Ocean Technologies Group takes a customer-centric approach to proactively affect change
Words by Alexandra Leuschner
The rapid changes to the current regulatory landscape create an administrative challenge for ship operators looking to remain compliant. At Ocean Technologies Group, we proactively support our customers by ensuring that they have access to the most up to date information and resources.
Having worked as the Head of Quality and Safety Department for a shipping company prior to joining OTG, I am well versed with just how much effort is required to roll out compliance training across a fleet. This is one of the reasons that I maintain a very close connection with the accounts that I manage and am regularly in touch with customers.
I let them know what we are recommending to meet their various needs, alert them to new modules that are coming out for their crew and ensure that their team are informed about the latest training requirements and any important dates by which the training must be completed.
Our customers appreciate that our recommendations come from a deep-seated knowledge of the industry and will genuinely benefit them to meet their obligations.
At OTG we try to work as if we are embedded within our customer’s team. This means that our portfolio of services is not only limited to ensuring compliance in the here and now, but is far-sighted and takes into consideration the manner in which the industry is evolving.
Transparency and trust
One of the features that I know our clients really appreciate about our Ocean Learning Platform is the transparency that it offers, as the system tracks which modules have been completed by staff and creates evidential reports for verification purposes. The ability to demonstrate good practice by a shipping company is vital to building trust with their stakeholders.
But there are other benefits to tracking staff skills and proficiencies – particularly for crew that are looking to progress up the career ladder. Our Competency Management System (CMS) offers an objective means by which to assess suitability for promotion. By deciding the certification and skills needed for each rank, it ensures that everyone at a specific level has undertaken the same suitable training through either e-learning, videos or on the job training.
Objective criteria are essential from a risk management perspective, as companies can gain confidence that a newly promoted individual has been equipped with the right skills for the role and will perform their tasks safely. It also has significant HR benefits as an ideal tool to prevent a skills gaps, aid succession planning and facilitate career progression. Individuals with potential for promotion can be easily identified via their record on the Ocean Learning Platform and then be encouraged to complete the requisite modules and hands-on training they need to progress. In addition, we have repeatedly seen that career mobility increases employee satisfaction and retention.
It’s my team’s job to support our customers so that they can evaluate their options and decide the best way of setting up the system to help them reach their goals. This is an ongoing process; new emerging legislation, changes to best practice and trends in the industry act as exterior forces, and from within the customers own risk profile, business needs and response to their own performance indicators all require a re-evaluation of their training strategy and implementation.
Companies are naturally inclined to conceal deficiencies and concerns, but we find that establishing a trusting relationship as a partner enables us to be more effective in suggesting solutions.
Responding to analysis
Our reporting tools also allow us to spot trends in learning behaviour and assessment performance that can be used in discussions about which training titles to bring in and where to change up the schedule. These are even more powerful when combined with the customer’s vessel audit and inspection data, such as deficiencies and non-conformities, and issues that have come to light because of an incident.
Here we can support our customer with corrective and / or preventive actions, either with our e-learnings or with Rapid E-Learning. With this tool our customer can create their own e-learning modules with company specific content that they need to provide their fleet with at that time. Either as response to an incident or finding, or preventive as a safety campaign.
By working together in a trusted partnership, we can ensure the customer gets a maximum return on their training investment,
Alexandra Leuschner is Head of Account Management and Senior Training Consultant at Ocean Technologies Group.
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