During the recent Digital Ship event in Athens, there were several round table events. Of note was a discussion about the Return on Investment gained from digitizing vessel operations, moderated by Knut Natvg of Marlink. The discussion centred on the definition of a successful investment in digitization, as well as why some owners are early adopters to technology, while others hold off on taking the plunge as long as they can.
Some key takeaways that we gathered from this discussion were:
1. A global standard for digitization of vessel operations does not exist yet. In some parts of the world, it could mean autonomous vessels or a digital navigational framework. In other parts of the world, it could be as basic as providing the crew with on-board internet access. We need a global standard to explain the term digitization of vessels and probably IMO shall do that.
2. With that in mind, a closer look needs to be taken at the money invested versus the money saved. Speed alerts, fuel consumption, KPI monitoring, and other improvements are costly to implement, especially for the first to implement them. While these would have a positive impact in the long term for individual companies and the industry as a whole, it keeps more conservative owners and operators on the fence until the technology is proven.
3. Where more immediate effects of digitization for managers can be seen are in predictive maintenance, and improved safety and regulatory compliance. This, in turn, portrays an operator as more competitive and cost effective when approaching owners and charterers.
We work with vessel owners and operators around the world to digitize their operations in the push to streamline paperwork, improve compliance, and reduce costs. If you are considering streamlining exisiting paper or spreadsheet based workflows, contact us. Let us help you improve your efficiency and on-board safety, and lower your operational costs.