V.Group’s Greek glimpse into the future of ship management

Previewing a new ShipSure app designed to assist all areas of ship management, welcoming its new CEO and outlining a new management structure; clients and guests invited to V.Group’s Greek gathering in early October can be forgiven for not remembering every detail. Inside Marine provides a little more clarity on the leading ship management company’s latest advancements. 

V.GroupOver 140 guests from the Greek shipping community had a glimpse into the future of ship management at an event hosted by V.Ships Greece on 3rd October at the stunning Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre in Athens.

Costas Kontes, General Manager at V.Ships Greece, outlined V.Group’s commitment to the Greek shipping market. This commitment was further reinforced as he introduced V.Group’s new CEO, Ian El-Mokadem who had travelled to Greece on his first day to attend this event.

“From our local office in Piraeus we have been able to develop strategic partnerships with our clients, building on their expertise in the container and bulk carrier sectors,” said Mr Kontes. “And this local service is complemented by the global support of additional services provided by V.Group.”

At the event, V.Group board member Jesper Kjaedegaard took to the stage for an overview of the group’s commitment to investing in technology solutions.

“There are lots of people talking about digitisation but V.Group is actually doing it,” he said. With that he introduced V.Group’s Director of IT, Stephen MacFarlane, to the stage to share what was the highlight of the evening – a preview of the company’s bespoke vessel management app – ShipSure Mobile.

ShipSure app preview

“The ShipSure app is the future of ship management,” explained Mr MacFarlane. “Building on the functionality of our desktop version, we’ve brought this and more into the hands of our owners. The ShipSure app offers owners complete oversight, transparency and real time visibility at any time. We’ve moved far beyond the traditional noon report to drill down into a broader range of data in real time.”

Showcasing a prototype of the ShipSure app, Mr MacFarlane explained the investment in developing a platform that delivers a powerful user experience and at the same time delivers higher levels of automation and powerful data insights. 

Client insights were a critical component of the design solution, added Mr MacFarlane. 

“Top of mind for our clients has been how they manage information overload, how can they stay in control, for example. The investment is not just limited to the technology solution but also importantly – changes to user behaviour. We must continue to invest in all aspects.”

The ShipSure mobile platform has four modules delivering content to the user. These are: Marine – managing the marine asset, safety, compliance and performance; Procurement – shelf to ship procurement cycle, fully integrated with other ShipSure modules; a comprehensive marine manpower platform designed to support the full lifecycle of marine HR; and ShipSure Finance – a fully integrated model within the same database as the other ShipSure modules. 

These four modules serve four stakeholders – the client, the shore based fleet team, the crew and the seafarer. And further catering to each area of operation, V.Group said each of the four stakeholders will gave their own unique version of the app.

The ShipSure app will be rolled out to V.Group’s current clients from the beginning of 2018 with the seafarer app being made available later in 2018.

Ian El-Mokadem arrives at V.Group

Back to the news of V.Group’s new Chief Executive Officer, Ian El-Mokadem. In June 2017, V.Group announced a new and simpler structure, designed to create a closer relationship with its customers. This new structure has now been bolstered with the appointment of what V.Group calls ‘a strong leadership team, which blends a real depth of maritime experience with broader service industry expertise’.

The ship management business is spearheaded by Alastair Evitt in the east and Maurice Baker in the west. Marine Services is led by Elliot Gow, and Martin Gaard Christiansen started earlier in September as Chief Commercial Officer. V.Group has also confirmed the appointments of Chief HR Officer, Jim McHugh who joins on 30th October, and Chief Transformation Officer, Jon Key, joining in November.

John Pattullo, V.Group Chairman said: “We are delighted to have Ian on board and look forward to this next phase of V.Group’s journey. On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank Hanne Sorensen for her leadership, helping to ensure that we were able to keep the momentum of our ambitious plans to shape the future of the ship management industry.”

On joining the group, Ian El-Mokadem added: “I am delighted to be starting at V.Group. My initial priority is to learn more about our business and that of our customers. With a talented organisation – both at sea and ashore – I am very confident that we will achieve our ambition of becoming a blue chip, innovative, highly professional service provider to ship owners around the world.”