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Sulmara Subsea

XaitPorter allows for cost savings for the company and better work-life balance for the employees

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CTA-Customer Story - Sulmara

Who is Sulmara Subsea?

Established in 2018, Sulmara Subsea is an international survey services contractor that provides quality personnel, responsiveness, and an innovative approach to services across the offshore services sector within a strong and committed QHSE culture.

Sulmara Subsea focuses on decarbonizing the energy industry through the use of uncrewed and remote survey solutions.

The company is headquartered in Glasgow with regional hubs in Houston and Singapore, and offices worldwide.



Business Challenge

Like any international services contractor, Sulmara Subsea submits proposals in a very dynamic environment, where bid volumes and ITT requests can increase or decrease week over week. Due to the company’s ambitious growth journey, these documents of various complexity had to be created and submitted at an increasing pace, with teams collaborating across regions.

The only catch was that Sulmara did not have the best tools to produce complex and highly polished bids and proposals at scale. Like many other companies, they used a file-based solution:

“We had an archaic style of working – we were using Word for all our bids and proposals,” says Jeremy Steward, Commercial Manager at Sulmara Subsea. “Typically, the proposal part is the last thing that gets put together, especially if you have something heavily subcontracted. There's a lot of quotes that you have to go out and get.”

Sulmara had to do a lot of things before they could begin piecing the actual proposal together, including budgeting and getting executive approvals.

This is often where all the formatting issues come in, especially if you're trying to work with multiple people on the same document through some sort of shared space.

Typically, documents have to be split into several parts as they grow in size. Things start going awry in terms of pagination, graphics, and layout at this point. When you fix something in one place, something else will change in another. Often, teams spend hours going back and forth fixing issues before they are able to print. The same was true for Sulmara:

“The issues we faced created a tremendous amount of time being used on various formatting issues. At the zero hour, when the bids were due, there would be high stress and late nights. It was really tough to get that proposal across the line.”


Sulmara Subsea needed a software solution to simplify document creation and management.

Jeremy Steward was introduced to XaitPorter years ago while working for a large multinational company. “The training we received at my previous employer was minimal, and we all just jumped in and started cranking out proposals. The global collaboration and reduction in time spent editing, formatting etc, was a tremendous advantage.”

After he started with Sulmara, Jeremy was, in his own words, “blown away” by the innovation they were bringing to the offshore energy sector. He mentioned that if their company was going to be different and innovative, then they should be different and innovative across all fronts:

“Not just the technology we are presenting to our clients, but the technology we are presenting to our employees and using internally.”


Time Savings
Since they started using XaitPorter, Steward and his team have seen considerable time savings. Using ready-made templates as well as previously approved and vetted content, they can produce bids and proposals much faster, and with greater control.

“This isn't possible with Word”, says Steward. “As you create more bids and proposals with XaitPorter and become accustomed to the system, your process will become succinct, allowing you the efficiencies needed to produce high-quality and complex proposals in an extremely efficient manner.” 

Cost Savings
When it comes to proposal creation, XaitPorter has eliminated a lot of backend admin work for Sulmara. Due to their efficiency and ability to complete proposals with less resources, they can now run a leaner commercial team:

“We don't require as many people to piece these documents together. This results in cost savings for our company. Plus, it makes our company look a whole lot better.”

No Errors
With XaitPorter, Steward and his commercial team are virtually free from the headaches, issues, and time sinks caused by standard document management and desktop publishing tools.

“With Word, you'll often end up with errors, like references. At the last minute, you’ll discover that you missed something. When you’re up against a tight timeline, you’re sometimes faced with either submitting a proposal that has errors and looks a bit unprofessional or submitting your proposal late, which is never an option. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so when you submit a proposal it needs to be as accurate as possible.”

Steward knows that every time he submits a bid, it will be professional. The references and tables will match, the table of contents will be correct, and the formatting and layout will be consistent.

“With the dynamic text features, you don't have to worry about the ‘find and replace’ issues anymore. I’ll put in the client’s name in the meta data, and I’ll know that the name is going to be consistent throughout the document. So you end up with a more professional-looking proposal than if you use another formatting option.” 

Smooth Document Collaboration Across Locations
The right document creation solution is essential when multiple contributors in different locations work together to create complex documents that are crucial to revenue generation.

With Sulmara operating from more and more regional hubs around the world, a collaborative proposal solution like XaitPorter has become indispensable.

“You've got global operations that can work on a single document, putting in all their pieces and getting everything across the finish line with plenty of time to spare,” says Steward. “You aren't stressed out and trying to assemble last-minute contributions from team members. So it was a real game changer for me.”

Using Document Control Technology to Further the Goal of a Carbon-Neutral Future

From the very beginning, Sulmara’s ethos has been one of innovation aligned with a lower-carbon footprint offering compared to traditional delivery methods.

The company aims to prove that innovation and a low-carbon footprint are able to successfully coexist. Towards a net zero carbon future, smart technology and innovative solutions are key enablers.

A resource-saving solution like XaitPorter has inspired Steward to reflect on how digital technologies can make life itself more sustainable – not just on the job, but in every aspect of life.

Taking on a broad perspective, Steward observes:

“At Sulmara, we try to do our part to basically extend the amount of time that we have on this rock that we call Earth. If carbon reduction and lean methodologies give us an extra 1,000 years here, we want to make sure those 1,000 years are worth living.”

Steward suggests one way to achieve that is to use a solution like XaitPorter:

“You end up with a better work-life balance by improving operational efficiencies. We not only want to do our part to help sustain life on this planet, we want to ensure that our employees are enjoying time with their family and not spending excessive amounts of time working ungodly hours at the office.”

In Jeremy Steward's opinion, adopting XaitPorter fits nicely with Sulmara Subsea's commitment to carbon neutrality.

“I've got work-life balance, we've done our part to extend the life of the planet through lowered carbon footprint, and now it's a life worth living on that planet. So to me, it just all ties together and makes complete sense.”

About Xait

Xait is a global technology company founded in 2000 that produces and delivers software for document automation, collaboration and intelligent pricing. Our mission is to help enterprise clients win business by supporting their sales enablement efforts from quote to contract. We are passionate about challenging industry mindsets and developing products that improve the way people work together.

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