London, UK, September 08, 2017 - A top priority for maritime organizations everywhere is deploying the right-skilled staff in the right place, at the right time, to execute successful client projects. But it's no use creating efficient schedules only to find out that key personnel turn up with the wrong documentation, invalid visas and passports that are due to expire. Get any of these wrong and delays are inevitable while replacements are found, or crew are forced to stay offshore for longer, which means overtime payments, unhappy crew and potentially cutting into project profitability.
Fortunately, help is at hand. The latest workforce and resource optimization solutions can keep your travel plans on target and prevent nasty surprises in the run up to crew and project team deployments. Here are seven reasons to use the latest technology:
1. Gain control - modern integrated systems allow managers to manage documentation to create effective crew readiness checks and automated reminders. This aids the development of efficient schedules and guarantees the most appropriately skilled and available personnel are in the right place at the right time
2. Develop key competencies - create a skills matrix to ensure you have the confidence that the correct people are doing a specific job. The ability to schedule crew rotations with skill checks in mind helps to ensure that travel is not booked and then cancelled unnecessarily. Combine this with scanned documentation to ensure that crew are deployed with a known set of verifiable skills and checks can be done quickly and efficiently
3. Lift the administrative burden – a centralized repository of real time data provides a bird's eye view of everything including; skills matrices, itineraries, crew rotations, company travel policies, individual travel preferences and travel plans for example, local flight departure and arrival times, details of onward travel, such as car hire and hotel stays
4. Achieve round-the-clock efficiencies - the latest workforce deployment and resource optimization solutions hold the key to mobilising people by providing a sophisticated set of tools to generate and manage multiple travel requests and itineraries at all times of the day and night. This helps to ensure that the most cost effective person is chosen where a number of different personnel are available. Thereby saving on travel and crew costs. Technology can highlight cheaper routes based on the itinerary of vessels and offshore assets and the home airport of crew members. In addition, selecting an earlier or later date can make the difference between an economy and a full price fare
5. Save time and money – with the right rules and workflow, combined with the latest technology, organizations can single out who needs to travel and who doesn't. Booking and cancelling travel is an expensive business but get it right using workforce planning data to automate travel requirements can push down costs and leave travel administrators to manage the exceptions. Seamless integration with travel providers, through technology, saves time and money
6. Enhance communications – all changes to personnel information, itineraries and crew rotations are flagged up to travel planners. These staff can also receive automatic notifications of upcoming expiry dates for essential travel documentation like visas, passports and medical certificates so they can be renewed in a timely fashion. They can even send messages to staff members to alert them to important changes to their travel plans or schedules. Staff are only human after all, and any help with reminders and itineraries is always appreciated
7. Align corporate travel policies – use technology to ensure crewing and travel teams are working on the same rules and not in corporate silos. Make it easier to work closely with travel providers to ensure they are booking the most efficient travel in terms of routes and costs. As travel policies are constantly changing remember to choose a solution that can grow with the organization and be adapted for new travel rules or changes as a result of international events that may prevent crew from travelling through prearranged routes.
Finally, travel budgets can be reduced and crew satisfaction increased by balancing scheduling horizons with travel booking processes – this ensures optimal price savings and minimises expensive cancellations and re-bookings. In a nut-shell: travel-ready personnel, time and cost savings, successful clients and satisfied customers are all very good reasons to re-think your approach to travel using the latest workforce and resource optimization solutions. What do you have to lose?
Lee Clarke is Regional Director – Northern Hemisphere at Dynama www.dynama.global
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