Five tips for maritime companies to work smarter

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Five tips for maritime companies to work smarter

May 30, 2023
Time to read: 8 minutes
Morten Hansen

In the maritime industry, vessel owners are facing challenges to increase operational efficiency to meet profitability, sustainability and compliance requirements from both charterers and regulators.

In the maritime industry, vessel owners are facing challenges to increase operational efficiency to meet profitability, sustainability and compliance requirements from both charterers and regulators. This is crucial for remaining competitive in the face of rapidly changing market conditions and supply chain disruptions. Digitalization is seen as a key enabler for meeting these goals and reducing fuel and hull costs while optimizing the performance of assets, vessels, voyages and fleets. While technology and data have a key role to play here, you’ll need to work smarter to get the most out of them and see tangible impact.

What it means to work smarter with digitalization

In the maritime industry, working smarter means being more data-driven, resilient, productive and efficient. This is the key to cutting fuel consumption, ensuring compliance and optimizing voyages. All of this is needed to secure profitability, sustainability and competitiveness. Many new ways of working are opened up by digitalization, making it possible to work smarter. Let’s take a closer look at five tips on how to do this.

Create a single source of truth in the cloud

The right cloud architecture can help you create a fleetwide single source of truth. This allows your employees to collaborate remotely and perform activities such as maintenance preparation and planning from anywhere in the world at any time. It’s smarter to make your data available securely from anywhere to avoid data silos and collaborate across your entire fleet.

For example, this single source of truth allows your central offshore staff to securely access and manage vessel data in real time. It also improves the Management of Change (MOC) process, allowing stakeholders such as operations, engineering, maintenance, and safety teams to connect, share, and validate important information. All of this improves employee retention, teambuilding and overall productivity.

Set up end-to-end workflows with real-time data

Have you considered how many different systems your employees need to switch between to complete one workflow? But what if that one workflow could be completed in just one system? This can be done by digitalizing and consolidating all related tasks into one place. This is called an end-to-end workflow. It’s smarter to avoid switching between application windows and instead complete a workflow in one place.For instance, your central office staff could view vessel fuel consumption data in real time, communicate with the vessel’s crew and adapt maintenance schedules, voyage courses and other parameters – all without having to switch windows. System consolidation into end-to-end workflows can both reduce employee fatigue and cut software licensing costs, and real-time data-driven adaptations can greatly increase operational efficiency.

Prioritize user-friendliness

Don’t underestimate the importance of ensuring the digital tools your organization uses are as easy to use as possible. A good user experience (UX) empowers your employees to learn how to use an app, perform tasks, and collaborate more efficiently. It’s smarter to work together when everyone is on the same page in a user-friendly app.

For example, a good UX approach would be to customize interfaces and dashboards by employee role or ship so they can find the most relevant data as quickly as possible. This could be emissions over a given period of time for a compliance officer while it could be the condition of the vessel’s machinery for maintenance staff. User-friendly tools also enable your employees to align around a shared understanding of vessel situations and common operational processes across your fleet.

Streamline reporting

Manually inputting vessel data for the daily report can be prone to human error and take unnecessary time away from your crew. But now a robust cloud architecture can automate the processes of collecting, inputting, standardizing and consolidating vessel data. This makes it possible to deliver more detailed, helpful and accurate reports to all stakeholders faster. It’s smarter to spend less time creating reports and more time analyzing them.

For example, you can share vessel data on emissions, fuel consumption and other key parameters with stakeholders and applications instantly, allowing real-time monitoring. This provides greater control, visibility and traceability of all compliance-related processes, building trust with the charterer while also making it easier to ensure compliance with regulations. It also provides great opportunities for improving operational efficiency with more frequent and detailed reporting on parameters affecting fuel consumption and voyage conditions while also freeing up the crew’s time from manual data entry.

Unlock smarter insights

With digital tools, you can increase data quality by filtering out bad data sources and inputs. When combined with machine learning, this enables you to generate smarter insights into your data. With these insights, it’s possible to adopt a more data-driven approach across your organization and more efficiently plan voyages, maintenance activities, and fuel consumption. It’s smarter to fix something proactively before it breaks than afterwards reactively.

For example, you could identify the optimum times to perform hull cleaning or other maintenance. This makes it possible to prevent breakdowns, reduce maintenance costs by not doing it sooner than necessary, and further optimize fuel consumption and operational efficiency.  All of this will ultimately result in significant cost savings and optimized operations.

Ready to take the leap into the cloud?

All of these smarter ways of working are enabled by digitalization and cloud technology. Choosing the right technology platform is the key to making the most of them and improving competitiveness, cost efficiency, productivity, compliance, and so much more. In fact, vessel owners we have spoken with saw decreases in operational inefficiencies by as much as 70%.

Learn how to get deep insights into your data from the cloud

About the author

Five tips for maritime companies to work smarter

Morten Hansen

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