Marine software company Helm Operations has announced that Houma, LA-based Dupre Marine Transportation is the first company to go live with its newly-launched Helm CONNECT Personnel software for crew management and payroll. Dupre Marine is just one of several marine companies which have signed on for the new product since its launch in mid-June.
Helm CONNECT Personnel is the latest addition to the Helm CONNECT platform, which covers all aspects of marine operations from vessel dispatch, chartering, and invoicing, to maintenance, compliance, and now personnel management, crew scheduling, and payroll. Today, nearly 3,000 vessels around the world use Helm CONNECT, making it the most widely used marine software platform in North America.
Dupre Marine Transportation is a Houma, Louisiana-based tow boat operator specialising in petrochemical transportation. The seven-boat company is known for its cutting-edge approach to data digitalization and efficient vessel management using software systems.
“While we often think of larger companies as the ones driving the pace of the industry, Dupre Marine Transportation is a really great example of how smaller fleet operators are taking advantage of new technology to implement efficient operations,” said Rachel Aylard, Helm’s Product Manager for Helm CONNECT Personnel, who has worked closely with Dupre over the past several years.
An early adopter of the Helm CONNECT platform, Dupre Marine began with Helm CONNECT Maintenance and Compliance in 2016.
“Our old system was difficult for our vessel staff to navigate, and we were still using paper for many of our forms and inspections. Since implementing Helm CONNECT, we’ve become a more efficient, better organised operator, and have improved communication with our vessels. We now have better insight into what’s happening on the boats and can easily see what’s being done and when it’s being done,” said Calvin Self, Operations Manager.
When Helm CONNECT Personnel became available, Dupre saw it as a perfect fit to further streamline its business operations. “Instead of using Excel to manage crew changes, we can now see everything in one system, including who’s on which boat, who’s already scheduled to work, and who has a conflict. The transparency for the crew is also a huge win. Changes don’t get lost in emails and the crew can log into Helm CONNECT and see everything instantly,” said Mr Self.
According to Ms Aylard, that’s exactly why her company released Helm CONNECT Personnel. “We built Helm CONNECT Personnel to help companies stay on top of their crew certifications and training requirements, spend less time managing the crewing on and off their vessels, and better communicate from shore to vessel in real time.
“With Helm CONNECT Personnel, shore staff can clearly see who’s already scheduled to work, who has time off, or who is missing the required certifications for a job. They can also manage payroll. At the same time, crew can easily be notified about any changes, accurately track their time onboard, and manage their leave banks.”
It’s an approach, she says, that has resonated with the industry and with both large and small operators. “We’ve had a huge response from the industry, both in using the system and helping us build out additional functionality. We’re thrilled to have Dupre up and running as our first customer on the software and we’ve already got a number of operators ready to get going with Helm CONNECT Personnel, from smaller operators like Dupre to larger operators like Foss. It’s exciting to help so many companies implement systems that will improve their operations, and we’re looking forward to growing our product from here.”