As purchasing manager at V.Ships Leisure, Silvia Rondelli oversees the planning and procurement of technical spares and consumables on a daily basis, plus purchasing for major overhauls, drydocks, annual service and emergency maintenance for a wide variety of cruise line clients.
“We work closely with MARCAS, the marine supply chain aggregator, which is our strategic support partner when it comes to smarter, more efficient purchasing,” said Rondelli, in the 2021 Summer edition of the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine. “They work on trend analysis and benchmarking to ensure we are making smart purchasing decisions.
“We also have our own system in house, ShipSure, which collects thousands of data points allowing us to predict when upgrades are needed and exactly what is needed. This supports our forward procurement planning process, which improves efficiency and cost.”
More Planning, More Saving
Rondelli said there was a simple saying: “The more we plan, the more we save.”
That rings especially true when it comes to the hardest-to-source items, which in 2021 are services due to the challenges of moving people around the world with flight availability and quarantine requirements.
“At the outset of the pandemic PPE and COVID-19 tests were also a challenge to source due to high demand and only an early-stage understanding of the PPE specifications required,” she recalled. “This meant that in some instances we had to fly supplies on a global basis to get to the ships to ensure the safety of the crew onboard.”
Rondelli’s daily routine, which generally starts with the morning focused on requests from ships in the Eastern Hemisphere, is supported by V.Ships’ advanced ShipSure system.
Not only does the system offer predictions on life cycles of various parts but it also integrates with the company’s vast supply chain.
“It enables analysis based on past performance of suppliers, which supports future buying decisions,” Rondelli explained. “The system offers suppliers a portal where they can submit their quotes directly, which is more efficient for everyone and improves the flow and quality of the procurement process.”
But how does purchasing actually work?
It starts onboard the vessel with a crew request, which is approved by a manager.
“This is then reviewed by our team and we go out for quotes to at least three suppliers (other than OEM supply items) to enable comparison and negotiation before the fleet cell reviews and approves. Based on this, the system then places the order,” Rondelli said.
Born and raised in Italy, Rondelli’s family has a seafaring lineage. Her grandfather was in the navy and she sailed as a child before attending the nautical school in Imperia.
Her first real job, after having sailed as a cadet, was as an engineer on a Costa ship, she said.
“During school, my interest in going to sea grew, culminating in my application to sail with Costa. I really enjoyed sailing when I was young and naturally developed a passion for the industry. After my first time at sea as a cadet I knew this was the industry for me, it really fascinated me.
“I knew I wouldn’t want to stay at sea for my whole career, so at some stage I looked for opportunities to move shoreside while remaining within the industry. So when the opportunity with V.Ships Leisure came around, it was a natural progression for me, as it would enable me to continue to develop my career.”
Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine Summer 2021