Eyes Onboard

Much as communications services — both in terms of speed, cost and quality — have vastly improved in the past decade, so to have onboard software systems designed to monitor and assist manage critical onboard systems and functions. In the coming years and decades, it can be assumed that a much larger onus will fall on automated systems to ensure the safe and efficient operation of vessels of all sizes. While the "No Man" bridge still may be a few centuries away, the prevailing trend in the maritime realm is dependence on automation to help reduce crew costs and optimize onboard efficiencies.

For example, since 1996 when Grimaldi Naples decided to install SpecTec's AMOS for Windows systems on its fleet, the steadfastness of Grimaldi's management to achieve results and the performance of the AMOS system combined to cut costs by 15 percent over three years.

Engineer Giancarlo Coletta of Grimaldi Naples knows the highs and lows of maritime software and computerization.

He knows what works and what doesn't based on years of firsthand experience. "We were the first customer to use the Windows-based system; we were like the test pilots. This had its good and bad sides: We would have to cope with some of the early bugs, but we were also able to impact the development of the young product.

We could propose changes and improvements to suit the shipping world and, as a consequence, our organization," says Coletta. Grimaldi Naples had AMOS for Windows installed on six vessels, in its office and on six newbuildings.

Coletta noted that, perhaps most important for any maritime software system to work, the ship's crews were using the product and discovering each day new ways to make their jobs simpler and operations smoother and cheaper. "We have cut maintenance costs, but it is the renovation of our processes that is really dramatic. Purchasing and supply are quicker, more organized and less wasteful. Now, for example, we can organize our purchases to make larger bulk buys and thereby save money," says Coletta.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 62,  Oct 2000

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.