Update Jul 2003

Smart management cuts costs


Ulysses Systems' Task Assistant™ reduces risk and saves managers money
How often a shipboard incident, a vetting problem, a machinery breakdown or human error, is something you could have anticipated but didn't? It is rare that an accident is caused by truly new factors. The challenge for managers is to disseminate information and shared experience across their fleets in a way that helps prevent incidents. How is it possible to train crews so that the right information reaches the right person at the right time? Even if the cause of an accident or problem is new how do you effectively share that knowledge?

Having analyzed shipboard incidents Ulysses found that approximately 20-30% of all incidents are caused by a lack of information being available at the right time in the right place. Incidents cost money and basic premiums for P&I club members - accounting for some 80,000 ships - have gone up by 15 to 25 per cent this year. Premiums could rise further still - how can this insurance inflation be tackled? The only way is to reduce costly incidents. Indeed, insurers believe the implementation of ISM safety codes combined with the associated increase in safety awareness can reduce accidents by as much as 30 per cent. Paul Hinton, Managing Director of the London P&I Club has addressed the issue by focusing on improvements in safety and efficiency.

One innovation Mr. Hinton believes is already moderating the upward trend in claims is the implementation of efficient, ISM-compliant ship management systems such as the Task Assistant™ suite of management tools from Ulysses Systems. He says: "Operators have to meet exacting standards. Increasingly, a safe, well-managed ship is not enough. You have to be able to prove that everything you do meets the standards laid down."

Demonstrable competencies become increasingly important. Computer management systems have not always proved popular with mariners: they have been time-consuming to use and of little benefit to crew. But Task Assistant™ was developed on board a fleet of ships - and it shows. It takes little training to use - and provides seafarers with the structure and the guidance required to prevent accidents and ensure that delays for paperwork and other checks are kept to a minimum.

Panteleimon Pantelis, Director of Ulysses Systems, makes an unambiguous claim: "Task Assistant™ has been proven to reduce accidents at sea caused by human error due to lack of timely information. Managers able to demonstrate this should benefit from lower insurance premia. By using Task Assistant™ managers will both reduce their risk and be able to prove such reductions"

From standard login information, Task Assistant™ knows who the user is, what is the task in hand, voyage details and who needs to be notified about task-related matters. The system takes care of the clerical work while the mariner can focus on safety, quality and security."

Mr. Pantelis believes savings on insurance costs along with additional savings due to increased efficiency can reduce costs by around $90,000 a year - per ship. None in the industry can afford to ignore that!