If you move products by barge, we speak your language. At Helm (formerly Edoc Systems Group), we have extensive experience with coastal and river barging companies, companies on the US Inland Waterway System, and with offshore transportation firms. We understand the unique challenges of managing barge fleets, whether on blue water or brown.
Some of your issues
The barging industry runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there are no holidays. The boats never stop moving. Dispatchers are always on call, and accessible via cell phone, to handle irregularities or issues that might arise, day or night - talking to customers, tankermen, the docks, and the boats, so that the captains know that as they pass a point on the river, if there is a barge for pickup, it can be arranged. Sometimes pickup can be missed, and must be handled. Accidents or river conditions are top of mind in case they interrupt a tow, and dispatchers must determine how handle these scenarios, and constantly inform customers about what's going on with their product.
Solve this with Helm Dispatch Manager ™
Helm Dispatch Manager™ helps everything run smoothly, boost communication with the vessels, and allows dispatchers to keep track of all assets. More importantly, it's an effective tool for keeping customers up to date with the status of their loads.
Invoices regularly come in for expenses, which need to be input into the system, so they can be associated with the proper job and billed to the customer, to be reimbursed. All re-billable expenses must be accounted for before sending an invoice to the customer. Once that's completed, clerks must then send the information to accounts receivable to generate invoices for customers for jobs which have been completed.
Sometimes additional re-billable items that should have been associated with that job are discovered late and the customer must be contacted to let them know they will need to pay an additional expense for the job. Having to tell the customer that the tankerman charges weren’t included, or a heater charge wasn’t on the invoice, is not a good day and doesn't lead to good customer relationships.
Solve this with Helm Dispatch Manager ™
Helm Dispatch Manager™ helps ensure that billing doesn't receive late invoices, and all re-billable items are accounted for prior to invoicing the customer.
Anticipating mechanical problems that disrupt the availability of a tug is critical, but when something does break down, quick action is necessary in order to get the boat back in service as soon as possible while controlling the costs in the process. Dealing with any inspection discrepancies, and the incredible amount of paperwork can also add stress to any maintenance manager's job.
Solve this with Helm Maintenance Manager ™
Helm Maintenance Manager™ was developed to mitigate unplanned breakdowns and to develop a consistent, efficient maintenance routines.
Safety and Compliance
It’s an ongoing challenge to saying what you do, doing what you say and proving it. There are seemingly endless amounts of data to manage with your safety management system and the growing list of compliance requirements from customers and regulators need to be consistently updated and applied to your fleet. But at the end of the day, it’s about mitigating risk to your organization, by protecting your people, your vessels and your customer relationships.
Solve this with Helm CONNECT HSQE
Helm CONNECT HSQE succeeds in mitigating risk to your organization by unifying the safety and compliance goals of your shore-side personnel and your vessels.
Other ways Helm can help…
Simple things like exchanging information between vessels and head office, managing crew supply requests, maintaining proper vessel maintenance, juggling multiple jobs and controlling purchasing costs, can all be handled by one automated system. With Helm MOS, you can:
- Instantly receive information from your vessels
- Calculate billing automatically based on sophisticated billing algorithms customized for your company
- Improve cashflow due to faster invoicing
- Have crucial management reports at your fingertips
- Have a simple, onboard system where your crew can enter information and your onshore staff can get a real-time window into operations
- Easily plan out weeks or months ahead to maximize your vessel utilization
- Get a bird’s eye view of all your operations
- Quickly produce reports for government or external regulatory auditors
- Wow your customers by satisfying all their requirements