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Choosing the right Asset Management System

– 5 steps to an effective selection process

Modern Asset Management Systems (AMS) are valuable tools to manage technical and administrative aspects of a superyacht. All functions are developed to standardize workflows and improve processes in daily business.

Whether you are searching for your first AMS or if you are thinking about upgrading your current AMS, your system is a crucial tool that can influence every stakeholder within the organization around a modern superyacht.

Please read all about the process in our new feature

Newsletter November 2019

Exiting times came to an end – Show season is over

It is always a pleasure to attend the outstanding trade shows of the Yachting Industry.
Of course, this time of the year is always a hectic one and times come with a packed calendar and nearly unmanageable meeting lists but besides that, it is always a great chance to see all these amazing people who make the industry as wonderful as it is.

The METS, as one of the most important and thrilling exhibitions in the trade show calendar, provided a suitable setting for presenting the novelties and to introduce the changes of IDEA YACHT.

Talking to many of the key players from the industry helped us to collect valuable new impressions to drive changes and developments way further.
With this in mind, we want to take that opportunity to thank all our clients, business partners and close friends who made the season of 2019 as successful and unforgettable as it became!

Why you should invest in a PMS software

Maintenance on a ship is essential to comply with regulations and guarantee to save operation.
In the maritime industry, you find lots of analogue and digital maintenance plans ranging from rough sketches on paper to digital Excel or Word documents on some computers onboard. Often the maintenance is done by the crew without errors. Normally problems arise when an audit is due or the crew changes. Where is everything recorded? Where are the schedules? This is the situation in which a PMS software can support the crew in getting the job done. In our latest article, we listed 10 reasons why it is a good idea to invest in a PMS system.

Click to read more…

P.S.: in our December newsletter we will present some advice on how to find and implement the right PMS system.

We need you!

not only the show season is coming to an end, but also the year 2019, we would like to take that occasion to review our last chances and additions to IDEA YACHT and figure out how we are able to improve and to strive for new innovative ideas.
If you have a minute, please take part of the following survey and answer a few short questions:

IDEA YACHT Survey

Your IDEA TEAM

Save Money – Invest in Planned Maintenance!

Modern yachts are highly complex systems that need constant maintenance to stay operational. The number of tasks that have to be done by all members of a crew increases constantly with the size of the vessel and state of the art technology, more and more regulations have to be respected to stay compliant. An increasing number of stakeholders is interested in the status of the ship and the services that can be offered. All must be managed by a relatively small crew on board each vessel.

This is where purpose build software, so-called Planned Maintenance Systems (PMS) can help tremendously. Below you can find the top 10 reasons to order a PMS system for your vessel.

1. Quickly find information about the vessel

A well build PMS database holds a multitude of viable information about the vessel, which is easily accessible by all crew members. The software can be used to find detailed information about equipment, inventory, certificates and many more items. Everything you need to know can be saved in a single application and is accessible for the whole crew with a quick search.

2. Never forget maintenance

A PMS system is specifically developed to support a user in conducting maintenance and never forget vital tasks that keep the machinery running. A good maintenance system reminds the user about upcoming maintenance tasks automatically while using the software. This ensures that no maintenance task is forgotten on a busy day. Maintenance tasks can be assigned to the right persons to make certain that a task is properly executed.

3. Keep a service history

Without a PMS software maintenance information is often kept in several different files that are maintained by the different departments and crew members. This makes it hard to track all maintenance tasks and their execution and even harder to prove to authorities. PMS software automatically records the results of maintenance tasks when it is executed. This creates a service history for all items installed on board that later helps in audit reporting and analysis.

4. Increase equipment reliability

Regular maintenance according to the manufacturer’s schedule increases the reliability of equipment and reduces unexpected breakdowns significantly. This results in less money spent on service visits and spare parts. Inventory stock levels are reduced and less money is bound in spare parts.

