After Testing Records Technology Waters, Tug and Barge Company Jumps In.
Shortly after Florida Marine Transporters CIO Don Carlton installed an electronic records management system for Kimberly Hidalgo, the tow service company’s head of Compliance, he suspected there might be other department heads interested in the new software. But, when Hidalgo’s department cut dozens of hours every week from staff time spent pulling paperwork from rooms full of filing cabinets while also automating complex administrative operations with the new system, Carlton knew all department heads would be interested.
“So, we decided to go big with Laserfiche ECM,” Carlton said, referring to the new system. “I didn’t appreciate where this technology could ultimately take the company, but now that we see the way it is unfolding, we’re not thinking about where it can be deployed next, but when.”
Twelve months ago, when Florida Marine purchased RIO – the most comprehensive system Laserfiche offers – it originally opened it to just 25 of its 1,000 employees. Today more than 200 employees are logging on in the company’s three largest departments: Compliance, Dry Cargo and Fluid Cargo. With another 75 employees expected to be up-and-running by the end of the year, Carlton is now pushing to have the system working companywide as fast as possible.
FMT Embraces ECM
Florida Marine’s decision to move into electronic records technology was in part prompted by the sheer volume faced by Hidalgo’s Compliance Department. With Florida Marine’s 80 tugs and 200 barges pulling or pushing petroleum products through the country’s most challenging rivers and channels, Compliance responds to a flood of records requests from client auditors and government regulators. It was expected that converting those rooms full of paper records into electronic images would be an enormous time saver because those images could then be instantly accessed from anywhere from a centralized computer server.
However, the system also came with added software features that Carlton was eyeing when originally negotiating the RIO contract with national Laserfiche reseller Complete Paperless Solutions. For example, the system’s Workflow module offered the company the capacity to automatically forward all those Compliance Department records to auditors and regulators upon request. No more pulling, copying, scanning, emailing or snail-mailing paper files for Compliance Department staff. “We had no idea that we could so reliably automate multi-step administrative functions,” Hidalgo said. “It gave us a whole new prospective on what this technology can do for Florida Marine.”
That perspective can best be summed up as the difference between electronic records management, the technology Florida Marine was originally looking to adopt, and enterprise content management, the technology now being rolled out throughout the entire company. It’s the latter concept that Complete Paperless Solutions, (CPS) introduced to Florida Marine, Carlton says.
Instead of just turning paper records into electronic images for increased ease of access, enterprise content management uses software to move those digitized documents throughout an organization, turning the manual passing of paperwork from person to person to the computerized flow of information from decision-maker to decision-maker. It not only allows for email alerts for those decision makers, it has security features that can be automated to accommodate changing access requirements, automated indexing for ease of filing when those electronic images are archived, and automated document destruction schedules at the end of the required lifespan of those archives.
Beyond Compliance: logistics & operations
As the new system successfully navigated the channels in Hidalgo’s Compliance Department, it was expanded next into the company’s Fluid Cargo Department. Florida Marine specializes in transporting oil and gas industry-related cargo, so nearly every moving part and flowing fluid on each of the barges and tugs it operates is monitored around-the-clock. As those tugs and barges pass through the most crowded shipping lanes in the country, their movements are also closely monitored. Inspection reports on all aspects of those operations are a daily routine that is now increasingly being automated at Florida Marine. “If you do inspections on boats now, they automatically get routed to the appropriate people without someone having to make the decision of who gets what,” Carlton says. “We’re no long relying on somebody physically routing these records, the system does all the routing and filing for us.”
Taking advantage of other software modules in the new system, all the forms those inspections fill are now available on tablets carried by ship staff or port captains, eliminating another enormous source of paper from Florida Marine’s operations. This is opening the door to taking the nation’s third largest in-land tug and barge services company completely paperless, in what is one of the world most paper-laden industries, Carlton says. “We used to have cabinets and cabinets full of paper. We were killing trees by the thousands,” he says. “Now we have all the forms electronically, weather on computer or mobile device. They are all right there. No more printing them out and carrying them around.”
