The timely response to charterer questionnaires is important for every ship owner looking to stay competitive. Responding to the questionnaires, even though not a daily task, can however be a source of pain and frustration.
Below we present a few solid tips for making light work of responding to questionnaires with the welcomed by-product of freeing up time for you and your colleagues to focus on other tasks that make your business perform even better.
Who knows, deals that might previously not have been attainable might become so after employing these tips. So let’s get started.
1. Consolidate all static vessel data into one master data location
By storing all vessel data in one master data location you get a single version of the truth and no data gets duplicated or stored differently in other locations. Also, make sure that the data can be easily accessed from an appealing and simple user interface and retrieved from the data store for fast querying.
2. Make the vessel data easily available to your colleagues
After consolidating the data in one place you should be able to share the data with employees that should have permission to either view it or edit. This allows for easier collaboration between employees and departments, instead of the old route one of sharing data by way of email attachments - thus potentially creating multiple copies. Ensure that access can be granted (and removed) using a fine grained access control.
3. Track every change made
It is important to be able to trust the data you store. For that to happen you need to know the source of the data as well as all changes that have been made, for example when specific fields were edited, by whom and what value changed.
4. Make your system robust to adding new fields to your master list of data
Charterer questionnaires evolve and new fields are added to questionnaires on regular basis. All charterers do not request identical information either. When receiving a request for a specific data property that you do not store in your master data list, make sure that your system is able to add this field without hassle so it can be mapped to the requesting charterer’s field in the questionnaire.
5. Export questionnaires in the file format requested by the charterer
Having created a master data location, instead of manually typing in the values to answer a charterer’s questionnaire in the file format requested, create a process to automatically export the questionnaire into the format required. This makes the whole process a lot smoother and less error prone. Then, making updates to the master data (if needed) and doing an export to the charterer’s questionnaire format again, becomes a much easier.
6. Use APIs to share data with charterers
Even better than exporting the responses into the charterer’s required file format, if available, use the charterers’ APIs to submit the questionnaire response or grant the charterer permission to fetch the data from your own API.
Using these tips we believe you will be in a much stronger position for responding to charterers’ questionnaires in a timely and efficient manner without all the headaches involved.
But getting there can be a challenge. Thankfully, Ankeri has created the Ankeri Profiles to help you along. Ankeri Profiles is part of the Ankeri Platform, a cloud-based software for ship owners and charterers to manage and share ship data and collaborate on improved performance.
The Ankeri Team