5. Stay on top of your inventory

Every boat is carrying a lot of inventory parts ranging machinery spare parts to cutlery and kitchen equipment. Over time the inventory builds up and in the long run the crew is losing track of what is on board and where it is stored. Modern PMS systems help the crew to keep track of all inventory items by providing an intelligent spare parts management that is integrated with purchasing and maintenance. If maintained correctly the crew is always capable of providing detailed information about their inventory to the owner and the management company.

6. Never lose information and knowledge when crew changes

Yachting is a very dynamic industry and therefore change is a big part of it. This is true for technology and personnel. Crew changes are normality and pose a threat to the operability of the vessel. Each crew member leaving takes knowledge with him/her that is lost to the vessel. PMS system is designed to preserve information about the vessel and avoid knowledge drain in case of change.

7. Time and cost savings

PMS systems are not cheap. They require a large amount of money and work to implement the software in the daily routines and build a usable database. But it is worth the investment and return can quickly be seen on all levels of vessel management. There is less time spend on maintenance although more maintenance is done. In consequence, the reliability of equipment is increased while unexpected breakdowns are minimized. Fewer repairs have to be done, saving spare parts and service contracts.

Information is stored in one place and can easily be accessed by all crew members (think of forms, manuals, reports, work lists etc.). Stock levels are reduced which results in less money bound in unnecessary spare parts. PMS software helps crew and management to run a vessel more efficiently.

8. Simplified audit preparation

All of the functions mentioned above result in a simplified internal and external audit preparation and execution. Because all information is collected and saved within the PMS it can easily be extracted using reporting functions or viewed in real-time on the monitor.

9. Better services for guests

When your vessel is on charter it is most important that all guests are completely satisfied with the vessel and all services provided. PMS systems ensure that all equipment (machinery, A/V etc.) is in good shape and operational at all times. Furthermore, you can check the availability of luxury items (food, wine, soap) is available in sufficient quantities ahead of the guest’s arrival. For regular guests, you can even save details about their habits to provide a better service.

10. The increased market value of the vessel

PMS systems provide a lot of functions that help the crew, the owner and the management company to keep the boat in a pristine condition. With all maintenance being available in the PMS system you prove to stakeholders the overall condition of the boat. A PMS software is equivalent to a service record of a car. Provable maintenance records increase the reselling value of a vessel.

Newsletter October 2019

What’s new in our latest version 2019.3?

We used the Monaco Yacht Show as a special occasion to gather a lot of client feedback and to improve our current version. Therefore, we would just like to give you a short overview of what’s new in IDEA YACHT’s latest version, which has been launched by the end of September.

Apart from many detailed improvements of IDEA YACHT 2019.3., such as the integration of a new Search UI, an extension of the one-time tasks and the improvement of the maintenance system itself, we released a new version of the IDEA App – available for Android and IOS.

As major changes, we extended our “one-time tasks” maintenance system precisely. From now on, each new one-time task is able to receive a name, already existing one-time tasks will get a name based on the first line of the description. The historical record of all maintenance tasks will receive a name as well, which also enhances the search function of maintenance tasks as they can now be found via name.

Announcement for all online users

Due to the latest improvements of IDEA YACHT and the associated introduction of the latest version 2019.3, we want to equip all our customers with the latest features and functions.

We scheduled the update for all online instances for Wednesday the 29th of October between 10:00 am -17:00 pm.  This will lead to a short downtime (approximately max 30 minutes) of your online portal on that day.
Please keep that in mind and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.

On the horizon

Nevertheless, what’s currently on the table for the final release for 2019?
We focus on improving the certification handling, which will mainly include the following two points:

  • Allow to define a set of certificates for user positions
  • Check if all crew has valid certificates according to your definitions 

Also on the list of long-time requests for an improvement are customized positions. With the pre-work done over 2019 we are now ready to plan this feature of adding/renaming positions in quarter four of 2019 as many of you were asking for such a feature.

