CompassAir ShipLink for SnP Brokers

 

 

“We can very quickly see opportunities for a wide range of vessel types and sizes”

Overview

ShipLink finds ships mentioned in your emails and links each email to the relevant ship in your vessel database.

As well as saving time for SnP brokers and automating the collection of useful information, ShipLink allows a valuable insight into the activity and sentiment that exists within particular segments of the market. In other words, the current buzz related to a particular ship type or size. It significantly reduces repetitive manual administrative tasks, and importantly lets a broker review easily, not only the narrative related to the segment in which they currently specialise, their usual vessel sizes and types, but other segments too, when conditions dictate the need to look for opportunities more widely.

What does it do, what are the benefits, and how valuable is it?

A huge amount of information is constantly flowing in via your inbox, a never ending stream of data, refreshed often by hundreds of emails a day, some relevant to what you do, some not so much.

As an SnP broker your focus will be on ships, handling current deals and looking for new opportunities.

Very simply, ShipLink understands the context of your email and then locates, extracts and automatically links the ships that are being discussed in your email to the right ships within your CompassAir vessel database. ShipLink has been designed specifically for use by SnP brokers.

Importantly, you won’t want to waste time scouring through hundreds of emails trying to find some information. We have all the tools within CompassAir that help you monitor information flow on particular ships. Once example, is that by using keywords you can automatically tag emails containing a vessel name, which makes searching for them so easy.

However ShipLink is so much more than what we have been using so far! It collects from your emails information about the ships you work with automatically, about ships mentioned in your inbox, and files it in the ships database ready for you to access. So you don’t have to search, you merely look in the database. Not only that, in monitoring all emails that arrive, it also means that the same process takes place for all ships mentioned in all emails. Therefore you can very quickly find all the emails related to other vessels you might later become interested in. What this also means is that if you want to look at other, maybe niche segments of the market, for example a different ship size or type, in order to determine what opportunities exist, all relevant emails are readily available at your fingertips. Hence it enables a broker to gain an insight into sectors other than their current specialisation. It allows more flexibility, and a wider field of view when looking for opportunities that exist in the market as whole.

One of the benefits of ShipLink is that it reduces a firm’s manual administrative burden by using automation. Thus it allows resources to be reallocated to more productive tasks as well as assist in eliminating errors.

Savings can be increased by combining ShipLink with other automation tools within CompassAir. By combining message rules, automated filing and tagging with integrated chat – enabling communication between team members without adding to email noise. Having installed ShipLink late last year, one of our clients has estimated making a saving of up to eight hours per team member per week.

The time it saves is not just in terms of human resources, but, as important, in a fast moving sector such as SnP, information is made available immediately to the entire team in one or more locations worldwide. The value ShipLink delivers is therefore both direct and indirect. By reducing manual tasks it will save money. The indirect value comes from speeding up the availability of information for decision making.

Having easy access to information on current deals and for the sector in which you normally operate is critical, but at certain times what can be more valuable is the ability to get an insight into other vessel types and sizes. For example, by looking at the number of emails, and after that then taking a closer look at the content of messages that relate to another vessel class, a broker can see which types, sizes and ages of ships are moving quickly, which are slowing down, and hence narrow their focus when seeking out opportunities.

How is it used and what does it look like?

ShipLink runs in the background within CompassAir. Once installed it parses every email as soon as it arrives in an inbox. It recognises which ship is being discussed and automatically links each email to the vessels database within CompassAir.

It does this for each and every email that arrives in an inbox – updating all relevant vessels in the database.

Because the process is automatic and immediate, it means that the vessels database is always completely up to date. Whenever searching for a particular ship, when Shiplink is being used a broker has the comfort in knowing that what information is available is unaffected by delays or errors that might arise were there a need for manual analysis.

In addition to this peace of mind, what this also means is that what is an expensive resource is no longer used inefficiently. The benefits can be easily calculated and quantified. It is this and knowing that information is current that represent the initial justification for choosing to use ShipLink.

Once ShipLink has been installed and the benefits are being realised, only then do our clients tend to discover and act upon the ancillary, but very valuable, advantage ShipLink delivers. Namely they then use ShipLink to find opportunities that exist in ship sizes and types that lie outside of their normal focus. In other words, an SnP broker might currently be focussed on the buying and selling of Handymax vessels and, if say for some reason this market slows down, they will want to see very quickly what alternative opportunities exist with other vessel sizes.

Without ShipLink, the task becomes that much greater as a manual exercise needs to then be undertaken to first find and then review the content of other emails received. Even over a short period of time this can involve many hundreds of emails.

When ShipLink is installed this exercise will have already taken place and all an SnP broker need do is search, for example, for a particular size of vessel in the database which will reveal all the associated messages. It therefore can quickly be seen whether a sector is especially active, with detailed information being available by drilling down into the respective messages.

ShipLink works well for any company that subscribes to a 3rd party ship database such as IHS Markit and is accessible from CompassAir Desktop, Web and the Mobile app.

In summary

For an SnP broker, ShipLink not only automatically delivers information on current and potential deals, reducing human intervention, it is also an easy way to compare levels of activity in different market sectors, thus identifying where more opportunities are likely to be found.