Crew management (sometimes simply referred to as crewing) is an integral aspect of the transportation industry, especially of value in shipping. With the use of an effective ship crew management system, it is possible to get a complete overview of the seafarers and their career graphs and other integral data to find crew members qualified enough to fill certain expected positions and strategise vessel crew deployment.
The intention of a good ship crew management system must be to eventually grant stable crewing. The advantages of stable crewing are plentiful and include the development of a better sense of responsibility and accountability, good retention rates of seafarers with a superior sense of community, more efficient vessel maintenance and shorter handover times. All of these, in turn, contribute to a reduction in overall operational, maintenance, training and recruitment costs.
Elements handled by Ship Crew Management Systems
Most ship crew management systems are equipped to handle the following functions to ensure efficient deployment and workflow, all of which can be divided into the stages listed below:
- Initial planning to source apt ship crew
- Visual planning of crew for individual vessels as well as entire fleets
- Assessment and planning of seafarers based on crew’s requested or preferred date of availability and vacation dates
- Scheduling work for crew members and accommodation of changes requested by the seafarers
- Maintenance of a complete database of vessel seafarers’ and crew members’ records including, but not restricted to certificates, licences, qualifications, experience and contracts
- Assessing and monitoring the work and rest hours for crew members
- Setting KPI’s and measuring crew members’ performance
- Planning for appraisals based on performance of crew members
- Payroll management systems tailored to the shipping industry, which are now a common part of ship crew management systems, can be used as a supplementary tool to ease operations too
- Crew deployment ensuring adherence to policies and equipped with safety requirements
- Automatic alerts in case of non compliance or expiry of certificates
- Collaboration between the crewing office, ship owners, manning agencies supplying the crew and onboard the vessels to handle day-to-day operations and emergency scenarios
Why is Ship Crew Management Required?
The top three reasons why you should definitely consider investing in a ship crew management software immediately are:
- Ongoing and quick digital access to the system database for all stakeholders involved
- Operations proceed in a transparent and reliable manner
- More efficient planning process which is time-saving and free of human error
In conclusion, it is safe to say that the use of a good ship crew management system is imperative to bringing a sense of balance between the shipping industry’s niche demands and the welfare and workflow of the seafarers who become part of the crew.