New Seabook super users

Workshop in Oslo trained colleagues in the Seabook tool

In late November, a new group of super users emerged from a two-day workshop in Oslo, where they were trained in the mastery of Seabook. The group consisted of representatives from back-office functions, Yield Management, System Product Management, Marketing, Web and IT Support.

Marianne Hagen, the workshop coordinator, says: “This was the first time we mixed participants from the operational and sales side of the business with the support and back-office functions, including newer arrivals. It was inspiring to see how knowledge was shared across departments and gave a better understanding to all about how best to collaborate.”

“We thank all the participants for their engagement and feedback during and after the workshop. Thanks also to the Oslo office for letting us use their meeting facilities, which produced a great setting.”

BU Baltic serves up meal voucher upgrade

BU Baltic has introduced a new and efficient process for handling meal vouchers for passengers. Previously this was a laborious task for staff as it was done with spreadsheets, and handwriting and stamping individual vouchers by route, vessel and type of meal.

With the new set-up, vouchers will be generated automatically from Seabook, and the meal entitlement information will be printed out when the customer is checked in and receives a boarding pass.

The improvement will be felt immediately: By the staff who can now dedicate more time to customer care and upselling and by customers who will enjoy faster check-in and the full attention of the check-in staff.

The new system was developed by ‘The Doors’ team.

Thank you to the developers: Martin Bundgaard, Abdul Arafh, Mikkel Dam-Larsen and Mathias Juhl Kold Nielsen, product owner Martin Lange and business analyst Ida Rasmussen.

A special thank you goes to the passenger check-in team at Karlshamn who have been testing the new set-up in recent days.



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The team tosses the old meal voucher system and show off the new and improved vouchers
From top left: Anna Szelberg, Katrin Arvidsson, Simon Johansson, Inese Lukjanova and Viktorija Meinoryte tested the new voucher system

Workshop for the SEABOOK training community

The SEABOOK superuser training community met recently for a two-day workshop at Klithuset, a lovely venue in northern Zealand. The workshop drew 21 colleagues from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, France and the UK for exciting talks, beginning with a session about change management by an external speaker.

In the evening, the participants were divided into small teams, each preparing their part of a Mexican dinner and having a lot of fun. All sorts of taco-inspired dishes were served in the 4-star restaurant, ‘the SEABOOK Scullery’, and everyone enjoyed the dinner and getting to know new superuser colleagues.

The next day, the trainers shared experiences and considered how SEABOOK training should be delivered. Margaret Unsworth from the SEABOOK team in Fulfilment PAX facilitated this session.

“We would like to thank all of the superusers for their extensive engagement and commitment in making these two days one of the best workshops so far,” says Marianne Hagen, Release Manager.


Fruitful SEABOOK knowledge-sharing workshop

Last week, a small group of superusers from the SEABOOK superuser organisation met on board Crown Seaways for a two-day SEABOOK knowledge-sharing workshop. The purpose was to align how SEABOOK knowledge is best shared between the SEABOOK superuser communities and further with all end users and stakeholders.

Marianne Hagen, Release Manager, says: “The workshop was kicked off with a creative session with an external consultant from Momentum Nordic who helped us all get out of our comfort zones and become creative. Martyn Glanville, Product Owner Digital Workplace, also held a session about which tools we can use to simplify our communications and knowledge-sharing. We finished the first day in front of the ‘fireplace’ discussing tangible plans and the future structure for knowledge-sharing.

“We would also like to take the opportunity to thank our colleagues on board Crown Seaways for excellent service and for taking such good care of us.”


New SEABOOK superuser organisation

Our passenger booking system SEABOOK has now been implemented on all passenger routes and now has approx. 1,100 users.

As the system went from implementation mode to maintenance mode, there was a need to review the superuser organisation to ensure that it matched the change of mode and the changes that have been implemented in the passenger business, Digital and IT during the last year.

With the new set up, the superusers are organised in communities of practice. There is a community coordinator who takes care of the daily follow-up and makes sure that there is progress in improving the way the community works together and shares knowledge.

The first workshop for the support community was recently kicked off on board Pearl Seaways. Marianne Hagen, Business Analyst, says: “It was two very productive days with focus on how we can all support each other and ensure that all SEABOOK users are getting the support they need. I am extremely impressed by the commitment and the motivation everyone has shown, and I am very grateful for working with such a positive group of SEABOOK ambassadors.”

