Update Oct 2001

New regulations combined with routine expediting. Can we make sure we don't suffer omissions and endure even more costs?


Marine operations and technical management are already intense:
It is rare to find operations people going home early.
It's just as unusual to find marine superintendents with lots of time to spare.

Intensity results in occasional omissions:
During an intense voyage when one of the ships in your fleet is occupying you with a technical problem how likely are you to remember to send the master all the reminders and material to prepare for a pending oil company vetting inspection.
How likely are you to remind the chief engineer to remember to box up and put ashore a piston head for reconditioning? How well will you plan a downtime repair of another vessel?

Similarly the operations department has its periods of intensity as they respond to issues like terminal complaints, problems with overcharged port dues, cargo claims, cargo preparation advice, bunkering problems, new port requirements, difficult cargoes etc

There is no doubt that if you are concentrating on one area intensely something may slip by in another.

The current environment is not forgiving:
Corporate consolidation has given charterers more commercial power through their greater market share and the relatively smaller number of major players available through whom the owner can secure business. This has increased the pressure on owners to manage effectively and to minimise risk.

The rate at which international rules and regulations are introduced and amended has made it ever more difficult for ship operators to keep track of current requirements. Personnel
onboard vessels and in the office need to be able to familiarise themselves with these rules quickly and to apply them effectively.

For example:

  • Guidelines issued in 1997 and 1999 reinforce already stringent international protocols in areas such as garbage disposal, masters' decision making, bulk carrier operation, and inspection targets for vessels arriving in European ports.
  • Public domain visibility of vessel inspection results, such as via the Equasis scheme, has significant impact upon vessels' reputations and marketability.
  • Increasing penalties imposed for pollution have greatly added to the complexity and risk attached to operating in an environmentally acceptable manner.
  • Latest anticipated anti-terrorist measures put an even greater load on the ship owner to comply with new port clearance requirements, especially in the US.
  • Latest rules affecting bottom paints and the preparation before dry-docking.

While we are preoccupied with problem solving who is keeping track of the critical information going out to the fleet?
The master and chief engineer are doing their utmost to take all opportunities to minimise downtime, give early notice of readiness, deal with crew disputes, manage authorities going into port etc.

So when are they going to sit down and read your circulars and manuals to inform themselves of matters that may or may not need their attention now?
Either the office personnel have to provide just in time dissemination and information feed to the fleet, or the masters must rummage through the company communications past and present in case something is needed proximately.

So what solution can we provide to this error prone predicament?

The Task AssistantTM brings information to light at the time of need. It is indexed by the current activity of the user, the contexts in which the activity is done, the time the place, etc.
The Task Assistant will do the job of rummaging through the entire system to find what is relevant for this task, this port, this cargo this voyage this pump or any other area of focus normal in the marine business. What is more it will do this instantly. No searching.

It separates what the user needs now from what the user needs later.

Plus it provides an integrated centrally controlled information system to manage all information on board and ashore.

Our clients have found that Task AssistantTM has greatly increased organisational control and co-ordination, thus eliminating duplication of effort and loss or unavailability of valuable information. The architecture of the system is flexible so as not to restrict the scope for tailoring workflows and activities to accurately mirror and support the company's desired way of working. Demonstrating regulatory compliance is greatly facilitated by the ease with audit evidence can be accessed and disseminated.