That’s why Carlton wants the system installed companywide as soon as possible. Florida Marine’s training department and its vessel maintenance yards are being sized up for the system, as are accounts payable and personnel. Deck hands, tankermen, and captains are all expected to make use of the system. The speed of the roll out has been greater than either Carlton or Hidalgo expected, and training has been training required for officers and staff in each of the departments. Carlton credits Complete Paperless Solutions with its ability to get department heads comfortable enough with the new system to move their staff onto it and start building workflows of their own.
CPS credits Florida Marine with understanding early the potential of the system and being aggressive in rolling it out once they felt comfortable using it. “It’s unusual to see a project move so fast, but they are pretty doggone good over at Florida Marine,” says CPS president Tom Ziencina. “Caution is important when making a move like this but when Florida Marine got the hang of it, they had the institutional knowledge to rapidly expand it throughout the company getting a much quicker return on their investment in the process.”
Carlton says being willing to delegate and get staff directly involved in the process has been a big part of that. Weekly training sessions with CPS have enabled staff in Human Resources to build their own workflows involved in the new-hire on-boarding process. Hidalgo estimates Florida Marine has about 40 workflows in place now and there does not appear to be any facet of operations that can’t, in some way, be streamlined through the new system. Still, Carlton says, the company is taking it step-by-step.
“We’re taking very fast steps,” he says. “There’s so much that we can do, now it’s just a matter of making sure that we get the maximum benefit available from the system from each department before we move onto the next department.” That includes the boats. Five of Florida Marine’s vessels have Laserfiche installed into on-board computers allowing them to share with land-based operations real-time information on the activities of each. However, the vessels still rely on cellular communications networks to transmit ship-board data and in some of the farther reaches of the Mississippi watershed, service can be spotty. That has Florida Marine considering prospects of one-day using ship-board satellite communications, but that may not be coming as quickly, as so many other aspects of Florida Marine’s operations are being lined up for conversion to the new system.
Real Utility, Real Savings
“We started out saving hundreds of staff hours every month and we might now be saving that every week,” Hidalgo says. “It’s been transformational for us, and while it’s been just a year, we’re starting to wonder how we ever got along under the old paper-based system.” The transformation has not escaped the attention of the family-owned business which has expanded almost as rapidly as the new Laserfiche system. Last year alone, Florida Marine commissioned four new tugs and one of those vessels, the M/V Kimberly Hidalgo, is scheduled to be christened in December. No doubt, when it is delivered, it will be that much more efficient, with the help the Laserfiche ECM system.
(As published in the December 2014 edition of Marine News - http://magazines.marinelink.com/Magazines/MaritimeNews)
Joseph B. Shiffert, president of North Florida Shipyards at Commodores Point in Jacksonville, Fla., has announced recent appointments to expand and strengthen the yard's extensive services to ship operators. Albert A. White has joined North Florida Shipyards as production manager and assistant to
where the nation’s intermodal equation and the infrastructure to more efficiently move freight is coming together. And, not a moment too soon.North Florida Mega Port, almostAllison Magrath is the Senior Land Planner at Kimley-Horn in Gainesville, Florida. She was Industrial Development Manager -
Coastal Tug & Barge, Inc., Miami, Fla., recently announced the completion of its newest tug, the Coastal Florida. The innovative design of this motor vessel incorporates the latest advances in marine engineering into Coastal's towing services. The 90-foot-long, 4,000-horsepower class vessel is
Government and industry will join forces on October 1 to create an oil spill on the waters of Florida's Cypress Gardens tourist attraction. That's the "bad" news. The good news is that they will clean it right up. This dramatic exercise in coping with hazardous spills is to be part of the 7 th Annual