We always try to stay ahead of changes and are looking forward to improve IDEA YACHT to your needs. Therefore, please drop us an e-mail with your feedback, questions and ideas at feedback@idea-data.com

“Takeaways” from the Monaco Yacht Show 2019

The Monaco Yacht Show 2019 was, as always, an outstanding event in the exhibition calendar, cementing its status as the leading yachting event.

For us as a software and service provider for crews, shipyards and management companies, it was a pleasure to meet so many of our clients and to have meaningful conversations with them. You gave us new insights on how you use our products in your daily routines and helped us to form new ideas to improve IDEA products and develop it into an even more valuable asset among the tools you are using.

We are very grateful for your honest (positive and negative) feedback because only this feedback gives us the chance to become a better company with products you like to use. That is why we would like to intensify this contact with all of you in the future.

We will be present at a few more shows this year at which you can visit us:

  • Fort Lauderdale International
    Boat Show (30th October – 3rd November 2019)
  • METS Amsterdam
    (18th November – 21st November 2019)

If you are not able to attend one of the boat shows and meet us in person you can always get in touch with us via mail:

  • If you have ideas for cool new functions, criticism, praise, please write an email to feedback@idea-data.com
  • If you encounter any problems with our products you can contact our support at support@idea-data.com
  • Information and sales: If you need detailed information on our products or if you would like to have a quote for one our products or services please write a mail to info@idea-data.com

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Summer, Sunshine and the Sea – the show season already reached its peak and it is time for visiting Florida again.

The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is just around the corner and we are really excited to present the latest developments and features of IDEA YACHT 2019.3 at the FLIBS to you.

During the time of the 30th October – 3rd of November 2019 you will find us in the Yellow Zone at Yellow Zone at Superyacht Pavilion 723.

Apart from many detailed improvements of IDEA YACHT, such as the integration of a new Search UI, an extension of the onetime tasks and the improvement of the maintenance system itself, we released a new version of the IDEA App.

Therefore, we would like to provide you with the opportunity to have a first look at our updated UI with all its improvements and have a first glance at the App.

We are already looking forward to welcoming you at our booth to test our software, to discuss all the newest features and to chat about future solutions in person.

For appointments at the booth, please drop Carolin Eidecker (carolin.eidecker@idea-data.com) an email or contact us at info@idea-data.com.

Come and see us there!

Best regards,
Carolin Eidecker
(Sales Manager)

Newsletter September 2019

IDEA introduces new products and features at the MYS 2019

This year’s Monaco Yacht is about to start next week. From 25th September to 28th September, more than 580 exhibitors will present their newest product and development to the interested visitor. And IDEA will be no exception.
On our stand DS88 in Darse Sud, we will unveil some exciting new and long-awaited engineering functions for our bestselling software IDEA Yacht.
Additionally, we will introduce our latest addition to our product portfolio: IDEA FMP. This program will allow management companies and fleet owners alike to supervise all their managed vessels in a single user interface.
Another highlight will be our new Engineering App for IOS and Android. If this intrigued you, please visit us on our stand DS88. Our team will demonstrate all new developments and answer all questions you might have.

IDEA Roadmap 2020

As you might know, IDEA is constantly developing IDEA Yacht to meet the ever-changing requirements of the yachting industry and the last 18 months brought a lot of changes to our program, e.g. a new design, new purchasing, new log functions, just to name a few.
We would like to continue this in 2020 and already investigate new functions and improvements that might be a useful addition to IDEA Yacht. We also want to make sure that we are developing the right features for you as a client. Therefore, we created a very short survey to collect and evaluate your feedback

Newsletter August 2019

Paper manuals in digital times

In most industries you can observe a trend towards digitization. There is no global player who has not started strategic projects to transform their company to meet the requirements of the digital age. This trend is also true for the yachting industry. More and more of the documentation comes in digital form and needs to onboard a yacht when it leaves the shipyard. As a service provider we support the shipyards preparing the documentation for the crew. To achieve this we follow a proven process. You can read all about our work in our latest article.

