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Boosting Efficiency by Ditching Old-School Methods for New-Age Tech

MSFS has used whiteboards to track all their maintenance efforts, which proved to have flaws. With new tech, they improved their tracking by tenfold.

Top 3 Benefits

  • Single Hub Storing Data: Going from a whiteboard to digital has given MSFS a single spot to store all their maintenance history and important documents.  
  • Maintenance Hours Tracking: Vessel Vanguard allows quick access to reports on completed work, hours invested, and pending tasks.  
  • Smooth Transition: Vessel Vanguard quickly onboarded MSFS, populating the system with all their fleet’s information and necessary documents. 

We knew the preventative maintenance was getting done on our vessels, but tracking maintenance hours, part requisitions and installations was always a study in patience. Now we have it all at the click of a button.”

Legacy Whiteboards

The Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS), a vital part of the Department of Transportation, ensures year-round passenger and vehicle ferry service to six islands in the mid-coast region of Maine—Frenchboro, Islesboro, Matinicus, North Haven, Swan’s Island, and Vinalhaven—operating from three mainland terminals in Rockland, Bass Harbor, and Lincolnville. 

In 2018, upon Mark Higgins’ appointment as the Ferry Services Manager, one of his primary objectives was to transition maintenance methods from traditional whiteboards and handwritten checklists to a more automated system. 

Jim Savoy, Assistant Ferry Port Engineer for MSFS, highlighted the challenges: “We had no straightforward method to monitor maintenance actions across the fleet. Due dates, schedules, lists, and corrective actions were manually recorded on whiteboards and paper-based weekly checklists. Recognizing the value of digital maintenance solutions, Mark and I sought a more efficient approach.”

Embracing SaaS for Efficiency

In November 2019, supported by a federal grant, MSFS adopted Vessel Vanguard, a cloud-based computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) as a solution. Vessel Vanguard, a Software as a Service (SaaS) application, integrates maintenance tracking, log management, work order management, and reporting tools. Its offline syncing feature enables updated runtimes, viewing, and completing maintenance history without an internet connection. 

Regarding the implementation process, Jim explained, “Vessel Vanguard took charge of populating the system with our vessel information, including user manuals, drawings, documentation, maintenance schedules, and spare parts recommendations. Within three days, they gathered all necessary data from our entire fleet, and after verification, we were ready to proceed.” 

Despite a short learning curve on the optimal use of tablets versus laptops, MSFS successfully implemented the system. Despite some delays due to the pandemic in 2020, all 12 engineers and 12 captains now utilize iPads with the Vessel Vanguard maintenance solution, while key personnel have desktop/laptop solutions.

Long-Term Results

Jim emphasized the visibility benefits of the computerized preventative maintenance system, catering to everyone from captains and engineers to the MSFS Advisory Board. The system provides a streamlined approach to tracking maintenance hours, allowing quick access to reports on completed work, hours invested, and pending tasks. 

The transition to electronic record-keeping has been smooth for captains and engineers, with Jim acknowledging the essential role of customer service during the adjustment period. He expressed satisfaction with the system, stating, “We are still uncovering the ways in which the computerized preventative system can assist us, but I am more than pleased with the system thus far. It precisely addresses our needs, streamlining maintenance tasks and bolstering our operational efficiency, services, and safety.” 

About Vessel Vanguard

Vessel Vanguard, a leading marine safety and maintenance software provider, is dedicated to revolutionizing the maritime industry. Committed to innovation, we deliver solutions to streamline operations and enhance vessel performance. Our proactive maintenance approach reduces downtime, ensures warranty compliance, schedules preventive maintenance, and keeps parts ready. Protect yourself, your crew, your operation, and asset value with Vessel Vanguard. 

To learn more, schedule a demo today at www.vesselvanguard.com/demo

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