live" activities.

With Great Insights Come Great Opportunities

Massive change was needed at Todd Pacific Shipyards \ Vigor Industrial in an incredibly short amount of time, and collaboration was essential. The partnership between Todd Pacific Shipyards \ Vigor Industrial and Raining Virtue Solutions was so seamless, that many Todd Pacific Shipyards employees did not know Raining Virtue Solutions consultants were not Todd Pacific Shipyards employees. Raining Virtue Solutions integrated themselves into the culture of the company. Successful partnerships are built on mutual trust, and the Todd Pacific Shipyards \ Raining Virtue Solutions team had this in spades.

Today the foundation for accurate information, corporate growth and scalability is in place, and Vigor Industrial \ Todd Pacific Shipyard has set its sights on the next 100 years.