Registered pilots are indispensable in the port. They ensure that seagoing vessels with crew and cargo arrive at or leave the port safely. A responsible job because a small mistake can have disastrous consequences.
Nederlands Loodswezen B.V. (NLBV) is the organisation that specifically focuses on supporting marine pilots in carrying out their profession. Its services consist of transporting pilots to and from seagoing vessels in the Netherlands and in the Flemish ports on the Scheldt. In addition, they carry out various administrative tasks for the benefit of the pilots’ proper business operations.
Safety is high on the agenda at NLBV. After all, it is about the well-being of employees, but also about the continuity of work. Incidents and accidents on the shop floor, apart from their impact on the employee himself, have a (major) impact on the team and the organisation as a whole. At the NLBV, the main focus for reporting accidents is the Sailing Department. This service staffs the NLBV vessels used to transport pilots, spread across the four regions: Noord, Amsterdam-IJmond, Rotterdam-Rijnmond and Scheldemonden.
Learning from incidents, should they occur, is an important part of this. To do this, it is necessary that incidents are easily reported and, where necessary, followed up and analysed so that lessons can be learned.
We spoke to Silvia Linssen, Quality and Safety advisor, and Monique Klerx, Functional Application Manager for Zenya and others, about their choice for Zenya and how it supports their organisation’s learning capacity.
Until a few years ago, NLBV used Microsoft Access as a registration tool for incidents. Silvia and her colleague kept track of the status of incidents in this system. However, this working method did not provide sufficient support for learning from incidents. Access was not easy to use for looking up and keeping track of incidents (and the status), not to mention the recording.
When, to make things worse, the database crashed in 2016 and they lost all their data until then, it really was time to switch to an incident management system. NLBV first draws up a business case for this type of expenditure before issuing a tender. Infoland was allowed to make a proposal together with 2 other suppliers.
How did the choice eventually fall on Zenya, then still iProva?
Silvia says: “Of course, you always have to deal with the costs. Infoland was a good choice in this respect, but in the end the fact that it met our wishes and requirements for 90% was the deciding factor.
Within NLBV we sometimes make our own tools, because it can then fully meet our requirements, but then you lose a lot of time on the last 10% and on management.”
“That is the beauty of Zenya FLOW,” adds Monique. “It is a standard system that is managed by Infoland. On the one hand, this means that not all our wishes can always be met, but on the other hand, you take the management off our hands.
“On the other hand, the system is set up in such a way that we can personalise certain things, such as setting up a portal. And we can adjust the set-up of a workflow exactly as we like it; it is as flexible as if it were custom-made,” Monique continues.
Silvia says: “Creating an incident has become much easier. Because fields are pre-filled based on the location, for example, you don’t have to fill them in yourself as much. That is already a quick win. I had expected that the number of incident reports would increase, but that hasn’t really been the case.”
“For my role, Zenya FLOW also offers quite a few advantages. For example, everyone can see the status of an incident and its handling. I don’t have to do anything for that, how wonderful! They can also use dashboards to see what is happening whenever they want. So joining a meeting on-site to give insights into this, is no longer necessary” Silvia explains.
“Moreover, the system transfers incidents to the right people for handling or taking action; I don’t have to keep calling and emailing and doing it again later to chase them. Incidents no longer remain on a desk for days or weeks, they are dealt with much faster.”
What does this deliver for Silvia now? “Effectively, it means that I can again be much more engaged in the substantive side of my job, instead of the administrative hassle of keeping track of incidents. That is the real gain for me. Zenya supports us to learn better from incidents and thus ensure safety.”
When asked how staff experience using Zenya, Silvia replies, “We don’t hear them about it so then it’s good. Only when something doesn’t work well, you hear them.”
NLBV makes some 55,000 sailing hours a year. Yet only about 100 incidents a year are reported. So it is fair to say that safety is between the ears, which is why you might ask, can it get any safer?
“With us, safety is indeed paramount. That also means that if an incident occurs, it is resolved first. Equipment and people are brought to safety, help is called in if necessary and once back on shore, the incident is put into Zenya FLOW,” Silvia explains.
NLBV thus approaches incident management from the retrospective side; incidents are reported so that lessons can be learned from them, or so that improvement measures can be taken to prevent a similar incident in the future. This is also why they do not use the Zenya Capture App, although more and more employees on sailing duty are asking for it.
“We want the colleagues on the sailing service to concentrate on the work, on what is happening at that moment, and not on reporting the incident. Of course it’s nice if they can take and add photos immediately and they all have iPads on board NLBV vessels, but I’m not yet convinced that they should be able to make a report on that. They can do that just fine when they are ashore, in the office or at home. But never say never, who knows, I might change my mind in the future,” Silvia says.
Nederlands Loodswezen B.V. manages its own set-up in Zenya. Monique is responsible for this: “The first implementation was done with Kelly and Ron from Infoland, but now we actually do it all ourselves. Like modifying or setting up workflows and managing users.
Creating and modifying workflows works really easy for me, other systems are often much more complicated.”
“And if I can’t figure it out, I fire off a ticket to Infoland’s Service Desk and it’s actually always dealt with quickly. The contact is also always pleasant, the lines of communication are short. Sometimes it’s a bit of a puzzle with user management, but I’m used to that. Once you get the hang of it, it always works out,” says Monique.
This is where both ladies see Zenya’s advantage for other organisations: it is user-friendly, both for user and administrator. You can set up your own workflows, making it feel like customisation, but with the benefits of a standard software package. So you don’t have to limit yourself to incident management, you can put a variety of workflows in here. And that benefits every organisation!
The brochure on Zenya FLOW shows you how this powerful incident management system can be deployed so that your organisation can learn from reports and implement improvement actions.
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