Refreshing the Fleet Cell for Continued Excellence

2019 saw us launch a new operating model to support our focus on delivering consistent, high quality service to all our customers.

Our fleet cells are at the heart of this new model. Our vision is that customers should be provided with local support through the fleet cells, which are customer-centric, fully autonomous and resourced with all of the competencies required to service our customers and the vessels they manage, empowered to tackle the issues that matter most to their businesses.

The singular goal of the fleet cells is to provide flawless service delivery to our customers; with fleet cells that are committed, proud of their vessels and their performance and accountable– giving them the flexibility to problem solve creatively and adapt to customers’ needs. Ship management at its best, we believe, is about aligning risk and pain points with our customers and helping them operate safely, tackle risks, and compete effectively in a notoriously unpredictable industry.

Given the importance of the fleet cells in making the decisions on a daily basis that determine how our customers think about our service delivery, we have invested heavily in our fleet cells in terms of skills training, optimum structure and providing them with the support network and digital assets they need to be successful.

To ensure consistency across the fleet cell, they all work on our digital ship management platform, ShipSure 2.0. This platform, as well as facilitating efficient ship management, also provides the opportunity for data mining, sharing of best practices and performance analysis.

As ship managers, we are fortunate that we can ensure accurate data collection through ShipSure 2.0, and then use this to improve our best practices and develop continuously. By using lean management principles, we will constantly capture feedback from customers, and use this to improve how our fleet cells operate and provide great service to our customers.

At the same time, our Centres of Expertise around the world provide support to the fleet cells on critical areas of operation, such as: HSEQ/Tech, IT, Marine Services, finance, vessel accounting, vetting, supply chain, Shipsure 2.0 and crewing. By having our fleet cells supported by centres distributed across the world, we will be creating an advanced global network of intelligent ship managers.

In essence, all fleet cells will have the capabilities of a global fleet cell. Underpinning this is the improved digital solutions that support ship management. This will guarantee a significant benefit from more powerful data insights and analysis, and consistently leverage V.Group’s global reach and local knowledge.

We have reworked the structure of the fleet cell to ensure consistent, comprehensive service for all of our customers. All key functions – fleet superintendent, marine superintendent, fleet procurement officers, assistant superintendent and vessel financial  controller – are present in every cell. This means that the superintendent spends less time on admin tasks, giving them more time to focus on the client and the vessels. Some functions – notably procurement – have now been moved into the fleet cell.

This moves the procurement team closer to the superintendents, and ultimately the customer, which will provide greater transparency and accountability to our customers. This more direct working relationship will also help the procurement team enhance its knowledge and understanding of the fleet cell activities.

We know that ship owners are now facing an unprecedented range of regulatory challenges that are making their lives ever more uncertain. As ship managers, we have a vital role to play in ensuring our customers’ fleets and businesses are prepared to face them. This is why it is so important that we build continuous learning, development and iteration into our fleet cells to ensure that they can continue to evolve.

The changes we have made to our fleet cell structure reflect our goal to provide a ship management model that adds value to our customers. Good ship management is not just about accessing economies of scale and purchasing power – it is about leveraging a global network of experience, local knowledge and technical expertise.

It is so important that our colleagues in our fleet cells have the time and resources they need to focus on the customer and their vessels – engaging in meaningful dialogue, and constantly learning and enhancing their performance, while drawing on the wealth of resources contained within our global Centres of Expertise.