A close eye on rising crew costs
by Arvid Steen
Controlling costs is a large part of a shipping operation. Per Ove Kviteberg of maritime HR solutions specialist Adonis explains how the right IT tools can help the shipping industry to keep a close eye on rising crew costs.
According to Per Ove Kviteberg, Managing Director of maritime information technology provider Adonis, organizations are increasingly looking for ways to track and control these escalating costs.
“A number of factors are coming together to place great cost pressure on shipping operators. Fuel prices are rising, while the global economic climate and aggressive discounting has led to reduced revenues. New safety requirements and the need for more extensive crew training have also had a negative impact on the industry’s bottom line. Maybe the most significant expense relates to increasing personnel cost,” says Kviteberg.
For the shipping industry, crew-related expenses will account for a large portion of the total expense of running a vessel. And as labor costs and standards of living rise in countries from which crew members are sourced, this percentage is sure to grow.
“The huge investments in crew are driven by a common understanding that what is good for the seafarer is good for the business,” he explains. “A business so heavily depending on customer satisfaction and reputation needs qualified, well-performing and happy employees on all levels. This cannot be questioned. On the other hand, the tools used for crew management are in many cases not providing the level of integration and overview required”, says Kviteberg.
“Many companies would never let their technical equipment be subjected to a system which is not of the highest standard. It has always puzzled me that there seems to be a higher tolerance for a low-performing crew management system compared to, for example maintenance systems."
Combining the best of Windows and Web-based technologies with a central integrated database, Adonis offers a state of the art solution for crew management and payroll known as the Adonis Maritime Suite. It is modular, highly customizable solution, which will fit the smaller and medium sized companies just as well the global enterprise. An analytical module allows to extract KPIs and other management information across all modules.
The Adonis Crew Portal allows crew members to clock in and out from designated screens using a swipe card or pre-set credentials, helping calculate overtime and alerting managers to possible rest-hour violations. This can be combined with other modules that track crew station bill, crew effects, cabin allocation, facilitate recruitment, scheduling, training, and perform other capabilities. The system can be installed in-house or used remotely through an online ASP service.
“Adonis offers highly qualified and experienced project teams,” says Kviteberg. “You don’t put a system on the production platform until it has been 100% proven in the right scenarios over a substantial period.
“If a customer doesn’t have the resources in place, we can host the system in our ASP farm for as long as necessary before they go live on their own network”, says Kviteberg.