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The IFS Challenger Champion Class of 2020 has been joined by Julian Gram Johansen, Data Manager, Master Data Team at Maersk Supply Service, a leading provider of global offshore marine services and integrated solutions for the energy sector worldwide.

A Sailor Comes Ashore

Having completed his maritime academy training, Julian, the latest addition to the 2020 IFS Challenger Champion pantheon, started out as a cadet at Maersk Supply Service (MSS), where he rose to the rank of 2nd Officer, mainly serving on Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels all over the world.

After a few years on the high seas, Julian went ashore as he was recruited into the MSS onshore organization, based in the company’s headquarters just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Looking back on his career, Julian credits his years as a ship’s officer for the mindset and tenacity he applies to his professional role.

“I’ve been told that I’m a very outspoken person, which I believe is connected to my background as ship’s officer. Working offshore, clear and timely communication is absolutely vital to ensure the safe and efficient running of the vessel.”

“Another characteristic that has carried over from my time as a seafarer is resourcefulness. Working prolonged periods on a ship with finite resources completely isolated from the rest of the world, you need to become a problem crusher. No matter what challenges present themselves, we will always figure out a solution.”

Challenger Champion Julian Gram Johansen

Ensuring Offshore Safety and Efficiency

For the last year, Julian has split his time between two roles. In his day job as Data Manager, Julian and his team of six engineers/master data specialists are responsible for all maintenance, enterprise asset management (EAM), and parts data for the entire MSS fleet, comprising of more than 40 vessels.

“The part of the solution that I focus on is the EAM capabilities, making sure our vessels are in the best possible condition and maintained properly. The most important objective, of course, is making sure that our people are safe at all times. Maersk Supply Service operates in a heavily regulated industry and adheres to very strict quality and safety requirements. We utilize records captured via IFS Applications to help us do so.”

Over the last 12 months, Julian has also been working as process lead for the maintenance track of MSS’s upgrade to IFS Applications 10.

Given his dual focus and mission-critical nature of his role, Julian’s maritime ethos not to give up until the work is done has served both him and the company well.

“As workloads mount up and things get hectic, I’ve been able to rely on my challenger mindset, which I define as someone who challenges the as-is and, crucially, is willing to put in the work to find an improvement. I believe this is the difference between being a challenger and just being a malcontent—a true challenger has the passion and the drive to find a solution and, most importantly, is willing to go that extra mile to implement it.”

Challenger Champion Julian Gram JohansenNo One Does Anything Alone

Implementing a maintenance system completely without customizations that can manage and track the multitude of equipment onboard each of the vessels is no mean feat. Add to this the need to support MSS’s 500 offshore technicians with an interface that is intuitive and easy to use, and we can glimpse some of the challenges facing Julian and his team.

“The success we’ve had over the years is in large part due to the fact that I’m part of a team of challengers. Managing the enormous volume of maintenance data that more than 40 vessels with several thousand components each generate wouldn’t be possible without the stellar people on my team.”

Another key success factor has been the IFS Community, where Julian has been able to draw insights from the hive mind of the extended IFS ecosystem of customers, partners, and employees.

“Not only am I able to pose questions to a huge group of IFS users around the world, I’m also able to share my learnings from implementing and working with IFS’s solutions. In addition, the fact that we are running IFS without a single customization to maintain a large fleet of complex vessels is unique and something that could potentially be very valuable for other IFS customers with similar needs. That’s the beauty of the community: people are very open and willing to share what they’ve learned.”Read more about the Challenger Champions program.

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