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Customer Story Southern Wind

Project Management Tool for Complex Products

How Southern Wind improves project planning with Structr

Southern Wind
Southern Wind
Customer Southern Wind Shipyards (Pty) Ltd.
Industry Shipbuilding
Country South Africa/Germany

Structr Use Case

Southern Wind & Structr

Since its founding in 1991, SWS has specialized in the production of high-performance luxury superyachts. Each of the projects launched in the yard’s history has resulted in successful mini-series, each of which in its own way has helped to cement SWS’s solid reputation in the yachting industry.

Investment in research, product development and the latest design techniques have been paramount to SWS’ technological innovation over the years.

As a result, the yard is fully self-sufficient in all aspects of yacht production, from lamination and steelwork to joinery, painting and interior finishing.

Key Highlights

  • Flexible, customized booking management system / Flexible calendar widget for the visualization of occupancy
  • Central location for occupancy management / Maximum flexibility and clarity
  • Individually configurable mail traffic

Key Highlights

  • Highly complex product with many components
  • External factors and high degree of product customization require great flexibility
  • Much data from heterogenious sources to be integrated into one system
  • Data sets with partly different designations, but overlapping content, in Excel lists


A major challenge for this customer lay in the products themselves, because the yacht product alone is so complex that a comparatively high number of materials and requirements are associated with it.

When the term “luxury” is mentioned, it is immediately clear that this is a product that goes far beyond the usual. And, as if the complexity were not enough, SWS offers the discerning buyers of such a luxury yacht the possibility to equip their boat according to their own individual wishes. Above all, these individual ideas are in no way predictable and require maximum flexibility and openness on the part of both the project team and the underlying planning tool. 

In addition to the bill of materials (BOM) itself, project planning and coordination between the respective responsible parties – knowing who is responsible for the respective part or section, exactly which steps are required and when what has to be ready – is an elementary challenge.

In order to manage the data, which was previously available mainly in Excel files, efficiently and connected on one platform throughout the entire project phase, the shipbuilder SWS was looking for a new, flexible solution for its project management. 

The scalability and speed of graph technology, combined with the advantages of a low-code-based platform, convinced the company of Structr.

Overall, the big challenge in this project was to clean up the data model. Until then, data was scattered in multiple data sources such as Excel sheets, e-mails, and other software systems, and was sometimes labeled differently even within a single data source. For example, the responsible persons were stored in different files under their first names, full names or abbreviated names, which ultimately resulted in multiple data sets when the data was merged. As a first step, it was therefore necessary to agree on a common format in order to be able to clearly recognize related data as such.

Based on the Structr graph technology SWS manages the swimlane for yachts under construction.
Project overview page as quick reference for project managers
Table, based on Structr graph technolog, allows filtering and sorting to create custom views for different use-cases
Table allows filtering and sorting to create custom views for different use-cases.


In this project, it was evident from the outset that agility would be more crucial than the time aspect. The implementation of the new software across Southern Wind’s various departments occurred at different paces and with distinct requirements. This variability allowed Structr to leverage its strengths in agile software development effectively.

The graphical view of the Structr schema provided significant support during the definition phase. It enabled customers, even those without extensive development knowledge, to visualize how data was previously mapped in various Excel files. This visualization helped identify and address redundant or illogical data entries. Consequently, any “problem cases” could be quickly eliminated or resolved. Additionally, this approach facilitated the identification of new use cases for the linked data, further enhancing its utility.


As a result, Southern Wind has obtained a new, graph-based project management tool that is centrally available to all employees as a common resource pool (single source of truth). The data is stored redundancy-free on the basis of graph technology and is available in real time. The tool includes a clear overview of responsibilities and phases in the respective projects that is accessible to all. Interactive dashboards can visually represent the projects down to the smallest detail and are available to the entire project team. 