Trending charts in IDEA

Good news for all the engineers out there: In July we started implementing a new feature in IDEA that was often requested by engineering departments and technical managers: trending charts.

With the scheduled release in September 2019 the engine room log gets new chart capabilities that allow filtering, custom charts and much more.

IDEA’s trending module

How to get started with IDEA’s new purchasing system

We have already mentioned it in the past: the support for our old product IDEA VIO is running out by the end of 2019. Seven years after the introduction of IDEA.NET and one year after the release of IDEA Yacht we will end the support for our beloved product.

The reason for this decision is mainly of technical nature. In terms of software development IDEA VIO is a dinosaur. The support for 3rd party tools and frameworks used within VIO was discontinued years ago by the manufacturers. For over 7 years after developments ceased we did our best to keep VIO fully operational, even on Windows 7. But now with the end of support for Windows 7 by Microsoft it is a task we cannot manage anymore. The technologies (frameworks, browser etc.) are changing so fast these days that VIO cannot be maintained anymore from our side.

You can continue using IDEA VIO and work with it like you have done for so many years, but we cannot guarantee compatibility to new systems like Windows 10 or mobile devices.

If you are interested in upgrading please contact us. We can provide you with detailed information on our latest product IDEA Yacht and the update process.

The new purchasing module in IDEA YACHT 2019.2

With IDEA YACHT 2019.2 the purchase and stock control got a major update, including new functions like budgets and custom purchase states. Below you will find a short overview of the changes – as always, you can get access to our public demo here.

First look

Starting page of the new purchase module

Above you see a screenshot of the new purchase order page which is now divided into two major parts. At the top, you will find the button to generate a new order (you can choose the type of the order as shown below).

Create a new order dialogue

You can also find a filter in the upper part of the page. This filter will search in all PO’s in your system and indicates the amount of matching records on the lower left side for each state.
Talking about the lower part – left hand you’ll have an overview about your states with the amount of PO’s inside, on the right hand all PO’s in the selected state is shown (highlighted in blue).

Create a new Project Order (PO)

If you create a new PO you need to enter the following data:

Wizard for a new PO

Please note that you can change this information later on the detail page of a purchase order if required.

Using the filter

Like mentioned before, the filter will always be applied to all your purchases in the system. You can just search for whatever you are looking for and see the number of matching records indicated in the lower-left corner.

New filter functionality

Editing the PO states

Purchase order states

With IDEA YACHT 2019.2 you are now able to set up your own purchase order workflow/states. The new management page is located in the Stock Control menu.

[!]Please note: To use the above-described function permission is required[!]

This page allows you to add/edit your purchase states using a simple grid. If you click on “Add New State” (top left corner) or on the blue arrow inside the detail column you will see the edit popup.
Please note that the first and the last state do not allow to receive items, required budget checks or approvals.

Allow to receive

“Allow to receive” defines that for this step everybody who can access this step can receive line items of the related purchase orders.
Please note: At least one of your purchase states should make use of the “Allow to receive” flag in order to complete a purchase order.

Approval

Approval Functionality

You can define if the step needs approval prior to proceeding with your purchase workflow. Every role member who has the corresponding right in the permission settings can approve:

Permission Management: Stock Control Module

Budget check

Purchase Order Details: Budget Check Activation

If the “Budget Check” flag is one, the related purchase will generate budget usage and in case the budget is exceeded will require approval before proceeding in your purchase process.

Please find additional information in the section below.

Purchase State Permissions

Purchase Order State Details: Purchase State Permissions

The “Select Position (Create)” permission defines which position can move an existing order to this step or create a new order in this step.
The “Select Position (Modify)” permission defines which position can move the order from this step or edit the order details.

