5 rules to really get the savings in vessel performance projects
Implementing a vessel performance solution across the fleet should bring down your consumptions in fuels and lubes, as well as ensuring compliance with your charter parties and the increasing environmental regulations. That is the promise made. To really get the savings takes a bit more than a “Software solution” for data collection and analysis. One should not forget that many saving levers oppose long standing nautical and technical traditions.
We have completed 130+ fleet performance projects covering > 1.900 vessels of all types and sizes in all key shipping locations across the globe using our ECO Insight solution. Still you can generalize the critical success factors to get measurable savings back to your shipping company.
- Make somebody responsible and dedicate his / her time
It sounds too simply to write this, however the typical mess-up in performance improvement projects starts when the task ends up at each individual superintendends desk. He / she will not run a project next to the busy daily job. We typically would not accept a customer contact being a group address like “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Best practice and working in more and more shipping companies is to have a dedicated “Performance Manager” or “Energy Manager” that can work across the different departments incl. technical, nautical, operations, chartering or projects. The more responsibility and seniority this role has the more impact he will have on the results.
- Involve technical and operations / commercial
Vessel performance improvements very often have a technical nature, like improving hull or engine condition. However the biggest lever, speed and speed Management (incl. waiting times, berthing windows, etc.) is in the hands of the operations Team. Also data quality in terms of speed & consumption is often more a commercial and operations issue, than a technical. If operations is not part of a vessel performance projects you do not get the savings in. What is a perfectly “clean” vessel worth if operated wrongly.
- Put it on Management Agenda
If performance is not part of your regular management meetings, but dealt with on levels below, you will not see the aspired improvements. It sounds again too simple, but very often the subject does not make it into the long standing management Agenda, as ist has not been there yet and other subjects seem more urgent.
- Define your improvement “rythm”
A typical improvement “rythm” can be a monthly or quarterly fleet performance review (as part of the management meeting), where you review achievments and agree on next improvement campaigns (e.g. Boiler at sea usage or Auxiliary engine utilisation). Now in a “online-world” we have also made very good experience with a daily rythm in which we alert certain performance issues, which can be fixed that day. These alerts are then shared and distributed across the teams (technical, operations) following the resposibilities or go directly to the vessel with Office in cc.
- Spend some time on data quality before you improve
Modern vessel reporting Systems, like our Navigator Insight, will ensure good data quality (consistency, plausibility and completeness) without doing any crew training on the tool. However in all our projects we spend some time together with our customers checking and explaining gaps and misunderstandings, especially compared to the previous reporting. A typical issue is reporting power and work without power meter, where we can help.
By observing these basic rules you will get measurable savings, how much please have a look into the next blog.