Update Feb 2006

TMSA requires performance support tools

Performance Support: The key factor for the achievement of TMSA quality management requirements
Recent discussions about TMSA have brought a variety of concerns to the surface. No doubt, training, risk management, crew retention, defects reporting, planned maintenance and other requirements are attracting attention. As with any management code, using existing company strengths and building on these is a practical way to start. To this end Ulysses has to make it clear to its customers in which part of the undertaking we are able to help.
TMSA is simply another Quality management initiative, this time driven by the charterer.
It adds to the time it takes to manage a shipping company unless processes are optimised in a professional and intelligent manner. The truth is that when you are trying to manage risk and also prove that you are doing so, the process and documentation can get cumbersome and tedious.

In the PMS, the speed and convenience of reporting is critical (all machinery as stipulated by TMSA which means over 800 maintenance activities). If you add to this the need to track and compare superintendents' reports to external reports, to carry out risk assessment at time of overhaul in usual circumstances, plus to analyzing critical machinery defects for root causes, then the consumption of time becomes a serious concern.

TMSA at a Glance

  • Risk identification (TMSA Elements 7, 9, 11); Risks identification will require being timely. This requires timely management of observations. Risk evaluation requires identifying combinations of observations and defects that can increase risk. In the future this will become a focus on more and more fine-grained items that today we may ignore.
  • Co-ordination of action (TMSA Elements 1A, 7, 9 and 11); Clear evidence of due process to evaluate and remedy the risk. In the future every observation will be expected to be linked to actions throughout the enterprise.
  • Process transparency (TMSA 1B, 4, 7, 9, 11 and 12); Clear relationship between detection and final improvement to the process in order to eliminate the risk. In the future there will be an expectation of consolidated views of the entire set of risk detection and mitigation processes, indexed by the action to be taken by each stakeholder. Clear and accessible status transparency.
  • Guidance (TMSA Elements 1B, 3, 9, 12); Effective means to communicate Change of process and enact change of perception. In the future, the way that change of process is communicated to stakeholders will be tested for effectiveness.
  • Process improvement (TMSA Elements 1B, 7, 12); Design and implementation of improved processes by learning from internal and external experiences. In the future the expectation will be for the design of process to incorporate a consolidated view of experience whenever someone consults the system before doing a task.

Is Quality Expensive?
Ulysses adds a very substantial layer of performance support to its software to meet the above challenges in an intuitive and ergonomic way.

The annual license cost of most maritime software modules is the equivalent of 1 to 4 man-days of salary per year of a senior officer or shore based a superintendent.
Most software related processes vary tremendously in the consumption of time and effort from user to user, ship to ship and software vendor to software vendor. Efforts to reduce these are the primary reason for performance support in software design. For example, reporting maintenance on a tanker in accordance with TMSA could take from 100 to 400 man-hours per year. A difference of 150 man-hours per year is close to 20 man-days. That becomes double when you add more modules and have the chief engineer turning into a clerk. So saving man-days should be high on the priority list.

Imagine how the defects/non conformance to the closeout process newly described by TMSA can be done conveniently, given the risk analysis requirements. Surely, some careful design plus support of the users in this cycle of reports will make a fundamental difference in time and in preoccupation.

Ulysses supports the performance of the user by use of advanced and unique ergonomics via Task Orientation. These are applied to all our modules, which include planned maintenance, purchasing, crewing, document management, on board operations and quality management.

The difference is like the distinction of traveling on a plane versus a train.

Both can be effective, however, the decision on which to use is based on the total time it takes to travel and how you value your time.