Coffee or TMSA ?
Updated: Mar 21, 2019
As someone once said, there are few words mentioned more than ‘coffee’ in Piraeus. Tanker Management Self Assessment (TMSA, also known as SIRE) is perhaps one exception to the rule. The burden of the evolving TMSA on tanker operators, is no news. But, with TMSA, it seems that as soon as one thinks he has reached the highest peak, a new, higher one, is revealed; this either by way of an update to TMSA or simply by a different combination of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by a major charterer. The issue simply will not go away.
Nearly all operators in the market have different modules or separate ERPs for each of the departments of the company. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars -- if not millions -- were spent on integration, and 90% of all users would self-define that integration effort as a ‘failure’ or ‘waste of money’. So, complying with the evolution of TMSA by way of throwing more money into customizing existing ERP software is manifestly a step in the wrong direction. A new approach is required.
Now ask why “nearly all” companies are confronting this problem? Who are the exceptions? The answer is typically companies with one of two profiles: large companies with a high level of innovation and ability to drive change, and new(er) companies that were lucky enough not to buy any of the old generation IT systems. The ability to keep pulling new or different combinations or calculations of KPIs from the operational data of the company is only feasible if the entire company operates from one database. This demands a single ERP that serves the whole company, not just the needs of isolated departments. There are only a few companies that have full ERP systems that allow the entire company to operate on it. Most providers focus on a few or more than a few modules, but we only know of 3 companies that have the full offering. As far as cloud solutions go, the story is even worse.
In a proper cloud-based, single platform shipping ERP, a control panel enables the user to access each KPI and create individualized versions of KPIs based either on different fleets, or on different types of charterers. One can manage the TMSA experience, or ordeal, in a manner that turns it into a simple ISM like process, rather than a massive audit that burdens entire teams and departments within the organization.