Page 17: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Nov/Dec 2018)

Regulatory & Environmental Review

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Digitalization by and large has created vast swathes of data with increased productivity of typically 30% from procurement time seemingly limitless potential for transforming the industry, but savings, reducing OPEX by optimizing and lowering procurement the lack of structure to the mass of data generated prevents it from spend, as well as using actionable intelligence to maximize the having real impact. In procurement, data generated from spend performance of suppliers and create better and more dynamic re- tracking and price trends could be used to drive real effciencies lationships. Suppliers to the industry also generate real commer- in the procurement and supply process, if only it could be effec- cial gains; they have access to an e-marketplace of active buyers, tively organized and analyzed. where they can build and profle their brand. In addition they can

Research conducted by ShipServ with over 100 maritime buy- increase effciencies and the speed of processing multiple transac- ers, spanning shipowners, shipmanagers, shipyards, government tions, responding to RFQs, as well as driving customer retention and military among others, demonstrated signifcant demand and winning more business through faster turnaround times.

across the industry for more structured data suitable for measure- However, we have only scratched the surface of the potential ment and analysis. The research showed that 78% of respondents for what is possible. ShipServ’s most recent whitepaper ‘E-pro- would like to increase their spend under contract, but are unable curement in maritime: a roadmap to 2021 and beyond’ shows that to do so due to the complexity and unstructured nature of their many purchasers are still using outdated procurement systems, data. 69% of respondents stated that they would like to consoli- which cannot take full advantage of improved connectivity and date their spend with fewer suppliers, but in the majority of cases structured data, and continue to take a transactional approach to (60%) they were unable to report savings across all spend areas procurement. This is partly because of limitations with archaic because of inadequate data and reporting tools. procurement systems that don’t integrate or talk to each other and

Also, 72% of respondents stated that they could not moni- the fact that many suppliers and buyers use different systems. tor their procurement spend, which extended to the categories, However, there is a real desire for change. Over one third of the brands, product types and suppliers that they were using. 72% people surveyed for the whitepaper believe maritime procurement also emphasized the lack of transparency, in that they were un- will transform beyond recognition in fve years’ time. They see a able to quickly identify where they were delivering orders, what sector with increased functionality where there is full spend trans- equipment they had bought, or what brands and products each parency, automation and real time inventories across feets, where vessel or offce had purchased. purchasing power is aligned with tangible data, so that they can see what is being bought and the value of what is on board a ves-

THE WAY FORWARD sel. There will be simpler systems, where purchasing profession-

The results illustrate clear demand for more improved data pro- als are not drowned in complex data, but actually using systems cessing capabilities within the maritime industry, and the neces- that are intuitive. And critically, the data that is harvested will be sity for continued research into, as well as the development of, meaningful and will drive and inform strategic decision making.

dedicated software solutions. In the procurement space in par- This is what a future digitalized, a and strategic approach to ticular, an e-procurement platform which generates and organizes maritime procurement looks like; viewed as a key element within data to allow for valuable, measurable insights into procurement the smart shipping ecosystem that drives effciencies in opera- spend and resources, as well as intelligence on suppliers and their tions, contributing to time and cost savings, improved perfor- performance, would enable procurement departments to identify mance and increasing the value of the asset as well as competitive areas to optimize to deliver increased effciency, and inform bet- advantage. The technology and capabilities are here, available ter and more strategic decision making. and working to deliver this vision. Shipowners, operators and

The potential of e-procurement to drive and increase effcien- managers just need to grasp it.

cies within the shipping industry therefore makes it an impor- tant element in the overall vessel optimization challenge, as more Download the ShipServ ‘E-procurement in maritime: a road- shipowners, operators and managers look at every opportunity to map to 2021 and beyond’ whitepaper by clicking: maximize the value of their assets.

In line with this, for the past 18 years, ShipServ has evolved its e-procurement platform alongside the rise of digitalization to pro-

The Author Kim Skaarup vide a sophisticated and advanced purchasing and supply solution for marine buyers and suppliers. And in recent times, the drive has worked for ShipServ for most of its history and prior to being appointed for reliable, actionable data, and understanding the need for in-

CEO was the Chief Operating Offcer. With over 25 years of shipping and creased data analysis and reporting capabilities has been a central

IT experience, Kim started his career as a graduate trainee at J. Lauritzen focus for development. Success and appetite for e-procurement

A/S, then one of the world’s largest Reefer operators. After a period in ac- within shipping can be defned to a certain extent by footfall, and counting he became the company’s frst IT Manager introducing, amongst the platform now has 200 maritime buyers (shipowners, operators other things, one of the world’s earliest e-mail systems in the early 1980’s. and managers), representing close to 10,000 vessels and doing an

Kim joined ShipServ in December 2000 and has been a council member annual $3.5 billion of trade with over 70,000 suppliers. of IMPA (International Marine Purchasing Association) since 1994. He has a B.Com from Copenhagen Business School and a degree from INSEAD.

The rationale for uptake is clear. Marine buyers beneft from 17


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