The Purchase Enquiry (P/E) processing workflow consists of the following stages:
1. Recording: A P/E is received for example in the form of an email. It is either recorded by CompassPulseautomatically or entered manually using the “+” icon found on the top menu bar, next to the user-name.
2. Preparation: The P/E is then either processed or ignored, processing being to find matching ships (CompassAir automates matching, and with CompassPulse, the broker is immediately notified of matching vessels, as soon as the P/E is received), to investigate those vessels further and then make a decision on whether to take action or not.
3. Action: To respond to the P/E if considered appropriate, to send details without proposing a ship or to record a ship against a P/E for action at a later date.
Scenarios for Purchase Enquiry Processing
1. The broker wants to respond to the P/E with a list of ships
Once the P/E has been recorded (either manually or automatically by CompassPulse), it is accessible in one of two ways. The first is directly from the incoming email by clicking on the reference number (shown next to the link item at the top of the email). In this case the P/E is displayed in a separate tab. Within this screen the P/E can be edited, including re-named, adding which broker is responsible, etc. For example, the P/E type can be changed to “Direct” (the P/E came directly from an owner with whom the broker is associated), “Market” (the P/E came from a third party circular) or “Response” (the P/E was the result of circulating a commercial advice for an owner with whom the broker is associated).
The second is via the Purchase Enquiry icon on the left hand menu bar (this opens the Purchase Enquiry screen), selecting the relevant P/E from a list of searchable P/Es.
CompassAir automatically matches relevant ships (if CompassPulse is installed, the user is immediately notified of such matching direct ships) which are then displayed on the “Matching Ships” tab.
Some ships will be a better match than others, and to distinguish between them each ship is scored, the best match being five stars (see below for more information on ranking).
From the list of suggestions, the broker can respond directly to the P/E by first selecting a ship and then, by right clicking it and selecting “Propose” a new message containing the ship information will be created (the ship reference will automatically be added to the message header along with the P/E reference number). More than one ship can be added to the same reply by first selecting each ship using the tick box and then following the same procedure. Once sent, the message can be found against each ship’s name in the vessel database (accessible by right clicking on the ship’s name in the “Matching Ships” list, and selecting “Open Detached”) as well as on the “Messages” tab in the P/E. Having been proposed, the ships are then moved to the “Ships” tab.
Having proposed a ship, the “Status” shown on the “Ships” tab is automatically changed to “Proposed” (this is different to the P/E “Status” which is changed by editing the P/E, and includes completed, failed, working etc.). This proposed “Status” can later be changed (right click on the respective row and select “Edit”) to either “Rejected” (the potential buyer does not consider the ship to be suitable) or “Interested” (an initial positive response to the proposal ready for discussions to move to the next stage). If the broker subsequently considers a ship to be unsuitable it can be deleted from the “Ships” tab.
Using the “Refresh” button (shown below in red) will update all fields after changes have been made.
See 3 below where a broker can add ships to a P/E but delay proposing them. In other words, they are added to the “Ships” tab pending a decision on whether they should be proposed or not.
Following the same procedure and using the same right click drop-down menu, ship details can be copied or emailed separately, outside of the P/E processing cycle.
1a. Sending ship details to an address from which a P/E has been received
If a broker sends ship details to an email address from which an active P/E (i.e. it arrived in the last 60 days) has been received, CompassAir will recognise this to be a response to that P/E and mark the ship as proposed both on the “Ships” tab in the P/E as well as in the vessel database (shown on the P/E tab for the ship).
Of course, this would be expected if the details are sent as a “Reply” to the original email with the P/E information. However, this linking and updating takes place even with a “blank” email, for example where the P/E is direct and was the result of a telephone call.
2. The broker wants to see details of the matching ships before sending them
Further information about each ship is available by right clicking on the ship’s name and selecting “Open Detached”. In a new tab there will be displayed full details, including ship data, messages relating to the ship, contacts etc.
Alternatively, details of the each ship (or multiple ships if selected using the tick box) can be displayed in list form from either the “Ships” or the “Matching Ships” tabs. Further details from the vessel database (including related messages, files, etc.) can then be viewed for each ship by clicking on it. One or more ships from the list can then be added to the P/E (but not proposed), i.e. this will move the ship from the “Matching Ships” tab to the “Ships” tab on the P/E (see 3 below).
3. The broker wants to include one or more “Matching Ships” in the P/E without proposing them at this stage
A shortlist from the “Matching Ships” tab can be created in the P/E by right clicking on the relevant ship and selecting “Add to P/E”. This moves the ship from the current tab to the “Ships” tab (the date and time this occurs is recorded under the “Related On” column). From this list ships can be proposed or emailed in the same way as above. When proposed, the date and time of the email is recorded in the “Last Sent” column. If only an email has been sent the message will be recorded against the appropriate ship in the vessel database, under the “Messages” tab. It will not be shown on the messages tab of the P/E.