“We would also like to take the opportunity to thank all the members of the old superuser organisation for the great job they have done during the implementation. Finally, a big thanks to the team on board Pearl Seaways for providing the best facilities for the workshop.”

FerryGateway bridge​d gap between systems in Dieppe 

On 29 January, Peter Hoogendoorn, Senior Project Manager,  and his project team replaced the WebRes booking system with Phoenix and Seabook for the Dieppe – Newhaven route, and it all worked well for that day’s 18:00 departure.

However, there were also new challenges. A large community of second-home owners live in the UK but spend substantial parts of their summers in their French holiday homes, and they typically book far in advance. This means that over 5,000 bookings in the WebRes booking system needed to be re-booked in SeaBook

The difference between the two systems meant that re-booking from WebRes in SeaBook was more complex than expected and would require a lot of time from the team in Dieppe as well as support from their colleagues in Newcastle. Fortunately, technology came to the rescue. The solution was to use the FerryGateway technology that allows external websites to make passenger bookings with DFDS.

Xavier Kemp, Head of Solutions & Technology, and colleagues in IT decided to export all of the bookings from WebRes into an Excel file and then write a small piece of software that would export all of these bookings to FerryGateway so that they could be created in SeaBook.

This solution transferred 5,112 bookings to SeaBook and saved at least 100 man-days of work. “In the past we have tried migrating bookings from one system to another, and it has always created problems. But this new and very reliable way to create bookings in SeaBook using FerryGateway opens up new opportunities, and we hope to be able to apply the same principles to automating some parts of our international markets processes,” says Declan Walsh, Business Development & Strategy Director. He is also Digital & IT Officer.

“This solution was suggested by Thor-Einar Burchard, Systems Developer, and he deserves enormous credit for coming up with the idea,” says Declan Walsh.

Thor-Einar was presented with a special thank you from the Passenger business in recognition of his contribution to solving the problem.


Phoenix & Seabook go live on Dieppe – Newhaven

Monday 29 January was an important day for the Dieppe – Newhaven route, as the booking system WebRes was replaced by Phoenix and Seabook. All resources were utilised in preparing the final items to ensure a smooth first departure at 18:00 from Dieppe.

Freight check-in opened at 10:00 without any unforeseen issues and the first number of scheduled departures in Seabook were reviewed a long with all of the associated bookings to ensure a smooth check-in process for our passengers leaving nothing to chance. The check-in for Seabook commenced around 15:30

“I am really proud of everyone involved with this implementation. Apart from a few obstacles, everything went really well. Issues included boarding card printers at car check-in, which simply related to a hole in the desk being too small to feed boarding cards. The foot-passenger check-in exposed a bug, for which Seabook developers promptly provided a workaround. We can only thank ourselves and the marvellous collaboration across offices, ships and terminals,” says Peter Hoogendoorn, Senior Project Manager in BU Group Passenger.

“In spite of a very good start, it soon transpired that there are issues with back-office processes from a Seabook point of view. This is receiving the utmost attention by the business and Seabook finance team,” Peter adds.

“We see good morale from all our colleagues on board and on land, the business and onsite support. All teams are working well together and they’re showing a very positive team spirit. A big thank you to all colleagues for their tremendous efforts and team spirit in making this happen. You should all be very proud of this impressive achievement,” says Jean-Claude Charlo, Managing Director in BU France & Med.






Organisational changes in IT

As some of you already know, Peter Riise, IT Development Manager for Seabook, has decided to continue his career outside DFDS. I wish him all the best, and would like to thank him for his contribution over the past 12 years with us.

I am pleased to announce that Stefan Strandbygaard has accepted the challenge of taking over from Peter Riise as the IT development manager in the Build/Source department with a focus on the passenger area. This will happen as a transition period over the next few months.

The new IT & Digital organisation kicked off in October, and the strategic report showed an increased need for agile capabilities. So we have established a team of scrum masters – a Scrum master is helping the development team to perform with agility and improve their process – in the Build/Source department. It’s known as the Agile Excellence team, which Stefan was heading.

As a result of the above changes, we have decided to move the Agile Excellence team to the CIO office with the aim of using agile methods across IT and not limiting this to the build process. This means that Mikkel Groth-Andersen will be the manager for the scrum masters, as well as being CIO Office Manager. Mikkel has been one of the pioneers in agile processes, and has lectured and delivered coaching in the past.

I am confident that this new setup will support the new organisation in the best possible way, and I wish you all the best in your new positions.

Best regards,
Gert Møller, VP & CIO