General Manager, John Slattery, explains how the SparesCNX operation team spends time onboard vessels, working hand in hand with engineering teams to ensure their flagship product, PROPELLER, is meaningfully implemented and supported.
Implementation and adoption of SaaS solutions is a huge obstacle for tech companies distributing in this fashion. Since the inception of Spares CNX, we have been very focused on bucking the trend and making sure that we land our solution properly.
As a result, the SparesCNX solution is a combination of a very high-touch implementation process that extends right into the physical spaces onboard, with a proprietary hardware and software product that is very much built-for-purpose.
The level of technical knowledge required to realise the full value of the world’s increasingly sophisticated pieces of professional technology can often prove difficult to impart on the teams on the ‘coal-face’ which need to use this tech day-to-day. Especially when these digital workflows are supporting manual processes like engine maintenance or bespoke purchasing.
Tool-tips, training videos, user guides all have their place, but stickiness and adoption is a major concern for any software business.
It is with this in mind that we decided to essentially provide a software, hardware, and manpower based solution.
“This focus on building the product within the physical environment, for the physical environment, means that we have been able to side-step a common malady of the SaaS world which is the often vast delta between the practical application of tech conceptualised in airconditioned rooms (miles away from the workplace that stands to benefit) and the people and environment for which it is designed.”
Implementation for us involves our operations teams spending time onboard vessels, working hand in hand with engineering teams, to ensure that the solution is meaningfully implemented, and subsequently maintained and supported.
Our teams come in and reorganise spares rooms according to a standard which is uniform for that vessel class, meaning that ship owners and managers can benefit from consistent spare parts management SOPs across their entire fleet.
The implications of this go beyond just procurement efficiencies and reduced maintenance times (on account of the ease of location of parts), but into quicker vessel turnover times, shorter and more painless biannual spares reconciliation, and by virtue of the fact that companies will enjoy standardisation across their fleet, reduced the levels of difficulty experienced by onboard teams in what is undeniably an already very challenging environment to work in. Our main aim is to provide accuracy on part’s location, movement, and consumption.
We really aim to take ownership over as much of the process as we can, so that ship owners and managers can rest easy that the change management component of these upgrades to their tech stack will be as seamless as possible to their tech stack, and require a minimum of strain on their resources.
This principle of ownership also gets into the heart of the physical product. Rather than using 3rd party APIs to have the device speak to the RFID scanner, for example, we are writing code directly to the scanner from the application layer. We avoid using off-the-shelf middleware to achieve this and this gives us an edge on performance over our peers.
We (and most importantly our product teams) have had the opportunity to spend thousands of hours on board, testing numerous combinations of software and hardware alongside the very teams that will be using the product.
This focus on building the product within the physical environment, for the physical environment means that we have been able to side-step a common malady of the SaaS world which is the often vast delta between the practical application of the tech conceptualised in airconditioned rooms (miles from the workplace the product is intended to benefit) and the people and environment for which it is designed.
Moreover, our Head of Operations, who oversees all implementations and maintenance of the solution, spent years in the industry before he worked in technology. This insight is instrumental to our ability to implement quickly and effectively.
I am incredibly proud of our whole team and the progress that has been made on the product, and I am excited to be talking to potential customers about what we can do for their businesses.