The Beginner's Guide to Crewing System Software
Nov 30, 2023 · 9 mins read ·Crewing Systems
Stacks of documents and seafarer contracts, shelves full of files, mountains of photocopies of visas, filing cabinets that no one can find the keys for when you need them most. If this sounds like your maritime recruitment or crew planning department, keep on reading on as we explain why you need to update your procedures!
The truth of the matter is, you need to be taking care of your crew planning and recruitment processes - as well as your employee data - in a more organized, efficient, and secure fashion.
And that’s where crewing software systems come in.
Crewing software will revolutionize both your recruitment and crewing departments by helping your teams operate in a vastly more streamlined fashion.
So what exactly is a crewing software system?
The beginner’s guide to crewing software systems
At its most basic, a crewing system with a built in recruitment function is an integrated seafarer database that helps you to do everything from sourcing seafarers, applicant tracking, interview scheduling, contract signing and document management to planning future crews and easily handling crew changeovers.
A good crewing system, such as Martide’s, will also allow you to download and export data such as your onboard crew reports, seafarer profiles, vessel information and more. This helps you keep on top of every facet of your business, easily, quickly and at a glance so that you can run meaningful reports.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how when all of those features are automated and combined, life for your recruitment officers and crew managers suddenly becomes a whole lot less stressful!
Let’s look at the benefits of a crewing system software solution in a little more detail.
The benefits of crewing system software
No doubt that your crew planners, crew managers or recruitment officers all have tasks that they can do with their eyes closed. Those boring but necessary daily, weekly, or monthly jobs that are just so time-consuming.
But the good news is, you can actually easily automate some of those tasks.
Not only will this save you countless hours, allowing you to focus on more important things, but it’ll also reduce the margin for error that can arise with monotonous manual inputting.
A crewing system can help you automate so many little things that make up your to-do list. For example, creating maritime recruitment checklists that you can clone and use every time you want to hire a seafarer of the same rank or for the same type of vessel.
Because a crewing software solution makes it much easier to track and update your seafarers’ personal info it will save you lots of time as opposed to doing everything manually while flipping between numerous Excel spreadsheets.
As an example, compare an outdated on- and off-signers spreadsheet to an automated one. In the first one, a crew planner spends time filling it in with names, dates, ranks and vessel and comparing and trying to align seafarers who will be embarking and disembarking.
Compare that to using a crewing software solution to manage your crew changes.
You simply check the boxes of who’s disembarking and who’s taking their place and the system will do the rest - even adding and presenting everything in a user-friendly, visual crew planning calendar.
More cohesion between departments
When your recruitment and crew planning departments become more efficient and more productive, you’ll have more free time to develop your processes and create a great working environment that motivates employees and makes them want to stay with your company.
In other words, you’ll have more time to spend making sure your employees are happy, engaged, and motivated - and therefore productive.
And more streamlined processes mean that your seafarers will feel the knock-on effect and you’ll have a much better chance at ensuring that they come back to your company or agency for the next contract.
It’s a great way of increasing crew retention.
Better shore-based employee retention
And talking of retention, you want to make sure that your office-based employees won’t leave you for a competitor either.
The majority of employees (especially younger ones) expect a company to be running their systems and processes using a software solution.
And when you’ve implemented a leading crewing system and maritime recruitment platform such as Martide, you’re not only living up to your employees’ and candidates’ expectations, you’re creating a happier workforce.
That’s because people like efficiency. No one wants to have to tear their hair out to find an Able Seaman or Chief Engineer, to meet a crew change date, to follow up with seafarer documents or to organize travel arrangements.
A crewing system can increase employee satisfaction by making people more efficient while eliminating the frustrating and time consuming processes of recruiting and planning seafarers while teams go through all the different steps they need to in a manual process.
Lower operating costs
When you take your operations online and into the cloud, you’re cutting down on printing costs such as ink cartridges and paper.
You’re also reducing the need for office stationery such as pens, staplers, folders, filing cabinets and other storage solutions.
And you’re also helping your organization to become greener and more sustainable.
Not only that but when you and your recruitment and crew planning departments are getting more done in less time, meaning you’re also a lot more time- and cost-efficient.
The beginner’s guide to crewing software systems: conclusion
If there is a disconnect between your shipping company or manning agency’s processes and things are taking too long and there’s a noticeable lack of communication between employees it’s time to consider implementing a crewing system.
Are you fed up of dealing with the endless spreadsheets and documents needed to keep track of each and every little action, it’s time to consider implementing a maritime recruitment platform and crew planning solution.
If your seafarer database, reports and data are out of control and becoming hard to make sense of because they’re not automated, it’s time to consider implementing crewing software.
If tasks are getting overlooked, errors are happening thanks to manual inputting, or - far worse - crew changes are barely being met - either through poor communication or because you’re using multiple systems - it’s time to think about implementing a crewing system software solution.
(And let’s not forget that there is always a risk of a data breach if you’re still using manual systems.)
A good crewing software solution will coordinate all the different parts of your operations, helping you and your team to save time, work more efficiently, be more productive, improve employee and seafarer retention, create a better candidate experience - and to wave goodbye to annoying tasks that could easily be automated.
What’s next? Talk to Martide
At Martide we make maritime recruitment and crew planning plain sailing. Our Software as a Service solution helps you find and recruit seafarers, post jobs at sea adverts for free, streamline your recruitment processes and make crew planning and crew changes simpler than ever before.
Interested in finding out more and seeing how we can help your shipping company or manning agency lives easier? Get in touch and book a demo of our crewing software today.
Eve is Martide's content writer and publishes regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea.