V.Group Sets Out to Transform Crewing
Marine and offshore vessel management and support services provider V.Group has engaged with management consultancy Accenture to transform its approach to crew management. Named Embark, the project seeks to develop an in-house shared services model which streamlines and optimizes key processes for V.Group’s seafarers, customers and colleagues. Embark will see the introduction of new and enhanced technology to support these shared services and digitize the shipowner and seafarer experience.
For customers, Embark seeks to drive cost efficiencies and vessel performance by introducing enhanced dashboard metrics that continually monitor and analyze ongoing crew management. It also drives more informed decision-making through real-time, accurate reports combined with better planning tools and increased budget transparency, V. Group said.
For seafarers, Embark will include streamlined and standardized recruitment software, a new global payroll system, and an app that seafarers can use to search for assignments, sign contracts and manage documentation. The project will also create a consistent model for professional development.
In doing so, Embark addresses the fact that while digitalization is transforming the industry, ships’ crew often remain left behind, according to V.Group. Traditional, manual processes are common when it comes to the recruitment and administrative processes that accompany seafaring. This not only eats into shore leave but takes up time that could be spent improving quality of life at sea, and crew performance, the company explained.
Allan Falkenberg, group managing director, crew management at V.Group, said, “As a business, our focus is on delivering consistently high-quality, engaged and motivated crew ensuring maximum vessel performance. With around 3,000 shore-based colleagues and a seafarer pool of circa 44,000, we need to ensure that we are spending more time on more rewarding work, focused on doing the right thing for our seafarers and customers, and reducing paperwork and manual activities. In turn, this leads to improved communication with seafarers, a reduction in last minute changes and rectifying errors, and access to accurate data that allows for more informed decision making on the planning side. For seafarers, it means more time to spend with family and friends on shore leave, and more certainty about their career planning and travel.
“To make this project happen, we’re not only investing in the digital technology, we’re reinventing our more than 30 crewing offices around the world to deliver a consistently high-level of service through our innovative operation model supported by centers of excellence, which will ensure that best practice is disseminated throughout the organization. Ultimately, we’re a people business. Our values are to care, challenge, collaborate, be consistent and to commit and deliver. This brings all of these together, investing in the skills, technology and behaviors that will deliver for our customers, and improve life at sea.”
In Q4 this year, V.Group will open a new crew management center in Mumbai, coinciding with the rollout of a digital platform that will allow seafarers to apply for assignments, upload documentation and track progress and travel arrangements.
At the heart of project Embark is the expectations to further improve the customer experience and V.Group’s ambition to drive the transformation of the industry and to be the leading global provider of marine support services, including crew management.