Crew members can update their personal information from anywhere with Ankaa Marine (Image: Serco Northlink Ferries)
Serco Northlink Ferries has implemented a digital crew management platform created by Ankaa, a subsidiary of employment firm Clyde Marine Recruitment.
The solution is called Ankaa Marine and it collects, stores and processes seafarer information, removing paper-based operations and improving security with cloud-based encryption.
“The maritime community has always been challenged with effectively managing, sharing and ensuring validity of seafarers’ data,” said Ian Livingstone, managing director of Ankaa. “This has become more difficult with tightening data privacy legislation globally.
“The maritime world has been slow to adopt digital solutions and reluctant to embrace collaboration. We were very frustrated with the products available on the market being unable to offer a user-friendly, but complete, approach to industry-wide problems. Ankaa Marine was specifically designed by seafarers for seafarers to offer the sector a simple solution.”
Ankaa Marine provides vessel operators with live crew data and enables crew to update their personal details from anywhere with web access. It also offers an instant messaging feature to provide direct communication between various stakeholders, for example in the event of a navigational change due to weather conditions.
One of the platform’s highlight features is its bank account verification tool which ensures crew members receive their wages on time.
Serco NorthLink runs ferry services to the Scottish Isles of Orkney and Shetland and was instrumental in the product development of Ankaa Marine, which was field-tested on its two freight vessels, Helliar and Hildasay.
“We never stand still and are always looking for ways to improve our operations,” said Stuart Garrett, Serco’s managing director for NorthLink Ferries. “Usually this is for the benefit of our customers. But on this occasion, we’re pleased to be doing something directly for our staff, ensuring that we keep up with technology and bring the benefits of digital services to our unique workplace. This is a proven solution to something that affects every maritime operator and we’re proud to be in at the start of a transformation in crew management.”
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