ALE mines diamonds with Synergi Life

Data mining can be as profitable as mining for precious stones

Pierre de Villiers, Group HSQE Manager at ALE, compares data mining in QHSE to mining for diamonds. There can be an enormous amount of information to mine, but the 'diamonds' that are found can be a huge bounty for any organization.

"What you need to succeed is credible and tangible data to base decisions on. Otherwise we're just shooting in the dark. You can't change what you can't see," says de Villiers.

Prior to acquiring Synergi Life, ALE's QHSE data was spread out in many locations. "There would be 20 different versions of Excel sheets," says de Villiers. "I would gather the data and send it all to the Board." Needless to say, this was a time-consuming process.

Synergi Life has paid for itself tenfold

"Synergi Life's paid for itself tenfold, maybe more," he says. De Villiers had already been using Synergi Life at previous companies when he was hired by ALE in 2014. They immediately began the process of looking for a QHSE and risk management software solution, and a full purchasing process was run, including two other vendors.

ALE required a solution that could be implemented swiftly and effectively out-of-the-box. "We don't have an IT team of 20 people," says de Villiers. "It was me and the spreadsheets and 10 HSE managers."

De Villiers had previous experience using Synergi Life with Acergy in Australia, which subsequently merged with Subsea7, so he knew the benefits and usability of the software. "We loved using Synergi Life for our projects," says de Villiers, noting that the 'one true position' of data gave an overview independent of vessel and of location. ALE decided to go with Synergi Life in 2015.

Cost reductions

ALE has experienced numerous significant benefits after the implementation. "In the first year of using Synergi Life we saw a 50 percent reduction in total costs related to equipment damage. That meant probably 600 000 euros in savings. We did this by identifying processes that are failing, going upline and making changes. We now do this continously," says de Villiers. "At user gatherings, our competitors ask how we use Synergi Life, and we have no secrets - we openly talk about it and give presentations."

ALE uses the Quality Management software module, the Audit Management (audit program) module and are looking into implementing the Third Party Management module. "We've progressed every year with Synergi Life," says de Villiers.

Prior to implementing Synergi Life, gathering data and presenting it on a monthly basis was estimated to take approximately, 60 man-hours a month. Now, the housekeeping of data has become part of daily activities. "I would say that we now use about 10 hours a month, maybe less," says de Villiers.

New users learn quickly

De Villiers is positive to the ease at which new users can learn to use Synergi Life. "If I can understand it, it should be simple for everyone to understand," he says with a smile.

ALE has almost 2000 employees, of which 800 are regular users of Synergi Life. With 1000 or so subcontractors it will be important going ahead to open up and give third parties access to data that they need to see. This is especially important regarding the new ISO 27001 certification, which requires new levels of quality in systems.

As for the future, de Villiers sees that DNV is at the forefront of digitization. "I'm excited about the Veracity platform, " he says, noting the power of having one true set of data. "Everything good gravitates toward DNV. I want to be a part of that. It sounds cheesy, but it's the truth," he says.


Founded in 1983 by Roger Harries, ALE delivers a highly tailored, end-to-end service covering every aspect of the handling, transportation and installation of heavy, indivisible loads, including lifting, transporting, installing, ballasting, jacking and weighing.

ALE provides strategic heavy-lifting services to a wide range of sectors, including civil, oil and gas, energy, nuclear, offshore, renewables, petrochemical, ports, marine, minerals and metals and mining.


  • Customer name: ALE
  • Web address: ale-heavylift-com
  • Market: Heavylifting services
  • Employess: 1800
  • Solution/product: Synergi Life 

Why we chose DNV - Digital Solutions

  • Have seen success of Synergi Life in other industries
  • Previous experience with Synergi Life
  • Compelling to investors
  • DNV's brand strength - companies that manage risk well, gravitate toward DNV

This is what we gained:

  • Synergi Life has the toolkit to help change the business
  • Paid for itself 10-fold or more
  • Visibility - managers have the data to base actions on
ALE mines diamonds with Synergi Life

In the first year of using Synergi Life we saw a 50 percent reduction in total costs related to equipment damage.

  • Pierre de Villiers ,
  • Group HSQE Manager ,
  • ALE

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