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Transforming management and operations through integrated data insight

As shipowners, managers and shipyards collect a growing volume of data across different aspects of their operations the question is how to bring these different silos together and integrate the data to transform the way the business works.

The journey for shipping businesses from Management 2.0 to Management 4.0 was tackled in the recent Seatrade Maritime webinar, ‘From Digital Shipyard to Digital Ship: Unifying data silos to create actionable insight’, sponsored by Aveva. The audience and panel’s journey was guided by moderator Nick Chubb, founder and director of Thietus, and grappled with a diverse range of issues from mindset change to visualisation.

Setting the scene where the shipping and shipyard industries were at present David Thompson, solutions strategy manager for Aveva explained that data was currently grouped into silos around different areas of operation.

“Both in the shipyard and operations area there’s been this kind of componentisation of IT, so applications have been created for all these different functions in the shipyard and certain extent in operations where data is componentised according to the system, so data associated with the engine, navigation, shipyard data to do with design, data to do with design,” Thompson explained.

This has represented the first stage of digital transformation with the data now available in a digital format.

“Now we’re at point where in both vessels operations and operations of the shipyard people are saying can we do more if we if integrate that data and understand the context of this data. That’s what we see across the industry and the lifecycle as well.

“From our perspective the industry is just starting by saying, ‘Do I have that data?’ And really just getting that data and understanding it. The integration and getting more from joining up that data is a subsequent step,” he said.

Integrating and understanding data

The process of integrating, understanding and using the data is a complex one which involves not just the data itself but also the people in the business.

Aldwin Schroot, founding partner of Techbinder, commented:  “I’m very happy to see there’s some strategy going on with getting data, nonetheless I think in the maritime industry we are a bit behind compared to the process industries.

“The first step is the strategy. Let your employees getting used to a different mindset because now its all about emotions getting the information from the Captains and the crew but now you have the ability to also use data for your processes. I think that transition is also really important for your employees and your workforce,” he explained.

Visualisation of data

Juan J. Gil, global IT project manager for OSM Maritime Group, delved into how in a very people orientated business such as ship management you can bring your staff both sea and shore into using that data.

“From a ship management perspective the easiest way to start off is by visualisation. The easiest way is to start that momentum, even when you haven’t got a proper data orchestration in place, you haven’t created your data warehouse is to start creating dashboards, to visualise the data you already have. That will pave the way to improve your performance this is when running your company management 2.0,” Gil said.

Thompson summed up this part of learning to collect and uses data as phase 1 of the process. “You start by collecting data and getting some good visualisation tools in place so you can understand what you’ve got, what value it brings, and maybe where you might have problems, and that’s phase one.”

The second phase is where you start to look at the data quality and rectifying those issues. “This usually happens in phase 2, when you are saying why is this data wrong, is there a clash in data? Typically phase 2 is trying to fix those things and trying to make sure your data is of a better quality,” Thompson.

This then moves you into a slightly more longer and complex phase where he said, “You get to a point where you say: ‘What happens if I can integrate those data sources more and look for more complex trends and insights?’."

Changing mindsets

Tues Visser, managing director of Reikon, which supplies products such as pumps to customers across the marine industry, explained how using data for predictive maintenance tools required a change in mindset.

“It might be ending up with selling less parts, or selling less hours, and that might be frightening, but for us its long-term view. You look for the relationship with your customer, you’re on the same journey with the same goal and from that perspective it changes everything. I would love to tell you its working fantastically, but what we see its quite a hard challenge and its taking quite some investment and time, but that’s what we have we don’t expect the perfect results in half a year we are looking in perspective,” Visser stated.

The move fully utilising the data sees companies and organisations going beyond visualisation to a change business models and management practices.

Management 4.0

OSM’s Gil explained: But if your intent is to go all the way to management 4.0 in that case data visualisation will not be enough, but is good starting point. Once you want to bridge that gap you have to somehow take a leap of faith to believe in the technology and believe there is a future for that technology and that data the company has been gathering for quite a long time.

“So with that the innovation will come, the disruption and creating new solutions that will allow the company to grow in different business units or markets that maybe were not available, or not exist before the data mindset came into place.”

Visser noted that for an equipment supplier or shipyard this could result in a change in business model: “When you look from the perspective for example from an equipment seller you change from selling your equipment to selling up time, and then from somewhat opposite perspectives as equipment seller and the owner you join forces because you have same goal.

“I think that is the main when turning data into improved operational changes, if everyone is in the same team it’s getting more and easy. But if your goal is also as a repair yard is to have the vessel at your dock you have a different perspective. Yes, it’s about changing mindset but also about changing business model and that will take quite some time in my opinion,” he said.

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