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Rickmers chose ShipManager

Rickmers Shipmanagement chose DNV GL's ShipManager software for increased efficiency, quality management and improved decision-making.

When Rickmers Shipmanagement made the decision to fully modernise the software supporting their ship management systems, it was not a foregone conclusion that they would choose DNV GL’s ShipManager software, despite the fact that 90 per cent of their fleet is classed with DNV GL. “We did a full market analysis study and extensive pilot testing,” says Björn Sprotte, Global Head Maritime Services at the Rickmers Group. “We were looking for a scalable, modular-based system that could be rolled out fairly quickly and was easy to use. Furthermore, the system had to be easy to implement, also on third-party vessels,” he says.

Although DNV GL is an obvious choice for ship management software, Rickmers made a point of analysing a number of alternatives thoroughly. Mr Sprotte points out that people have tended to have a preconceived notion about ShipManager, which was previously called GL ShipManager. “Everybody ties the software to class – they think it’s only for vessels classed with DNV GL,” says Mr Sprotte. “But that was not the main trigger for us. We rather looked at the system itself, which needed to be, and in our view is, independent of the class.”

When the analysis proved ShipManager to be the best solution for Rickmers Shipmanagement, the decision was finally made and the first phase of the implementation started towards the end of 2013.

Ship-centric management

Rickmers Shipmanagement – with its offices in Hamburg and Singapore – provides technical and operational ship management services for ships owned by the Rickmers Group or thirdparties. They follow the concept of “ship-centric management” where the vessel is regarded as a production unit within an organisation. Providing safe, efficient and reliable ship operations is the overall objective for all activities – and ShipManager software is one of the tools they use to support this.

“Our plan is to grow our activities and attract new customers. We therefore need a partner to prepare, develop and configure a system that will support our business processes,” says Mr Sprotte. “We were looking for an efficiency driver on board and on shore, and professionalisation of the systems. Our goal is to increase the number of ships without having to add significantly more manpower to administration. Thus, a good systemshould support our processes. The ShipManager system will also help to promote our safety culture with a clear focus on prevention. Moreover, it will support the management in allocating the available resources in the best possible way to meet the expectations of our customers.”

As an example of efficiency improvements, he refers to facilitating the reporting on safety and operational performance which is a requirement for many customers today.

Software on board and on shore

The new system is readily available to all users. “In the new system with ShipManager Analyzer we can refer to a fleet view at any time. Management has a console and can see the trends immediately when they need to. This is a huge advantage compared to seeing reports only with delay once a month. We expect that we can respond faster to trends and provide better service to our customers.”

“Continually analysing our performance is essential to improving our processes,” says Mr Sprotte. “With ShipManager we do not need to transfer data back and forth via e-mails. There is a shared system – bridging the distance between our ships and the teams ashore. For example, we will link the maintenance and procurement processes closer together and allow our crews to track the status at any given time.”

Unique offering

Rickmers Shipmanagement is currently using five ShipManager modules: QHSE (ship safety management system), Technical (planned maintenance system), Analyzer (fleet management reports), Procurement (procurement software) and Hull (ship inspection). The new modules will initially be implemented on about 50 ships, with further implementations planned. The company is also looking into expanding to more ShipManager modules. 

The company has been using the ShipManager Hull module since 2010 and is now looking forward to having a system that unites all modules. Rickmers Shipmanagement has been working closely with DNV GL, giving feedback and making suggestions that have resulted in a unique offering on the market.

“We see DNV GL as a partner rather than a pure supplier,” says Mr Sprotte. “The system will need to exchange data with our financial systems. Finding a partner that can support this was one of the critical factors when we selected the product.” 

Why we chose DNV GL - Software:

  • Extensive market analysis led to ShipManager
  • Innovative and modular system fulfills our requirements
  • Support for our safety culture
  • Trustworthy and financially strong partner in DNV GL

This is what we gained:

  • Increased efficiency allows greater fleet growth
  • Better support for management decisions
  • Transparency and availability of data when needed
  • Support for maintenance, procurement, reporting, etc