Seven Top Tips on how to Bridge the Information Gap to Deliver Safe, Effective Staffing and Successful Offshore Engineering Projects from Crispin Jessop, Offshore Workforce Management Specialist at Allocate Software

The maritime industry faces a myriad of challenges from complex offshore engineering projects to safeguarding staff in dangerous conditions. Add to this the sheer scale of the projects and the huge numbers of personnel who are involved, frequently at multiple, hard-to-reach locations across the world and task gets even more difficult.  Finding, deploying and managing the right skilled workforce is demanding and of course safety must come first.

In addition there is often a disconnect between well established strategic HR and project management systems that are designed to deliver operational efficiency.

Are any of the following familiar?

  • Short planning horizons for workforce allocation?
  • Lack of standardisation in workforce planning?
  • Uncertainty regarding the skills and work history of shared resources?
  • Difficulty with training due to the lack of effective centralised training records?
  • Risk of lack of compliance due to competency assurance requirements?
  • A disconnect between strategic HR and project management systems?
  • Lack of tools and data to carry out “what if” scenario-based planning?
  • Difficulties optimising the utilisation of expensive resources and reducing overhead costs?

If so, then the chances are you are dealing with disconnected processes and systems that create an information gap and affect an organisation’s ability to manage its staff and resources.  Without significant back-office support, the assimilation of information and an incomplete picture of crew and offshore activities can hamper business growth and lead to duplication and wasted effort.   At the same time, the risk of non-compliance with health and safety, environmental, risk and other international standards increases as the result of scheduling inadequately trained staff and human error.

Automation bridges the information gap

Some of world’s most successful maritime companies do a great job of amalgamating information, people, systems and processes and the secret lies in automation.  The latest workforce deployment solutions are the answer to many of the major issues facing offshore organisations today.

Here are seven top tips for successful maritime workforce management

  1. Have a global single source of workforce planning information providing the ability to dynamically identify the location and availability of relevant personnel in relation to each project site
  2. Ensure early identification of issues, with easy-to-use tools for troubleshooting
  3. Use specialist tools for managing engineering projects by resource utilisation and headcount
  4. Maintain a skills matrix to prevent skill shortfalls at high-risk sites
  5. Look for easy integration with the leading HR and project management systems
  6. Have the ability to provide real-time evidence to satisfy compliance inspectors
  7. Ditch spreadsheets and ensure the ability to carry out ‘what if’ analysis for future projects and bids

And it works

Just take a look at Subsea 7, a leading international seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services contractor to the offshore energy industry.  Before turning to automated workforce deployment technology, the company had an array of systems, spreadsheets and procedures, no global view of resource demand and supply, intensive cost control and little experience of systems integration.

Subsea 7 now manages over 5,000 personnel who work on numerous offshore projects in ships, barges, at client locations across Europe, USA, Middle East, Asia Pacific and South America from one single application.  The major benefits are improved long-term planning and more efficient, cost-effective use of worldwide resources.  The company is living proof that plugging the information gap is the way to go.

To see the full Subsea 7 case study visit


About Allocate Software

Allocate Software was founded in 1991 and is today a leading provider of healthcare, maritime and defence workforce deployment software.  Headquartered in London, and with offices throughout the UK, the company operates worldwide offices in Canberra (Australia), Sydney (Australia), Stockholm (Sweden) and Skopje (Macedonia) and employs more than 350 people.

Allocate Software serves over 500 customers globally.  Its comprehensive range of OffshoreSuite, HealthSuite and DefenceSuite solutions are designed to underpin complex workforce management in safety critical and high skill level environments, delivering both safe staffing and productivity savings.

For more information, visit

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