Those ships appearing under the “Ships” tab of a P/E will now have an associated P/E reference recorded under the “P/E” tab in the vessel database.
4. The broker wants to search for “Matching Ships” from the vessel database
As mentioned above, CompassAir automatically matches ships to the P/E specifications, using the parameters referred to below.
Alternatively a broker can search for matching ships directly from “Ships”, i.e the vessel database accessed via the left hand menu bar (which opens the Ships screen), flexing the P/E criteria as appropriate.
One or more ships can then be added to a P/E by right clicking (on the “Matching P/E” tab) and selecting “Add to P/E”. From the edit screen the relevant P/E can be selected and saved. The ships will then appear on the “Ships” tab of the P/E.
(see the Commercial Advice workflow, scenario 1, that illustrates how for any selected ship P/Es can be found that that match)
5. Circulating a P/E
Circulating a P/E is very easily achieved, directly from the Purchase Enquiry screen. Right click on the P/E to be circulated, and having clicked on “Circulate”, a new message is created that will have been populated with the details from the original P/E and is ready to be addressed (accessing pre-defined circular lists), for further text to be added if necessary, and then sent.
Importantly, mail merge is available and easy to use, enabling circulars to be personalised using automation.
6. The broker wants to see a list of P/Es received during the day
From the Purchase Enquiry tab a list of the day’s P/Es can be produced by adding “Today” (or alternative time periods) in the “Created” search field, leaving all other fields blank.
7. Saving Searches – responsibility for P/Es
As can be seen in 4 above, searching is quick and easy, with a wide range of customisable parameters being available. This ease of use applies when searching both for P/Es and for ships.
All searches are added to search “History” (they can be removed if necessary to keep the list manageable), a list kept in date order. For searches that are undertaken more frequently, they can be permanently saved.
For example, a broker may want quick, regular access to a list of P/Es that are his or her responsibility. By adding the broker’s name to the “Responsible” field, the search results will be displayed and the search added to “History” (the panel beneath the search fields). The search can be permanently saved by right clicking and selecting “Save”, it can be named “My P/Es” for example, and will be available on the “Saved” tab. It may be useful to then keep such a list open in a second window.
As has been seen above, CompassAir will have automatically matched both direct and market P/Es to each ship for sale. The matching ships and their full details are then accessible by clicking on a P/E shown in the list and then viewing the information shown for that P/E under the “Matching Ships” tab.
8. A broker wants to record a direct P/E quickly, for example whilst still on the telephone
If a broker needs to record a direct P/E during or shortly after a phone call with his or her client, this can be done very quickly.
On the top menu bar, next to the user’s name is a plus icon that reveals a drop down menu from which one option is “Add P/E”. A new window then appears into which can be added the P/E details.
Matching and Filtering Ships against P/Es
As mentioned above, with CompassPulse activated, all incoming messages that are recognised as P/Es are recorded as such and the broker is immediately notified of matching ships, possibly even before they have seen the incoming P/E.
Even without CompassPulse, once a P/E has been recorded (this time manually), CompassAir will match ships to the P/E requirements and rank them, five stars being the best match.
CompassAir performs an initial filtering to produce a list of matching ships that for example
1. are of the requested Type and Subtype (if defined)
2. are For Sale and have a commercial advice dated within the last 90 days OR the status of the ship has been changed to “For Sale” within the last 90 days
3. have a DWT between 90% of the minimum P/E DWT and 110% of the maximum P/E DWT
4. were built between minimum P/E YoB minus 3 years and maximum P/E YoB plus 3 years
The amount by which the criteria are flexed is determined by the user’s preference. For example, using the above parameters (90 days, plus or minus 10% of DWT and plus or minus 3 years) if the P/E specified a ship as “DWT 30-40K, built 2000-2003” then the initial filtering will return ships that have been classified as “For Sale” in the last 90 days, with the following characteristics
1. are between 27,000 and 44,000 DWT
2. that were built between 1997 and 2006
Once this initial filtering has taken place, CompassAir ranks the ships. If, for example there were five criteria that were fully satisfied, five stars would be awarded. If only two were satisfied, then two stars. Three out of three would be awarded five stars, and so on. This allows a broker with limited time available to focus on the most relevant ships, in preparation for responding to the P/E.
These matching ships are then displayed on the “Matching Ships” tab of the P/E together with details that include the date of the last advice, when and by whom it was circulated.