Budget

You can access the budget configuration over the corresponding menu point:

How to work with budgets

Interval: Set an interval of how often the budget will be filled up (Cannot be changed after the first usage of the budget!)
Interval Unit: Days, weeks, month and year are available (Cannot be changed after the first usage of the budget!)
Amount: Setup the amount – it’s always in the vessel’s currency (See system settings)
Start Date: First occurrence of adding the amount to the budget. (Cannot be changed after the first usage of the budget!)
End Date: Last occurrence of adding the amount to the budget (leave empty for infinite repeat) (Cannot be changed after the first usage of the budget!)

Budget usage tab

To open the details of a budget, including the configuration and usage, please click the blue arrow in the overview grid. The budget usage tab offers a filter to search for a particular PO and directly jumps to the purchase order.

How to use budgets

The PO workflow

If you open a PO you’ll get the following view below which allows you to move the PO through your purchase workflow using the buttons on top:

State change for purchase orders

Approval

The below screenshot shows a pending approval indicated by the exclamation mark in your current step.

Approval screen for purchase orders

If your account does not have the corresponding right to approve this purchase order you still have the option to send a notification to other users to help you out.

Sending an approval request
Choosing a messaging group for the approval process

The notification can be checked in the “Home” menu with a direct link to the corresponding PO:

How to check a pending approval

Budget approval

Similar to the general approval, budget approval is necessary if the purchase order exceeds the currently available amount of the budget.
If your account does not have the corresponding right to approve this budget you still have the option to send a notification to other users to help you out:

Budget approval process

In case you have the permission to approve a budget you will see the following popup – left side provides a quick overview about the budget and on the right side you can see the resulting budget balance if you would approve:

Budget approval

Receive items

In the step that is defined to receive Items (allow to receive) the items can be received in full or partly:

How to receive an item

After clicking on the receive items button you can assign all items to their master storage or choose for each line item to which storage it shall be moved to:

Stock arrangement with the new purchase system

Discount

If you click on the blue arrow in the overview grid for an item you can alter the line item in various ways:

Discount functionality

Another new feature: a discount field where you can enter the % of the given discount for the line item.

Moving back one step

Move a step back

You have the option to move a step back according to your purchase workflow, this will reset any budget usage and might require you to approve this purchase order again.

Auto close purchase orders

[!]Please note that a PO with all items received will automatically be moved to the last step if the following setting is activated (by default)[!]

Auto close functionality

Invoices

The invoice tab allows you to track invoices for a purchase order including the related documents:

Invoice handling

In the detail view you can alter the invoice to your needs:

Adding invoice details

And add related documents to the invoice:

Add a copy of the related invoice

Download the pdf version of this news article here

How IDEA ensures that a client’s vessel does not leave a shipyard without proper documentation

Documentation (either paper or digital) is still an often underestimated but very important aspect of today’s superyachts with regards to class, flag, certification and regular surveys. Within this article, we will provide some of the details and challenges, which we as a company have seen over the past 18 years within the yachting industry.

Articles about digitization are dominating global business news. It is a constant buzzword in all media. This trend can be observed in the yachting industry, too. Most European shipyards started digitization activities in all parts of their businesses. In consequence, most of our documentation projects today require more digital than paper manuals compared to 12 months ago. Unfortunately, this is not the standard for all shipyards.

Therefore, the handling of ship documents remains a complex task, which is often outsourced by shipyards, because they lack the capacity to check, sort and digitize the documents. For them it is more cost-effective to contract an experienced specialist to manage this task and to ensure that all critical equipment like main engines and generators have proper documents.

Whenever IDEA takes over a new project, we define the scope of work, taking into consideration all onboard tasks such as the maintenance plan or spare parts import. We then introduce our standard procedure to the shipyard and negotiate the details. A single point of contact on both sides is one of the most important aspects of professional project management, but unfortunately, this is sometimes neglected.

