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Customer Case Study - Found Ocean

 Global Stock Management System for  SubSea Offshore Construction Company

inventory management and control
One of the most challenging projects for Gideon Hillman Consulting  was for FoundOcean, a subsea and offshore grouting specialist for the global energy subsea construction industries. Its primary business is securing structures such as wind turbines and oil platforms to the seabed by foundation grouting; as well as specialist projects such as constructing the underwater concrete platform to support the Costa Concordia when it was righted in 2013.

FoundOcean has its headquarters and primary offshore service base and warehouse in Livingston, Scotland.  Its specialist subsea and offshore engineering equipment is located at strategic out-bases for rapid deployment in key energy producing areas of the world including Europe, the Gulf of Mexico, South East Asia, India and the Middle East.


FoundOcean contracted Gideon Hillman Consulting  to develop a system and process to manage and control the supply, usage and replenishment of 1000,s of ancillary, consumable and safety equipment items in their global supply chain, including the UK Offshore Service centre, remote storage locations and the offshore construction vessels.


Global Stock Management System for  SubSea Offshore Construction Company

The heavy duty mixing, application equipment and material silos, accompanied by mobile laboratories and workshops, both of which are specially fitted ISO sea containers are all welded to the decks of offshore construction vessels. This total package (referred to as a ‘spread’) remains on the vessel for the duration of the construction project contract, which can be from one week to over one year, often in remote offshore locations.


FoundOcean has approximately 5,000 different skus (rising due to NPI) in their consumables, spare parts, re-usable equipment and PPE stock list; varying greatly in size, weight and function. There is a certain amount of standard stock and equipment required in the mobile workshops, which is pre-stocked weeks in advance of deployment and the balance of items will be job specific, such as pipe lengths (ocean depth dependent) and types of valves and fittings (determined by the equipment types on the spread to be used) issued to the workshops just prior to deployment. PPE is issued to the individual construction engineer just prior to deployment.

“Gideon Hillman’s formalisation of the asset management process enabled FoundOcean to kick-start the implementation of our ERP system, which will have wide-ranging benefits across the Company..." Neil Smith, Finance and HR Director for FoundOcean “...I would like to extend my personal thanks to Phillip Beckham at Gideon Hillman Consulting for his considerable individual contribution in our mutual project.”

The key issues that FoundOcean experienced were lack of visibility of stock usage and location due to usage and movement not being recorded correctly, or stock being misplaced, as well as stock used on different contracts to which it was allocated. The result was inaccurate cost apportionment between contracts, stock-outs and the on-costs of equipment special deliveries to remote offshore locations.


The Gideon Hillman Consulting team were tasked to meet four key objectives in the development of a suitable Asset Management and Stock system (AMS) to accurately trace consumables, spare parts and portable/reusable equipment across the globe as follows:

Responsibility, accountability and finance: Identification of its physical location to determine responsibility, correctly allocate contract costs and maintain an auditable stock and asset register.

Process Control: To enable FoundOcean management to control the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all areas of stock management, including the levels of authority and escalation process for requisition and spend on an individual and contract basis.

Stock Availability and replenishment requirements at all stock locations throughout the world.

Health, safety and due diligence: Identification of an equipment item’s physical location, so that it can be tested and calibrated in accordance with relevant H&S legislation and prevention of untested or test-expired equipment (such as lifejackets, PPE, harnesses and lifting equipment) from being used.


The consultants worked closely with the cross functional FoundOcean project team (including representation from finance, technical, support, operations, engineering and commercial) to ensure that the business processes, with all its complexities and interdependencies, were fully understood. Gideon Hillman Consulting developed an innovative AMS Operational Requirement Specification and all associated detailed SOPs to ensure that all of the principle areas above could be met through successful implementation and on-going management; first by immediately implementing SOPs for the physical process, recording movements onto a central stock database and subsequently to be integrated into the ERP system as the medium to long term strategy.


The system specification provides a solution to manage FoundOcean’s assets (consumable and reusable) and repair and maintenance operations, (including timed activities and stock management) across multiple locations and global contracts simultaneously. It also facilitates internal contract reporting requirements, including accurate cost and time management reports.

Data is input both manually (PC keyboard) and via contract dedicated rugged hand held bar code scanners (PDAs) dependent on the location type and environment.

The result is a set of comprehensive and unique SOPs and a unique AMS that meets all the objectives:

  • Optimised operational process by standardising the processes and reporting as much as possible across all operations, giving FoundOcean the ability to develop faster moving processes facilitated by automated stock and asset control requiring less human intervention and subsequently error.
  • Optimised parts and inventory costs by increasing individual accountability by making the complete process more visible and by optimising labour and stock utilisation.
  • Manage accurate spares stock levels by increasing spares stock visibility and cost control.
  • Avoid congestion of assets in certain geographical areas – as the system can identify when equipment is ready to be inspected/repaired and redeployed, it can maintain flow at a potential ‘bottleneck’ area, which is the repair and maintenance operations in many supply chains.
  • Keep the history of the assets so that full audit trails can be recovered from the database.
  • Manage the parts requisition process to a more formalised escalation process based upon spend limits per person and contract.

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Gideon Hillman Consulting is a trading name of The Supply Chain Consulting Group Ltd is registered in England and Wales.
Company Registration No: 09751027. Registered office at Highdown House, 11 Highdown Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 1XT. UK
A supply chain and logistics specialist with knowledge of process modelling, stock management tools and materials handling

CMI Awards Finalist 2010 SHD Logistics Awards UKWA Customer Service Award Finalist 2014 SHD Logistics Awards Finalist 2016 UKWA Winner 2016 SHD Logistics Awards Finalist 2015 ISO 9001 RegisteredLogistics Awards Finalist 2018Supply Chain Excellence Awards 2018