Radiant Crewing: Digital EvaluationsMarios Papasofokli
Are You Still Using Email to Manage Crewing Operations? How Digital Transformation Is Revolutionising the Shipping Industry
There was a time when people in the shipping industry believed phone calls and paper documents were the most efficient form of communication for crew management. The segue to email as a standard didn’t happen overnight, and it took much work to convince all parties, from HR to the C-Suite, that email was indeed more efficient for hiring, contracts and communication between the office and the ships. Decades later, the story is similar, except, this time, email is the incumbent and cloud-based ship management software is the revolutionary technology.
Why Email No Longer Works
The crewing process is extensive, requiring quick turnaround times for email responses, fastidious organisation of chains and documents, and complete oversight of all parties and departments involved. While email has been the standard over the past 20-30 years, it no longer serves the robust communication needs for large fleets and is an inefficient time waster when compared to automated software. Most crew managers would agree that far too much of their day is wasted answering emails, searching for contacts and sifting through lengthy conversation chains.
Inefficiency and Mistakes: Costly Problems You Can Avoid
It’s strange that, though outdated communication models cost shipping companies millions every year, many accept them as the status quo.
Take the crew evaluation processes, for instance. To continuously evaluate one crew member, HR personnel must do the following:
- Create the evaluations forms (usually from word templates)
- Tweak the evaluation forms to suit the vessel, rank and client
- Send the evaluation forms to the ship’s captains or office superintendent to complete
- Follow-up with the required parties to ensure the forms have been properly completed and sent back from the vessels
- Communicate the evaluation results to the crew
- Analyse and report the data
- Track the responses from all departments, while ensuring each department is only privy to only the information that concerns them
- Find, track compare and report changes in crew performance
Considering that most HR departments must execute this elaborate process for hundreds of crew members a year, it’s easy to see how mistakes happen. A common oversight, for example, stems from outdated HR word templates that have never been properly analysed. If HR uses old documents that are out-of-date, they can omit critical details or use incorrect terminology during the crewing process. Both are costly mistakes that can unravel management operations quickly, affecting support decision making for promoting, rehiring and general crewing management.
Radiant Crewing: New Updated Feature Lets You Create Customised Evaluations with Zero Emailing
The evaluation process for crewing is arduous if you are using email. You have to create the evaluations, send them to captains and crew members to fill out, then receive, document and analyse the data for management and reviews. It is simply not efficient to accomplish all of this through back and forth emailing.
Radiant Crewing’s new digital evaluation system lets HR departments customise their evaluation forms for every vessel, rank and client—effectively streamlining one of the biggest time-wasters in operations management. The flexible and intuitive system lets you create multiple question sets for crew evaluations. So, if you want a 10-question evaluation with multiple choice answers, you can easily create it. If you prefer a 20-question, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ set, then you can set that up too. Once you create the evaluations, crew captains on the ship or superintendents in the office can evaluate the performance of crew members in regular intervals. Evaluation results are then automatically transferred to the crew via the Crew Portal, where the crew can view and “acknowledge” receipt of the performance reviews.
Make Informed Decisions with Analytics
The evaluation management tools also automatically notify in-house superintendents about crew members who have or have not acknowledged their evaluations, ensuring that proper follow-up procedures can take place. This is especially useful for keeping crewing data up-to-date and ready for action. Emergency scenarios are easily solved with the data on-hand too. For instance, should members of the ship become ill, managers can check performance data analytics to see who the best replacement candidates are. Likewise, if they fall short on captains, superintendents can add questions like “Who is ready to be promoted to Captain?” to their question sets and then easily find the best candidate through a quick glance at the system’s built-in analytics. With flexible viewing modes, departments can see all this critical data year-over-year or month-over-month for accurate and essential comparisons.
Technology Doesn’t Forget Important Tasks
Probably the biggest issue with email stems from human error. Our brains simply can’t retain that much information, causing us to forget important tasks. To solve this pain-point, Radiant Crewing automates checklists to ensure HR personnel complete evaluations in regular intervals and crews receive the required training and certifications they need.
Letting HR Do Its Real Job: Improving Company Performance and Satisfaction
Ask most human resources specialists in the shipping industry which tasks they like least, and they’ll tell you duties like drafting, sending and receiving evaluation forms, tracking the data and communicating with all parties involved. These are excruciatingly repetitive, manual tasks that take away from the important work that HR actually needs to do, such as improving company performance and satisfaction.
Radiant Crewing’s technology has a two-fold benefit for HR departments. First, it streamlines the most painstaking tasks, giving HR personnel more time to focus on high-value work for the company. Second, it gives HR personnel critical data they need to make impactful decisions for company culture and performance. Namely, it allows them to do the following:
Crewing Doesn’t Have to Be Complex. You Just Need a Better System.
The most innovative shipping companies are adapting to the times. That means switching from old operations models to comprehensive cloud-based technology, like Radiant Crewing. From the crew agent to the office to the vessel to the crew, the platform connects all parties involved, allowing the right departments and individuals to share real-time information, eliminating the need for follow-up emails and reminders. All documentation is saved and organised in the cloud, so those who need to access it can easily do so without having to email another department. This saves countless hours for everyone involved while ensuring the safety and privacy of information throughout the different hierarchies. It makes crewing faster, easier and more efficient in every way.
Those who choose to stick with their old emailing ways likely won’t survive the technological sea change in an industry that is changing fast—begging one important question: if you know there is a better system to manage your crewing process, why aren’t you using it?