every two days and from Miami every five days, with transit times to San Juan of less than four days. Northbound sailings from San Juan to Florida are available every second day. A fifth sister barge will be integrated into TMT's Florida/Puerto Rico operations in March. "By introducing these
treatment other than near-freezing cold treatment at sea in containers for at least 14 days to prevent fruit flies from maturing. That’s because both the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) take fruit fly interdiction
for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division and Marcos Daniel Jimenez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced that three senior cruise ship engineers were indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami, Fla., for their role in concealing the overboard dum
. Turning to corporate finance, Mr. Moran was appointed assistant vice president of finance in 1973. With Moran's acquisition of the Florida Towing Company in 1976, he was named vice president and general manager of the Jacksonville, Fla., firm. In 1981, Governor Bob Graham of Florida
The Southeast Section of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers inducted the newly formed Student Section from the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Fla., into SNAME at a recent section meeting. This is the second official student section to be established in the Southeast
Marine Lines in 1971 to work in the sales department at the New York office. A graduate of Georgetown University, he was appointed vice president of Florida Towing Company in Jacksonville when that firm was acquired by Moran in 1976. He returned to New York in 1983 to become manager of Moran's Barge
also held positions in operations, special projects, labor relations and subsidiary management. In 1980, he was appointed assistant vice president of Florida Towing Co., and in 1982 he became vice president and general manager. Moran's Jacksonville operating company has since been renamed Moran Towing
systems. In Swiftships; two tugs with Eastern; four tugs with Nichols addition to its standard product line, the company also Brothers Boat Builders; Florida Marine’s David Goin from specializes in designing and manufacturing castings, fabri- Steiner Shipyard; Osage Marine’s Frank Mellor from Mas- cations
one hundred Credit: WindServe Marine series (built at Eastern Shipbuilding, in Florida) and its Vard multipurpose vessels (built at the same yard) include a European expertise will be vital for the U.S. However, pair built for Harvey Marine. Its designs are also found in as activity ramps up on the U.S.
? ed natural gas bunker articulated tug and barge for owner Q-LNG and under long-term contract with Shell to deliver LNG fuel for various ports in Florida and the Caribbean. The barge is designed to carry 4,000 cubic me- ters of LNG, with dimensions of 324’ x 64’ x 32’.6”. The 5,100 horsepower is 128’
and The shipyard has recently delivered the 70th and ? nal the goal to provide economical ship repair services is the towboat in a series for Florida Marine Transporters, three benchmark behind the Detyens Shipyards creed, “Cus- tugs form McAllister Towing and another tug pair for E.N. tomer before
one hundred Marine News (ISSN#1087-3864) (USPS#013-952) Marine News August 2020 Volume 31 Number 8 Florida: 215 NW 3rd St., Boynton Beach, FL 33435 tel: (561) 732-4368; fax: (561) 732-6984 New York: 118 E. 25th St., New York, NY 10010 tel: (212) 477-6700; fax: (212) 254-6271 4HE
, SURVEYING AND DRAFTING SERVICES 2300 Marsh Point Road #303 552 MacArthur Blvd. Bourne, MA 02532 (617)884-8420 • (888)DRY-DOCK Neptune Beach, Florida 32266 Naval Architects, Marine Designers and Consultants www.crandalldrydock.com 19399 Helenbirg Road Suite 203 Covington, LA 70433 (904) 221-7447
experience and so it seemed natural to start his own Trinity House Navigation School, the UK’s maritime training school in his new home state of Florida. only Nautical school. Upon graduation he Seven Seas Preparatory Academy is a young but expanding M was selected for a deck cadet apprenticeship
• Regulatory Liaison • Inspectons and Surveys DESIGN, CONSULTING, SURVEYING AND DRAFTING SERVICES 2300 Marsh Point Road #303 Neptune Beach, Florida 32266 Naval Architects, Marine Designers and Consultants (904) 221-7447 19399 Helenbirg Road Suite 203 Covington, LA 70433 Tel: (985) 871-9997 |
an integrated capture net from Marine Arresting Tech- and then use it to provide the necessary system that would detect surface and nologies from Florida was also deployed. underwater threats and coordinate a Approximately twenty people from com- information to enable decision optimi- Marlin Screenshot
