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Get insider info on SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite for core HR and payroll, time and attendance, talent management, employee experience management, and more in this SAP blog.
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Have you ever dreamed about an adventure working on the high seas? Of course, the comforts of a posh office would become but a pipedream during 28 continuous days at sea. However, a career as a mariner is guaranteed to offer far more than a succession of ordinary days –as well as anything but a work experience consisting of eight hours per day more or less seated in the same chair.

Offering such an opportunity to would be seafarers is Hornbeck Offshore, a provider of marine transportation services to exploration and off-shore construction customers. They have a fleet of over 70 vessels and employ 1,200 credentialed mariners worldwide. The company operates primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, with land based operations in the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

The Hornbeck Offshore website, provides plenty of details about a potential new life as a mariner. It’s made clear upfront that this new occupational port of call isn’t recommended to those prone to getting seasick, homesick or lovesick, however, the memories of embarkation are sure to last a lifetime.

Growth for Hornbeck Offshore has made for some really cool job openings but it hasn’t come without its challenges within this highly regulated industry. Furthermore, the company is governed by credential requirements of the United States Coast Guard for U.S. Mariners, as well as Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for international waters under the guidance of the International Maritime Organization.

Specific issues for Hornbeck Offshore included having islands of data residing with different vendors for ATS, HRIS, Payroll and Performance Management. There were also data integrity issues and extreme difficulty managing everything from tracking who worked on what vessel in what capacity, to dates of service, to timesheets and pay rates.

Additional challenges included the fact that HR staff were required to perform duplicate HR transactions and the HRIS/Payroll system was not equipped to catch the data validation points. Credential expirations of mariners also need to continually be checked closely. For example, individuals with credentials expiring within 30 days cannot be crewed on a vessel, and regulatory agencies can take between 2-3 months for renewal.

With all this coupled with expansion plans for the business, including adding more vessels and a crew size estimated to double, Hornbeck Offshore needed to quickly navigate in the direction of a technical transformation. Hence, began a journey to pull many numerous disparate functions all together.

Hornbeck Offshore invested in the Enterprise bundle of the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite and kicked things off with the implementation of LMS and Recruiting Management. These solutions were already in place when the HRIZONS team was brought in. The new partner advised delivering a core HRIS that can be the cornerstone of their cloud solution and that consequently resulted in the implementation of Employee Central.

The business transformation provides a truly integrated solution in the cloud as well as timely access to data by mariners. It also means having the ability to stay compliant with International Maritime Organization guidelines, and thanks to being able to retrieve credentials at such short notice, having a huge advantage in the “spot market.”

Clearly, Hornbeck Offshore is ready to sail. So, if you happen to be sitting inside an office right now, kick back in your swivel chair and take a second to imagine the possibilities of a little time at sea. Picture the ocean all around you, the smell of clean salt air and the sound of seabirds providing the soundtrack to your offshore adventure.