Business Process Integration in Maritime Fleet Management

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BUSINESS PROCESS INTEGRATION IN MARITIME FLEET MANAGEMENT
(Generic analysis of a large fleet management and recommendation)

Initial assessment of the maritime sector in general

In the maritime sector there are several IT companies offering a wide variety of software packages supporting business processes specific to fleet management. The aim is to ease the management decision making process and help the ship’s crew with their tasks. The most common applications include voyage planning, spares inventory, purchasing, ship management, route planning, container loading, cost tracking, loading calculations, accounting, cargo loading and training.

The result is that Maritime IT systems purchased and in use by ship owners and operators currently consist of a combination of applications from many different software vendors using different software platforms/processing hardware and interfaces. As such they are not necessarily compatible and do not, as a whole, offer optimized performance or result in the most efficient use of information for decision making. The requirement, unchanged for many years now, is for integrated fleet management systems which includes all the functionalities listed above but with seamless integration between the packages. The architecture of future integrated fleet management systems should be such as to ease the introduction of new business software packages as they become available. Modularity and standardization are key parameters in such a system, but it would be important to analyze why such methods have not work up to now. This study will review the currently available software packages and the early fleet management systems now becoming available in terms of their applicability to future integrated fleet management systems and the implications to business and ship operations. Key areas to be addressed include detailed process models in the following areas: • Chartering

• Fleet Scheduling and voyage management
• Maintenance and Purchasing
• Crewing
• Compliance management
• Integrated process models (extending to all the process described above) • Integration and optimisation technologies with specific reference to the synchronisation of the main schedules under which a shipping company operates (the crew schedule, the fleet schedule, the maintenance plan, the delivery schedule of spares, other supplies, and the financial budget).

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Following advantages are profitable and competitive for a shipping company

Automate/eliminate manual steps
Retyping information
Manual quote handling/comparison
Faxes and e-mails
Chasing confirmations

Reduce costs
Lower cycle times
Lower inventory/disposal costs
Improve contract compliance
Lower percentage of urgent deliveries
Lower communication costs

Improve information flow
Avoid delays in shipments
Reduce mismatches between order/deliveries
Better information for contract negotiations
Less “back and forth” with supplier
Achieve supply chain collaboration
Establish/track key performance indicators
Improve reporting
Increase transparency
Satisfy corporate governance requirements

Shipwide information collection is now possible and this can be transmitted in real time to shore based operation centres. Large quantities of real time, accurate data can be made available on each individual vessel concerning the voyage/route, Ports of call, state of health, performance, cargo-related information, etc which can be analysed and the results used in the business processes of the owners/operators to optimise efficiency, reduce costs and risks, and improve safety. This enables operators to manage and plan their fleet operations from ashore and to take any necessary actions as the need arises Fleet management systems also enable operators to establish common operating standards and procedures across their fleet of ships to ensure industry compliance, consistent performance and safe, reliable and environmental friendly operations....
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