For any oceangoing business, there is one obvious challenge, and that is how to communicate with ships at sea, staff in port, and those based at the central head office.
The timely and accurate flow of data back and forth is key to managing a streamlined, cost-effective business and ensuring that the different elements of the business, regardless of their location, are able to access and input vital data plays a huge part in this. In order to facilitate this, many companies are turning to fleet management software.
Fleet management software
Providing a platform for the import and export of data, logistics and plans for the fleet which is accessible to those on land and at sea, ship management software is vital in maintaining a timely, accurate and compliant fleet.
By centralising records and processes, including the management of documentation and certification, the reporting of faults and concerns, as well as logistic and shipment information, ship management software allows the seamless communication between those at sea and those on land. This means that the entire workforce is able to access the same information at any given moment and that the business does not need to rely on several individual systems to manage its ships, people, or goods.
Typically, key features of the software include defect reporting, Data management, inventory management, budgets and analytics and even the performance of ships engines to allow the business to reduce fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and downtime.
Ship to shore communication
Of course it is not always possible for a ship to access the Internet and during these times the fleet management software allows the staff on-board to continue to access and input data off-line. When a stable connection is restored, the software will then automatically perform a data sync providing updates to the entire business whilst also downloading the most recent information provided by shore to ship communications.
It is inevitable that ships will encounter faults or sustain damage whilst sailing and by uploading this information through the fleet management software, the land based staff will be able to initiate any repairs or maintenance that needs to be carried out or, if necessary, arrange for the ship to go into dry-dock. Not only does this make sure that the ship is maintained and repaired in a timely way but that the business can initiate continuity plans quickly and efficiently in order to minimise the knock-on effect of any ship being taken out of action. With the ship to shore communication that these platforms allow, this work can begin long before the ship reaches port.
Data and analysis
Aside from communications and information transfer, there are also other benefits to having one system to manage your fleet, and this is data and the analysis that this enables. With all of your data in one location you are able to extract the relevant combination of data streams and identify where your business can improve, expand or cost save and thus maximise your revenue.