To retrieve the roadmap and targeted information of e.g. deadlines, process steps and responsibilities, Structr allows filtering and sorting on lists, and swimlane charts to create a custom view on the data, on the fly, and therefore quickly find relevant elements. In the same way, changes in time or responsibility planning can be made directly, considering all consequences. Programming skills are not required for this.

Looking at the workload of employees, the Structr tool offers the possibility to visualize not only an overview, but also a forecast of the capacity utilization and thus to identify workload bottlenecks in time. This allows employees to be relieved when there is a visible overload and others to be more involved when there is a surplus of capacity.

Implemented solutions include:

  • BOM: visual editor for BOM in tree interface
    • show bill of materials in hierarchy
    • edit hierarchy
  • Schedule: visual editor for schedule planning in Gantt/swimlane interface
    • show components, decision and drawings as timeline
    • edit duration and time of items via drag-n-drop
    • configure custom view on timeline via filters
  • Data Table: data in tabular form
    • aggregate data from database in redundancy free fashion
    • update data across all tables
    • configure custom view on table via filters and sorting
  • Excel Interface: file based Excel import/export
  • Microsoft Business Central (MS BC) Interface
    • import data from MS BC into Structr
    • show imported data in tabular fashion (with filtering and sorting)
    • link MS BC data to other data within Structr (e.g. link parts to orders)
    • periodically update imported data from MS BC with newest changes made within the Business Central system
  • Graph-based and centrally available project management tool as single source of truth
  • Visual roadmap, to support planning of deadlines and responsibilities
  • Flexible interfaces to Excel, Microsoft Business Central and other systems


  • Shared resource pool with real-time information
  • Redundancy-free data storage
  • Detailed interactive dashboards that visually represent projects down to the smallest detail and share with the project team
  • Interactive, visual dashboards that are customized down to the smallest detail
Redundancy free storage of information via Graph as single source of truth. 

Testimonial Southern Wind

Working with Structr you have a true sense of a partnership with common values and a shared goal. We had no experience or expertise in software development, but a clear idea of our process and what we wanted to achieve. I found the visual schema invaluable as this was used to map our business model, internal processes and how data is actually stored all in one. As a communication tool it forms a common reference point between client and developer and facilitates clear understanding in a very efficient manner. Using the schema we were able to quickly create a data model that mirrored the design brief , but also accommodate changes and new features along the way. I found the process rewarding and look forward to extending the application with the team at Structr.
Paul DumbellProcess Engineering Manager


  • Projects can be planned 
and implemented in a more targeted manner
  • Errors caused in the past by redundant or inconsistent data are avoided
  • Implementation takes place many times faster
Structr's low-code Schema Editor, based on graph technology, supports developers and customers when discussing implementation details.
Structr's low-code Schema Editor supports developers and customers when discussing implementation details


All in all, we worked closely with the client to sort out, clean up and restructure in a meaningful way. 

Visualizing the data allowed the Southern Wind team to uncover hidden inconsistencies in the data connections. The new perspective they gained through visualization revealed insights that drove clarity in the company’s structure and the elimination of redundancies.

The result is a database that creates a single source of truth of responsibilities and project steps and keeps the company clean, modern and focused on what matters. All data was named and assigned consistently. Dependencies were mapped correctly and data was stored redundancy-free in the graph database.

All project participants have gained access to a common resource pool with up-to-date information in real time and clear project plans. With the Structr solution, the SWS team benefits in many ways.

Project work is facilitated by the detailed interactive dashboards that visually represent the projects down to the smallest detail.
The system also features an integrated and easy-to-use user interface, filtering and sorting capabilities that allow users to create custom views on the data and quickly find relevant items and a custom database of standard data that can be included in new projects.

The company can build on this basis in the long term and well prepared for the future.

Would you like to learn more about how Structr was used in this solution?

Get in touch with Structr

We are interested in the use of Structr

I’m looking forward to your inquiry!

Axel Morgner

Call 0800-STRUCTR
+49 800 / 78 78 287


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Feature-rich applications in minutes with the flexibility and speed of Graph technology

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