VDR services your suppliers should look after
When choosing the right supplier for your VDR, you need more than just a company who can simply provide the technology. Suppliers that you trust to deliver your VDR, should also ensure that they are able to support installation, maintenance and issues that may arise. Otherwise, you can run into problems where you have a new technology which you cannot use or take full advantage of, resulting in losing time and money when support is not there.
Supplier services can be just as important as the technology you choose, so make sure that you are looking out for these specific services when selecting a supplier:
Fast response when in need
In the shipping and transportation industries, time is money. And for every hour spent with a vessel out of commission, there can be a lot at stake. You shouldn’t wonder if a problem that occurs will gravely affect your business or relationships with partners if you can’t deliver what is promised. Because of this, you need to know that your service provider is able to effectively respond quickly to your needs.
One way to ensure this is to see what kind of ship-to-shore solutions are available, making sure that your supplier is receiving important vessel data in real time, or if issues take hours or even days to properly identify. Look at important KPIs, like average length of time for failures to be resolved, or average time between a problem being identified, and a service provider being on scene. These numbers can tell you just how quickly your supplier is actually able to supply important solutions for you.
Sometimes it’s not just important that your supplier is able to respond quickly, but that they are able to respond at all. Make sure that you understand what their service availability is, and if they can actually provide all the services that are potentially necessary. You will reduce the amount of off-hire labor you’ll need in the future if you know ahead of time that your suppliers can service your technology and machinery, or any malfunctions that could happen.
If they do not have capabilities that match your needs, you should consider finding a different supplier who is able to accommodate you and available. If they cannot ensure that they can provide for all your servicing needs, you need to think about your fleet budgeting (link to opex/capex planning post?) to see if long-term expenditures for outside services are a cost you are willing to take.
Many vessels today frequently travel the globe and operate internationally. In these cases, it’s important to know if your supplier has locations or servicing partners who can assist you wherever your ships may travel to. While a supplier could potentially have availability for the services you need but are only located in one home port, you will have the same issues as if they did not have service availability.
Therefore, consider whether your supplier has the necessary spare parts for your technology and machinery at worldwide destinations. This is a critical aspect when also considering their ability to respond to needs quickly, and potentially how long your vessels are out of commission when needing repairs or replacements.
Failures are inevitable, but working VDRs are critical
VDRs are critical for your operation, and it is critical that your available technician has the knowledge, skills, and tools to make the repairs as quickly as possible. As with all modern technologies, VDRs, while reliable, are not completely fail-proof. When an issue arises with your VDR, it is not an option for you to wait to have it fixed. That’s also why not only do you need to ensure that your service supplier is adequate, but also that the VDR technology itself functions as a tool to identify issues and relay those issues directly to you in real time. The combination of a reliable technology, a reliable service provider, and reliable ship-to-shore data can save you an enormous amount of time and money in the future.