Clipper

Clipper is one of the leading shipping groups in the world. The company operates a large fleet of handysize through panamax vessels as well as a number of subsidiary businesses, including Clipper Steel Services, Compass Rose Shipping and Clipper Interamerican Carriers.

With offices all over the world and 230 ashore-based staff Clipper manages approximately 175 ships. Clipper owns about half of the 175 vessels they manage and 30 vessels are in in-house technical management.

In addition to bulk, Clipper has investments in project (multipurpose), tankers and cruise vessels, as well as in ferry and ro-ro services and non-maritime business.

In 2010 Clipper found themselves challenged by a situation where they were operating with a fleet management system that did not meet their flexibility requirements. Furthermore, they experienced that their supplier at the time was not focusing on the customer and the customer’s needs. This meant that the customer - in this case Clipper - had to adapt to the system instead of adapting the system to Clipper. In the end this was a critical criteria for seeking out a new supplier of a fleet management system.

Naturally, the new system that Clipper was searching for also had to match modern day challenges and managerial focus points. The system had to assist Clipper in steering towards a leaner and more efficient shipping company.

After a thorough search and evaluation of systems on the market - the choice landed on Sertica. The critical point for choosing Sertica was the flexibility that Sertica and the company behind the product - Logimatic - offers. Sertica is a modular system, that can be adjusted to fit the specific customers’ needs, and this was a decisive aspect for Clipper.

In addition to the system’s flexibility a good cooperation with the supplier was of the utmost importance. Clipper’s expectations were more than satisfied. “In changing to Sertica as our fleet management system, we experienced a good implementation process. We set a target and we reached it - even before our deadline.” states Jesper S. Jensen, Head of Clipper Fleet Management.

Daily operations

Besides standard functions in the Sertica Maintenance, Fleet Management and Procurement solutions, Clipper uses a range of additional customized functions and modules. Some functions are related to the daily maintenance and operating tasks on board the vessels - others are related to the tasks handled at the offices - and some are supporting and enhancing the dialogue and the sharing of documents between offices and vessels.

One of the most important issues within the maritime industry is safety and Clipper also has a strong focus on this area. Clipper uses the Sertica Event Reporting Module to ensure uniform reporting in relation to e.g. ‘accidents’, ‘incidents’ or ‘near misses’. The module further makes it possible for Clipper to extract business intelligence data which can be used for analyzing the current situation and also for knowledge sharing within the company. “Ultimately this means improved KPI’s with regard to safety and ISM related operating issues” Erik Ankjær Carlsen, Head of crewing - SQE, concludes.  

Daily operations at Clipper also involve handling certificates and other documentation. Serticas Document Management module secures that the newest version of these documents are always available. This means that all commercial operators, as well as ship and technical staff, operate with the newest documents - no matter where they are located.

In relation to the suppliers Clipper uses Sertica Connect - a web-based pricing portal that connects buyer and supplier in a one-to-one private communication regarding pricing and delivery details. Through Sertica Connect Clipper has direct access to and contact with its suppliers - thus eliminating any intermediaries that can delay or make the process more expensive. Jesper S. Jensen elaborates: “We own the process and through this we can secure a lean and efficient order processing resulting in lower operating expenses. The crew can now be involved in the workflow and become a part of the daily operations.” Jesper S. Jensen sums up: ”Sertica in general ensures efficient and uniform processes which results in higher quality and lower costs for the owner. Meanwhile we can empower the crew on the vessels further and to a much higher extent involve them in the decision processes.“

Managerial focus points

A frequently used buzz word in business circles today is “LEAN”. But what does it actually mean for a company like Clipper? In part it means creating new processes and converting existing processes within the company securing that unnecessary and time-consuming tasks are eliminated. This also means that implementing and operating an efficient and flexible fleet management system like Sertica is an important step towards reaching one of a company’s main goals – to lower operating costs. The keyword here is efficiency.

Clipper wanted to shorten the Value Chain and narrow-in the distance between the vessels and the offices. Sertica proved to be just the tool for achieving this. Sertica empowers the employees by providing them with efficient management software that makes it easy to exchange data across the fleet and between vessels and offices. Sertica narrows the distance between vessel and management and helps to secure efficiency.

The ultimate goal of any company is to maximize return on investment. Through close cooperation with the customer and by providing a flexible solution that fits the company’s needs, Sertica provides a modern and efficient fleet management solution that will serve as a key part in maximizing bottom line profit. “It is difficult to measure some of the financial outcomes of a system like Sertica, but Sertica definitely has a positive impact on our bottom line. No doubt about it.” says Jesper S. Jensen.

"Sertica ensures efficient and uniform processes which results in higher quality and lower costs for the owner."

Jesper S. Jensen
Senior Vice President

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