Digital Transformation in the Supply Chain

By Peter Schellenberger, Vice President, Supply Chain, Purchasing | January 23, 2023

The shipping industry, particularly the ship management space, is not known to be fast or an early adopter, especially when it comes to investments and implementations into digitialisation. We are proud to claim that Thome Group is not part of this mindset and that, driven by senior management, much has been achieved and is being trialed in this critical time. Some of the main drivers are:

  • Crew safety, training, and well-being, plus the need to cater to a new digitally-enabled generation of seafarers with engaging and immersive training (gamification, VR, etc.).
  • Clear need for new types of clients, such as VCs and leasing companies, to mention a few, for even more transparency and real-time information, preventative action in smart finance, and accrual and budgeting environment.
  • Enabling the vessel to make smart decisions based on real-time information and to be supported by the onshore team; reduction of manual reporting work and repetitive tasks to safely and efficiently run their vessels.
  • Smart Supply Chain tools also enable the vessels supported by eCatalogues and integrated eSuppliers, modern PMS system, and logistic/agency information; scaled collaborations with chosen 3rd party players to reduce group and fleet OPEX.
  • Implementing important ESG-relevant projects such as better “live” telemedicine support, crew engagement via geo-mapping, floating garbage at sea with the Eyesea project on their mobile phones, etc.
  • Support of data transfer from vessels to improve vessel performance; voyage planning and safe operations enabled by increasing bandwidth and dedicated servers on board to host more applications.
  • Looking for conducive crew conditions by enabling more private internet usage on board, mainly for social media, video streaming, and other projects.
  • Thome is engaged with Pier 71 and the SSA Digital Committee in providing problem statements, mentoring, and proof of concept environments for start-ups to be visible and available for new trends in digital problem-solving.

It is important for us as a group to lead and not follow since digitalisation is not an option but a necessity for our development and survival to not only win new but also keep existing clients.


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