Who Owns Your ISM History - The Yacht or Management Company?

Posted: 14th March 2019 | Written by: David Clarke

dave clarke3

We frequently hear from yachts that would like to change their Management Company or ISM provider. But they feel stuck. They fear they’ll lose the yacht’s historical data if they make the change.

During a yacht’s operation, many records must be created for compliance and auditing. These records include Pre-Departure checklists, Permits to Work, Non Conformity Reports, Drill Reports, Hours of Rest, Familiarizations, Cabin Inspections, Machinery Logs, Bunkering Checklists, Drill Reports, Safety Meeting Minutes, Safety Equipment Inspections and so on and so forth. Not to mention the seemingly endless Standard Operating Procedures written specifically for each yacht’s operation.

When all these SOPs are wrapped up in a management company’s system, the entire yacht’s operation is at risk of being lost if the yacht does not retain these records.

So who really owns the yacht’s records? Is it the management company/ISM provider or is it the yacht? Coming from a crew background, we believe all these reports, checklists, inspections, procedures and minutes are the yacht’s property, and every yacht should be able to retain them.

Some management companies say these records belong to them as they are part of their company’s Safety Management System, and sometimes other factors are involved, such as the difficulty in extracting the information from a management company’s software system.

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Being unable to retain a yacht’s historical data is definitely a sore point among the captains we speak with. Sometimes crew industriously screenshot or copy and paste as much as possible before informing management of the change in an effort to get aroundthis predicament. Still, it might take months to rewrite and implement a new Safety Management System after changing ISM providers.

That’s a whole lot of work and a major pain in the rear. So it’s no wonder captains are thrilled when they hear we offer a solution that can prevent the situation from ever happening again.

In today’s electronic age, using a paper-based Safety Management System (SMS) is equivalent to using an old rotary phone. Even using Dropbox and Google Docs requires users to download forms, fill in and scan them, then upload them back to the cloud, which amounts to the same workload as a paper-based system.

Our Total Superyacht Vessel Management andISM software are streamlined, self-contained and simple to use. Yachts that use Total Superyachtcan easily switch management companies with absolutely no loss of data. The yacht keeps all of its history (and SOPs) and we simply disconnect the yacht from the old management company’s fleet and connect it to the new one. All the yacht’s files, data and records are retained in the yacht’s system.

Once we connect the yacht to the new management company, the new Safety Management Manual is added to the software with a few clicks, and the new DPA can review and approve all the SOPs the yacht has been happily using as well as creating newand improved ones in no time.

With Total Superyacht, you take control of your records when moving ISM providers.

The only catch is that the new management company must also use our Total Superyacht Fleet Management System - and luckily we provide that free of charge. We’ve certainly experienced resistance from old-timers who are stuck in their ways and refuse to embrace technology. But we’re pleased to say that because Total Superyacht saves the DPA hundreds of hours each month and is so comprehensive and simple to use, resistance usually fades fast. Several of our clients have even successfully insisted they’d only employ a new management company if it agrees to use Total Superyacht.

Time again our clients tell us that after carefully researching all available options, Total Superyacht comes out on top by a nautical mile. Our speed, agility and commitment to the crew is what sets us apart from the competition.

Photo credit: Supplied by SOS

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