Intelligent connected workflows will help reshape the maritime business landscape
HOW many tabs do you keep open, on average? If you’re counting them right now... it's a problem.
And mostly it is a problem. The multitude of systems, and the lack of interconnectedness, forces us to work this way. This leads to inefficiencies, errors, and a lack of visibility into real progress.
In maritime, the solution is workflow. Driven by data from multiple systems, workflows eliminate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, from double-entry to cut and paste.
Think of how much time you would save preparing CII and EEXI reports to regulators and stakeholders each year. With integrated workflows, delivery would take mere hours.
And what of the psychic impact on business culture? Allowing mind-numbing activities to persist crushes productivity and stimulates attrition. Integrated, data-centric workflow allows employees to focus on more important activities: problem-solving, forecasting and interacting with clients.
Intelligent connected workflows also can increase collaboration and communication within an organisation, encourage innovation and creativity, and produce a more productive and engaged workforce.
This last point can’t be stressed enough: the tools people use at work have a direct impact on their job satisfaction. No one wants to work with disconnected systems. And nobody wants to repeat manual tasks. Maritime will never attract the next wave of talent if it can't move beyond this reality.
“Maritime will never attract the next wave of talent if it can't move beyond disconnected systems and repeated manual tasks” — Sid Probstein
Another key advantage of intelligent connected workflows is the ability to break down silos and allow for the sharing of data and information. When using disconnected workflows, some departments will be data blind, meaning they simply may lack the information they need to act. Something as simple as a vessel’s position: What is the best source of that information? AIS? Noon reports from the bridge? Emails from brokers?
Teams working with connected workflows can make better decisions, based on a single source of business truth. If everyone on your commercial teams had visibility into the entire process, they could understand the bigger picture and identify bottlenecks or areas for improvement.
Intelligent connected workflows are amplified by open platforms, particularly those hosted in the cloud and offered via SaaS. Let’s address these in turn.
1. Open platforms are designed to easily connect different systems and data feeds, reducing the effort and cost required to implement and maintain them. Integration among different systems can often be accomplished with minimal effort and minimal disruptions to existing operations, without the need for extensive custom development or costly vendor solutions.
2. Cloud-hosted systems provide global access from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows employees to work remotely and access the platform from any location. Organisations can easily scale up or down as needed by adding or removing resources without the need for costly hardware or infrastructure investments. This lets you easily adapt to changes in business needs, such as changes in supply and demand, as well as changes in maritime regulation.
3. By using a SaaS model, organisations can benefit from the lower cost of ownership from using shared (yet secure) infrastructure. It further frees resources that would be maintaining infrastructure for other initiatives. The provider implements and manages these connected workflows, tailoring it to the customer’s requirements, thus allowing the organisation to focus on its core business operations.
In summary, succeeding in volatile markets requires data and insights that will enhance your gut feeling and your team’s collective experience. Break down siloed systems that are obstacles to success and frustrate the operations teams. Move to the cloud and focus on data. Invest in open platforms that enable intelligent collected workflows driven by data... and reap the benefits of automation and efficiency.
Sid Probstein is Advisor, OrbitMI.