V.Group has made substantial investments in its digital ShipSure platform, according to Per Bjornsen, CEO of V.Ships Leisure, which manages operations for a large number of cruise customers.
“The ShipSure application addresses all aspects of our operational needs,” he said, from safety to crewing, planned maintenance, procurement, hotel defects and financial reporting, delivering a single fully integrated solution.
“Our partners can use it to improve operation, safety of vessels and more,” he said, noting that the app-based modules, could be used on just about any device, increasing accuracy, timely reporting and operational visibility,” Bjornsen added.
According to Stephen Macfarlane, Chief Information Officer, the company has also introduced AI technology into the ShipSure platform, capable of identifying trends, recognizing previously hidden patterns and predicting outcomes, allowing ShipSure to make corrective recommendations to the operations team in real time.
“ShipSure is an inhouse product, built from the ground up, entirely focused on supporting and maximizing the Operational Management of our clients’ vessels,” he said. “Our latest generation data design allows us to extract additional value from the operational data; our AI platform Sentinel provides predictive outcomes based on behavioral based analytics, delivering dynamic management visualization tools and underpin our journey towards augmented digital operations. It is not just a reporting platform, ShipSure is fast becoming a must have Eco-System.”
One challenge said Macfarlane, is that most cruise ships run on many different software systems.
“This results in silos, and no one gets a joined-up picture of what’s happening. We took those systems and built them into one,” he explained. “We feed that into an operations center and put the data in the hands of people so they can use it.”
Macfarlane added: “With the multitude of legacy systems, cruise lines struggle to have clear visibility of their operational positioning. For example, finance and procurement are disconnected from each other. How do you control costs? The beauty of ShipSure is the integrated platform, and when combined with our AI capabilities we enhance the operations situational awareness that the data provides both for today and how it may impact the operation tomorrow.”
One valuable aspect of the ShipSure system is an hotel defect system which replaces existing systems, some of which are still paper based, providing a mobile based tool linked to wider applications such as PMS, inventory control and procurement.
“The integrated system allows us to not only to report defects but also with our AI technology drill down into recurring problems on a vessel, identifying hard to spot patterns and assessing the amount of time or resources that are being consumed within the rectification phase,” explained Macfarlane.
Bjornsen pointed out that with sister ships ShipSure can analyze trends.
“If you are building more ships, design flaws can be fixed and it’s key for an effective warranty management process,” he said.
For example, reoccurring problems in staterooms can be reported by cabin stewards on the app with the option for the customers to report the issues direct which is then sent to maintenance, which is linked to inventory needed to fix the issue.
“ShipSure is constantly being further developed by a global team of over 200”, Bjornsen said.
“ShipSure is at the core of our Operational Ship Management thought out our Global Network. Whilst we originally made it for ourselves, for our ships in our management, however we do also offer it to select partners. These Partners benefit greatly from the learnt knowledge enshrined within ShipSure, and the continuous enhancement that our operational experience drives.”
For Macfarlane, he sees AI taking a major step forward over the next five years. “It will progress beyond low-level tasks to medium-level tasks to ultimately enhance and educate operational decision making driving more efficient, safer and sustainable operations for cruise lines.”