SAFETY4SEA Conference & Awards
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SAFETY4SEA Conference & Awards
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Is Fleet Performance Management saving or costing your money?


Peter Mantel, Managing Director, BMT Smart Ltd, focused on ‘’Fleet Performance Management’’ which has finally come of age, and is now recognized as a key part of every shipping company’s operations. Advances in technology, connectivity and data collection have made the Fleet Performance Management Industry more complex. Consequently, many ship owners are neither seeing the results that Fleet Performance Management can deliver, nor getting a return from their investment. Despite early wins for many ship owners around Fleet Performance Management, there is still a significant opportunity to make game changing performance gains, Mr. Mantel commented. He further highlighted that shipping needs to modernize and changes are required the way the industry works from Fleet Performance Management (FPM) to Managed Fleet Performance (MFP) by providing a complete managed service.

The growth in fleet volumes at a time of global economic slowdown has resulted in excess supply and falling demand. Inevitably, the profitability of many shipping companies is suffering. Fleet Performance Management has been heralded as a way of improving efficiency. Shipping companies who have invested substantial kind of money in this kind of systems have really come back from the ‘cold shower’. Despite the many performance gains, Fleet Performance Management has not fulfilled ship-owners’ expectations. There are a lot of reasons for that but mainly because ship owners believe that rather than saving money it is becoming a costly overhead. There is a lot of skepticism around this technology because in reality, it’s difficult to measure whether they result in 20% or 30% or 40% of savings.

Industry leaders are now focusing on the 4th wave of energy efficiency improvement. The following image shows the transition:

The following image, which is focused on DNV GL’s statistics, depicts what can be achieved when a proper fleet performance management is implemented.  We can notice that there is quite a big margin between the best and the worst performance in class.

Statistics and academic studies have found that fleet performance management results in significant savings to the bottom line across fleets. For example, an operator of 30 oil tankers can make savings in the area of 10 million. However, the question of how do we actually can have these savings remains, because in the reality, the industry doesn’t even get close. Despite the potential gains, ship-owners are missing out due to the fact that Fleet Performance Management is becoming more complex and not simpler. A complete picture is required therefore, it is important to consider the following parameters: voyage performance, hull performance, propeller performance, engine performance, systems performance, human-based performance, environmental performance and fuel performance. For each one of these, there are many modules to take it account, thus, fleet performance management systems are complicated. For example, for the voyage performance you have to check EEOI, consumption, speed, operational modes, weather condition and trim adherence. At the same time for the engine & systems performance you have to check consumption, engine, loads, SFOC, turbocharger, RPM, combustion pressures, scavenge air pressure, exhaust, gas temperature.

Fleet Performance Managements is being held back by interoperability, incompatible systems and sensor accuracy, ineffective hardware, non-validated data, micro analysis, point results, black box analysis and lack of transparency. The truth is that the industry itself is not helping; vendors are pushing products rather than solutions, driven by unit sales. On the other hand, the industry is overwhelmed. However, not many shipowners have the expertise and resources to specify the optimum solution, collect the data, aggregate and validate data, analyze the results, make recommendations and finally implement effective action. For most of the shipowners, Fleet Performance Management is costing money rather than saving money. Obviously, we are doing something wrong.

Shipping industry needs to modernize; therefore, we need to look outside and find how we can implement changes which have been successfully used elsewhere. I have heard that 2017 is considered as the digital tipping point. I hope so, because it will actually help to make industry more efficient. I would like to suggest for the industry to change the terminology; instead of Fleet Performance Management to start looking at ‘Managed Fleet Performance’. The change perhaps is substantial, but there is a lot of meaning behind this: Managed Fleet Performance becomes a managed service which I think is the solution. Using lessons learnt from outside the shipping industry, we are taking a Managed Service Approach to Fleet Performance Management

We would like to suggest a slightly different approach, a managed service approach of course for turning costs into savings. The most important is to understand what the outcome will be in delivery. If you don’t understand why you are buying these systems, don’t bother buying them. You really need to understand what the outcome will by putting this kind of technology onboard. Moreover, you need a partner for the results to help you implement:

  • Managed Service: Delivering an agreed outcome at a fixed cost
  • Collaborative Approach: Working with you every step  of the way
  • Insightful Decision-Making: To optimize fleet efficiency
  • Turnkey Solution: One FPM solution across your entire fleet
  • Change Management: Best-of-breed solution

Above text is an edited article of Peter Mantel’s presentation during the 2017 SMART4SEA Conference & Awards

You may view his video presentation by clicking here

The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.

About  Peter Mantel, Managing Director, BMT Smart Ltd

Peter Mantel is Managing Director of BMT SMART Ltd. A Marine Engineering graduate, he has been involved in the global marine industry for over 30 years. A graduate from the Dutch Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz, Peter served the Dutch Merchant Marine for over 8 years. Once ashore, he continued his maritime career and has worked in the industry in various senior management positions both in the USA and Europe. Peter has acquired over 20 years of senior marine management experience, and brings a wealth of expertise to BMT SMART having been one of the Digital Navigation pioneers.

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