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  • Melvin Mathews

Affordable care for shipping – “Yes we care”

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Affordable Care Act (ACA) was brought in to increase overall healthcare and expand medical coverage for all. Under the act signed on 23rd March 2010, hospitals and primary healthcare centres would transform financially, technologically, and clinically to drive better health outcomes, lower costs, and improve their methods of distribution and accessibility. When you look at relative parallels in the shipping industry, you will realise you don’t need to look far.

We sat down at a desk a few years ago to introspect on how we were doing. We realised that we had fantastic technology, we were certain we brought value to our customers and the impression we got was that they looked at us as partners. But in 10 years we had our solutions only on about 300 ships. When we dug deeper we found that we were quickly adopted by customers who had cruise ships and LNG ships. Their willingness to pay even half a million dollars for our entire portfolio of solutions on a ship indicated without doubt that they saw value and a return on investment. But this also clearly meant they had the money to invest.

When we looked at why other shipping segments which formed the majority i.e., bulk carriers, container vessels, offshore vessels, etc., they did not opt for our system despite being convinced of promising results such as business efficiency, operational performance improvements, enhanced visibility and transparency, etc. It was naturally obvious that vessels in these segments could certainly benefit from performance systems, but the owners did not have the capital to invest due to prolonged downturn making them strapped for cash.

The principle question that arose as a business was, did we care about these segments? And the overwhelming response was clear “Yes we cared”. We brainstormed long and hard on what we could do. The downturn we could do nothing about. But what we had is sound technology and deep knowhow, which we could somehow use smartly to help these segments who needed it the most. Therefore, we said let’s do something about it, with what we know and what we are good at. Whatever we create should:

1) Be affordable to those who don’t have large capital reserves

2) Be a service that brings value to their business

3) Be flexible so they can start or terminate at any time

4) Be simple without complicated installations

5) Be accessible to all irrespective whether they are charterer, owner or trader

And that is exactly what we did. We created a value-for-money solution for shipping or the 'Skylight'. A solution that at a fraction of the cost, is a subscription based service, easy to install and flexible enough, while adding value to business. We are excited about what we set out to do and we are proud of its success in providing access and value to all. What we indeed created albeit unknowingly was the ‘Affordable care for shipping’.

For the shipping industry this means:

  • Improve the overall performance by being accessible to all ships, and

  • Expand the benefits of efficiency, visibility, transparency and insights to across the entire industry.

If you have any doubts, lay them to rest because – “Yes we care”.

Let me know your thoughts

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