Is excellence in safety and quality performance good business for a ship manager? This was one of the topics dealt with atthe recently concluded India Ship Management Summit 2016. Capt. Michael Elwert, group chief executive officer, Elektrans group gave an owner’s perspective on what it takes to be a superstar in ship management.
“Ship management is all about managing risks and assets. We have a number of risks related to piracy, cargo, weather, rate of exchange on payment, insufficient crew, and availability of qualified superintendents. Our reality is that we have to let go of our moorings and transport goods because we can’t do a business with zero risks. The challenge is running our business with managing the risks to an acceptable level. We need to understand the meaning of adapting, constantly developing our skills and never fall victim to becoming complacent. Things usually go wrong when complacency sneaks in. As an industry we have improved over the years. Looking at the cargo spills, accidents and incidents that we’ve had in the industry over a 20 year period and relating that to increase in cargo volume and number of ships, we are moving in the right direction. Our goal as ship managers and owners should always be to keep the accidents and incidents to the lowest possible.
To be a successful ship manager one needs to factor the human element and address the right people, right attitude, right competence and the right mindsets. Let’s not fall victim to the whole discussion of religion, passports or colour. As an industry we have the 90/10% dilemma which is that we are looking at the 10% that we are doing wrong or need to improve. While we try to learn and improve from our mistakes and not repeat them, let us also take the time to reflect that we are doing a good job that has resulted in globalization.
If you comply with regulations, have a good focus on your cost, HSSEQ’s and people, and then you are on the right track as a ship manager. Successful leadership with communication with your staff and crew is important too. We need to remember that we are in global marketplace. So let’s compete on global standards on an even playing field.
Ship management is also about trust and performance. You need to perform every day. Ship owners want ship managers who can deliver value added services. Successful ship managers ensure that the ship is run safely, efficiently and competitively. Ship managers who have the upper hand in delivering competence when it is required at the right cost are the winners.
Ship owners cannot squeeze the ship managers to a level where they cannot operate the ships safely. It’s about finding the balance through trust, communication and experience. Connectivity is needed. We need to understand that we are global, 24X7 and need to respond immediately.
We need to break down barriers and make people in different levels and occupations in the same company understand that they are part of a team interdependent on each other. Successful Ship managers have to be a bit more innovative and need to do it safely by developing the right mindset and training. Ship management is not rocket science but hard work and focus. Let us get value of engaging and showing passion in what we do because that way we can convince others to step up and take pride in what we do.”
Source: TST NewsdeskPrevious Next