David Clarke looks at how to select the best vessel management software for your operation that is fit for purpose, reliable and delivers results
We’ve formulated a list of 10 must have features based on three decades of experience operating, building and managing large yachts, plus countless discussions with industry peers over many years.
Vessel management software should be smart enough to automate as many daily, weekly and monthly manual admin tasks as possible. When a system can automatically calculate each crew member’s accrued leave and payroll, assign familiarisations to a new crew member’s profile, notify the captain and DPA when a crew member’s ENG1 is due to be renewed, create planned and unplanned monthly maintenance reports, you know it’s going to free up a tremendous amount of time for everyone on board.
SOPs, permits to work, drill matrix, risk assessments and crew certificate lists (just to name a tiny fraction) should be built in to the software and be fully editable to make them vessel-specific. Total Superyacht delivers different content options for 30 metre, 50 metre and 70+ metre yachts.
Off-line access (and automatic daily sync)
For an electronic SMS to be fully compliant with flag states, operating procedures and safety manuals must be accessible in an emergency when the internet connection might be lost. Daily automatic synchronisation will ensure vessel data and shore data will never be more than 24 hours old.
Keeps up with operational conditions
A good vessel management software company should have firsthand experience with day- to-day operations and a full understanding of the compliance requirements for both small and large yachts. They should adapt to new operational conditions. If they don’t know what you do onboard, they can’t build software to help you do it.
Connection to the real world
Yachts are connected with many external entities that provide services to assist in its smooth and efficient operation, such as ISM management companies, employment and payroll companies. Software should be designed to collaborate seamlessly with all shore-based support and be permissions based to isolate sensitive data.