What is PMS, is it yet another burden, annoying task added to the seafarer’s duties, or is it a powerful tool that if used correctly could improve efficiency and reduce the workload?
For decades, the industry’s software applications development progress was moving with the pace of a turtle, so naturally, this reflected on the seafarer’s acceptance of new software applications.
Even though PMS software is on the ships for many years, one can often hear comments like “I have 30 years of experience at sea, I do not care what is written in PMS”, “Just fill the PMS, I will tell you when we will do it”, or advise from Managing Office “Close the jobs in PMS, and do it when you have time” and many more, which proofs that for some Seamen and Office personnel it is an additional burden.
But is the experience of the Senior Officers / Engineers on board, or the concern that PSC or Class inspector could make an observation are the only reason for such an approach in using the PMS system?
Answer is very simple, NO!!!
There are many different PMS systems in use and encountering one that not set properly and inefficient could put an end to all good intentions to use properly PMS software. When you sit in front of the computer for hours, after a hard day’s work, and trying to update the PMS, which is difficult even to understand, is really a waste of time, a time that could be used for maintenance or for proper rest.
It is not about knowledge or experience, the industry is changing. Office and vessel staff are limited, the port stay is most of the time only hours not days, vessel schedule is very tight. I remember when I was starting my career at sea if some regular maintenance was pending, we were stopping at sea without a time frame and no commercial pressure. At present days, there are a lot of safety precautions to be taken before starting any job, so basically it is not much time remaining to make the actual planning, this is where the PMS comes into play.
How to does the PMS becomes a powerful tool?
First and most important, PMS needs to be set up correctly. It is a common opinion that tasks in the PMS should be major or critical maintenance, but this is wrong. To be able to use PMS as a planning tool, all tasks should be added, even the simplest ones like visual inspection, greasing, etc.
The software should be able to display arranged tasks, regardless of the period of maintenance is calendar-based or by running hours. When the responsible officer enters his account, he could easily see what tasks are to be performed for today, tomorrow, and so on, and he can avoid losing time for planning and just get on with it. This is also very important to know and plan for major maintenance that is taking a lot of time or maintenance that could be done only in port.
The PMS should allow for each job card to be entered with detailed instructions of the job, accompanied by drawings, manufacturer’s instructions, etc. In this way will be easier for the responsible officer when open the job card not to miss something during maintenance.
So, you see with properly set and user-friendly PMS software it becomes a powerful tool and on-board planning of maintenance turns into very easy. That is why it is essential for the safe operation of the vessel to have efficient PMS software.
Changing the PMS system is a huge step, but I can say from experience that using efficient and user-friendly software is worth it.
MEADA PMS system gives you all the above options and many more. A complete description of the software you can find here.
Capt. Anton Kolarov
Kolarovi Family Enterprise LTD.