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Shipping set to increase use of cloud-based software in 2020

Alexander Buchmann, managing director, Hanseaticsoft Alexander Buchmann, managing director, Hanseaticsoft

The impact of technology on the shipping industry will grow in 2020, as companies increasingly introduce cloud-based software and apps in their businesses, says Alexander Buchmann, managing director, Hanseaticsoft.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} Mr Buchmann believes that the increased availability, reliability and reduced cost of the internet at sea will be the key drivers for this growth.

“Shipping companies globally are realising the many business advantages of technology to drive down costs, automate tasks, reduce administration and improving efficiencies.

“The cloud facilitates the access of business data and applications from anywhere at any time and with any mobile device. Companies investing in cloud technology are improving the collaboration between teams on shore and at sea and creating a connected workplace culture that supports their strategic business goals.

“We are finally seeing paper-based systems being replaced by digital processes. Cloud-solutions are being introduced in areas including document management, managing crews and resources, logistics and supply chain management, communicating with third parties and improving the wellbeing of seafarers, enabling them to communicate with their families and friends while at sea for long periods, reducing their isolation.

“The solutions are popular as the technology is straightforward, cost effective and easy to implement. Staff don’t need to have advanced IT skills as shipping cloud software is intuitive and requires minimal training.”

 “The biggest benefit for companies is that it enables them to have access to centralised, accurate and up to date data and reports, so they can make informed management decisions. This is changing how they are working, enabling them to be more responsive, agile and competitive, rather than reactive.

“Operators can gain a complete 360-degree overview of their fleet and entire operations – they can also get rid of data silos and data being replicated in different systems – this is facilitating better information exchange between crews on the ship and employees on shore.”

He says in many regions, smaller shipping companies and start-ups are the ones pioneering technology in their business, but this is because they can be more agile as they don’t have legacy technology systems in place like larger companies.

For Hanseaticsoft, 2020 will focus on adding new features to its services. Mr Buchmann explained: “We experienced fast growth in 2019 – which was also our 10th anniversary as a business. We added 19 new shipping companies to our global client base, including eight companies in Singapore, Philippines, India and China.

“A further 352 vessels are now using our Cloud Fleet Manager (CFM) to streamline their business and management processes to achieve greater efficiencies and profitability. In total over 1,500 vessels around the world are now managed using our software.

“We are looking forward to 2020 and we have several new modules and mobile apps planned in areas including crew management and document management. Also, in response to customer demand we will increase our client base in Europe, with a particular focus on Greece and we are also expanding into Asia, in countries including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.”  {/mprestriction}

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  • Move to the cloud to future proof your business, urges Hanseaticsoft MD

    With the maritime industry in constant change due to new regulations and processes, and the COVID-19 pandemic having had a dramatic impact on economies around the world, shipping companies need to stay competitive and plan for their future, says managing director of Hanseaticsoft, Alexander Buchmann. 

    He notes these challenges are leading more shipping companies to move their management processes and systems into the cloud, to optimise their processes and increase efficiencies.

    However, there are still some in companies which are slow to invest in digital systems and software because they do not understand how easy it can be.

    “Going digital can really help maritime companies futureproof their businesses – moving them away from outdated, legacy technology systems to using intuitive and flexible cloud-based solutions to manage their entire fleets," said Buchmann. "Some may get left behind because they are unaware of just how simple it is to move to the cloud. They wrongly assume that changing their software would involve manually transferring all their information and data which would take significant time and money. They worry they may lose vital information especially if data is held in different systems or they may need to allocate extra man hours to get this done."

    “But this isn’t the case. It is a very straightforward process to transfer data from a wide range of older maritime management systems quickly and without staff having to dedicate time doing this. Thanks to a variety of powerful application programme interfaces, or APIs, data can be imported from most maritime systems into a new software solution.

    “As we move through the pandemic, we expect more companies will adopt cloud-based software solutions to streamline their management and operational processes, become more efficient and stay competitive in what could be challenging economic conditions ahead.”

    One of the key benefits of using cloud-based software is that it enables the real-time sharing of information and data. With data accessible in one central place, it breaks down business silos and enables employees to communicate, share information and collaborate easily no matter where they are located.

    Business critical information such as important maritime instructions, crew schedules, payroll data and other key communications can be shared by the team onshore with crews at sea and actioned immediately, ensuring the company is responsive and dynamic and can react to any situation.

    It also supports better data management and analysis which improves business decision making, business performance and success. The cloud facilitates the sharing of data from different sources, which can be transmitted from vessels simply and quickly. Data is synchronised as soon as it is entered into the system and can be accessed immediately by all relevant personnel.

    Hanseaticsoft's maritime software supports shipping operations without additional training. It can be used in the office, on mobile devices, and on ships. Data is securely saved and readily available in the cloud, allowing employees to access the same materials and work processes wherever they are based. 

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