During our kick-off meeting with the crew and shipyard representatives, we outline the exact scope of supply to set the right expectations on all sides. The most important tasks are:

  • the exact database specifications,
  • the project timeline for all contracted tasks
  • delivery dates for final database and documentation version.

This precise preparation of project plans and a clear, target-oriented communication for the duration of the project between the customer and us allows seamless delivery of projects.

On client side, a designated person is named to manage all documentation for this project. This person’s main task is to collect all documentation for received equipment and hand it over to IDEA. An experienced member of the IDEA Professional Services team is usually supporting the shipyard to ensure the best possible outcome of this process.

Constant communication between all parties and tracking of received and missing documentation during the project ensures that the documentation is in-line with the equipment on-board. Additional revision and monitoring allow both parties to easily compare and update documents. Revision monitoring is especially important, as suppliers have to issue updates to their documentation because of changes in these highly complex systems like propulsion and audio-video installation.

As soon as documents arrive from the shipyard or a supplier, the IDEA Professional Services team processes the documents internally immediately and uploads them to the IDEA Yacht installation, which is always hosted online during the build stage. This ensures that all documents are accessible by all parties (e.g. shipyard staff, crew, IDEA) at all times within IDEA YACHT.

Because of this process, each vessel leaves the shipyard with a complete set of digital and paper manuals in at least a preliminary version. Some of the manuals will receive an update only after the hand-over of the vessel. In this case, IDEA will deliver an update to the documentation 8 weeks after the delivery of the vessel.

The above-described workflow is based on our experience gained in over 18 years of project work for shipyards and management companies. We constantly revise the process with each new project to ensure that it reflects the requirements of our clients.

Newsletter July 2019

Summer season 2019 is in full swing and like all of our clients we are working hard to get things done and keep our valued customers happy.

As planned at the beginning of this year we are delivering our second major update in 2019. We used the past quarter to improve one of our core modules in IDEA Yacht: the stock control and purchasing system.
Besides these developments, we released the first version of our new product IDEA FMP (Fleetmanagement Portal) and made it available for selected companies for testing. The feedback we received is now used to optimize our product and finally start promoting it in the yachting industry.
Please find below more information about these topics.

A new look and improved functionality for Stock Control 2.0   

In about a week’s time, on 10.7.2019, we will release our second major update in 2019. The second update will present IDEA’s Stock Control Module in a new look. We improved the usability and added new functionalities that complement our stock control & purchasing module nicely.

Like in other parts of IDEA before, we now changed the purchasing overview to a server side grid that improves loading times drastically. At the same time, the view itself was modernized and filter options were added to make it easier to navigate a large number of POs in different states.

Purchasing

One of the greatest setbacks in this view until now has been the missing adaptability of IDEA’s PO workflow to internal vessels or management company workflows. With the new version, crew members and/or management can now add or rename purchase order states themselves to reflect their individual purchase order workflow.
With the revamp of the stock control module we introduce a budget and approval function for purchasing. Administrators can now create budgets for roles and/or departments to control expenses of the vessel.

Budget planning

These functions are complimented by improved stock management and stock history capabilities. Users can now reproduce all spare parts movements in detail. Every time the stock level of an item is changed, the change is tracked with amount, reason and person who triggered the change.
A complete list of all improvements and bug fixes can be found in our release notes, which will be available by the 10th of July.

Fleetmanagement

In February 2019 we started our journey to develop a fleet management portal that would be compatible with both our products, IDEA Yacht and IDEA SBA. This task was more complicated than initially anticipated and resulted in quite some development work, but we finally managed to release a first version that is able to cope with all our product databases and helps fleet managers to supervise their vessels.
Although we already have a working version out there, we are not tired of improving and bringing it up to the next level. To ensure these actions, we need you to test the FMP in order to generate Feedback and to drive enhancements forward.
The more feedback we get – the more useful features can be implemented into the FMP.
If fleet management sounds interesting to you, please feel free to contact us or request a demo access to FMP.

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