St., New York, NY 10010 Tel: (212) 477-6700; Fax: (212) 254-6271 MTR, much like of the rest of the world, has become quite at the lowest cost per pixel. FLORIDA adept at working remotely. To most of you reading these pag- 215 NW 3rd St., Boynton Beach, FL 33435 es though, the notion of ‘working remotely’ is
of how we ments to the Nelson Street facility. In conjunction with the build, and of unwavering resolve in the face of adversity for a state of Florida and Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., ESG has com- Coast Guard and a nation that deserves nothing less.” menced construction on additional warehousing, a
from January 2021. The pro- operators to use diesel over gas or outboards over inboards; ev- cess for selecting the ?nal manufacture site in either Florida or erything has its place in the market. It’s normally the case that Georgia is ongoing. In addition to Mack Boring & Parts on [the customer] wants
Telematics announced the development of the STOKES Iridium tracking drifter. The STOKES drifter was designed and tested in technical partnership with Florida State University (FSU). The STOKES drifter is a compact drifting buoy which tracks water currents at the surface. The small light-weight buoy is
are headquartered in 118 E. 25th St., New York, NY 10010 Tel: (212) 477-6700; Fax: (212) 254-6271 New York City, which has become the global epicenter FLORIDA • Two-Man Portable, Small-Class UUV for COVID-19. Trust when I say it’s not a title we want, 215 NW 3rd St., Boynton Beach, FL 33435 900 kHz Side
and Marine Engineers DESIGN, CONSULTING, SURVEYING AND DRAFTING SERVICES Design and Analysis • FEA • CFD 2300 Marsh Point Road #303 Neptune Beach, Florida 32266 119 Causeway Boulevard Naval Architects, Marine Designers and Consultants (904) 221-7447 New Orleans, LA 70121 19399 Helenbirg Road Suite
the vessel at a fre- quency that removes the fouling before it becomes established. Our experience in the summer high fouling season at Port Canaveral, Florida is that the fouling control coatings require a light cleaning (grooming) on a weekly basis to ensure that they remain free of fouling (Tribou 2015
up ships Figure 5. The general hull and niche areas of a ship. quired for ships visiting Australia, New fouling. The formulations are typically Bay, Florida in the 1940s. He identified Zealand and California and will provide tailored to specific operational profiles the barnacle Balanus amphitrite and
by the organisms that were re- cruited to 25 x 30 cm epoxy coated static immersion panels during a one-month period at our test site in Port Canaveral, Florida is shown in Figure 3. The data shows a diversity of different fouling types and the summer months have more active fouling than in the winter. John
& Engineering News. gree in Natural Sciences (Chemistry). Director Center for Corrosion and Following a period as a production Biofouling Control, Florida Institute of Rest of the World: Buckley chemist in an electronic circuit board Technology, Melbourne, Florida. one full year (12 issues) $189.00
to FMT Credit: Metal Shark Metal Shark announced its Bayou La Batre, Ala. shipyard has delivered its ?rst newbuild, a 120’ x 35’ river towboat for Florida Marine Transporters, Inc. (FMT) of Mandeville, La. The four-decked, welded-steel, USCG Subchapter “M”- compliant towboat Stephanie Pasentine, which
(954) 568-6598 • Inspectons and Surveys • N.D.T Services 2300 Marsh Point Road #303 • Vibration - noise - structural/modal analysis Neptune Beach, Florida 32266 • Field balancing, Laser Alignment (904) 221-7447 • Torque - torsional vibration analysis www.laypitman.com • IR - Thermography inspection •
debris. Since cal maritime discoveries were made near trap fsherman Jose Antonio Lopez Ruiz the purchase, Jen states; “our staff, using the Upper Florida Keys by individuals was looking overboard from his vessel the Pulse 8X, have found now the car- who federal scientists lauded for report- and spotted
York, NY 10010 Tel: (212) 477-6700; Fax: (212) 254-6271 ogy Reporter directly as our headquarters is in Lthe middle of New York City, which has morphed FLORIDA 215 NW 3rd St., Boynton Beach, FL 33435 into a surreal ghost town and a ‘hot spot’ for this pandemic. Tel: (561) 732-4368; Fax: (561) 732-6984 Personally
multiple orders of our 26- and 28-foot er-Small berthing barges, the QLNG 4000 and its tug, the Relentless center consoles standardized for the Florida Fish Q-Ocean Services, which together form an industry-?rst off- & Wildlife Conservation Commission. We will soon be an- shore lique?ed natural gas