What is digital transformation

Digital transformation refers to the transformation of business by changing the business strategy, adopting digital technologies. In other words, it is the transformation from paper to digital. This accelerate sales and growth of the organizations from end to end. In particular, the transformation stage means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhance and support traditional methods.

Within an organization, particularly a shipping one, technology is the foundation of digitalization; the rest is about educating your staff members and developing a new strategic plan. In other words, creating a new organization that is independent from the core!

How to develop a digital culture

Embrace blockchain technology

Blockchain technology is a way to strengthen the direct relationship with customers and, why not, win new ones! It is widely known that a mass adoption of blockchain has begun to occur in almost every industry without “neglecting” maritime. Some operators may be afraid to adopt the aforesaid technology but there are millions of ways in which blockchain can revolutionize the way we do business in any form; the potential from offering a neutral, open digital platform for safe, easy and real time exchanging of information is significant. Besides, some of the most popular ventures with respect to blockchain happened in the shipping era!

  • Maersk and IBMwere the first companies in the sector to sign an agreement regarding ‘blockchain technology’.
  • Pacific International Lines, PSA International and IBM Singapore agreed to provide blockchain-based supply chain technologies with the aim to explore blockchain innovations and enhance security, efficiency and transparency on the supply chain.
  • The world's first marine insurance blockchained platform  was launched by EY consulting firm in collaboration with Guardtime, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, ACORD, Microsoft, MS Amlin, Willis Towers Watson and XL Catlin.
  • The Municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority  jointly launched a field labfor the development of applications and solutions based on blockchain technology.
  • In September 2017, Hyundai Merchant Marinesuccessfully completed its first blockchain technology adopted pilot voyage.
  1. Modernize systems

Maritime services were historically based on company’s intelligence; visualizing and evaluating data using reports and analyses. Now they are increasingly being equipped with advanced analysis functions to visualize not only the current state of affairs, but also to calculate complex statistical models or predictions. Certainly, the benefits a shipping company can gain from advanced and predictive analytics are huge.

  1. Leverage the available data and improve the vessels’ performance

Advanced analytics may lead to better shore-sea collaboration for aided-sailing on the base of advanced systems for routing and technical maintenance. What is more, leveraging millions of data and on-board sensors, allows fleet tracking and continuous routing and vessel performance optimization as well as predictive maintenance.

  1. Start real-time cargo tracking

There is no doubt that an advanced cargo management system would allow operators to expand their services into higher-margin areas of the supply chain. By monitoring cargo conditions, operators can meet customer demands and provide greater visibility throughout the shipping journey.

  1. Develop digital lead management

By developing a digital lead management strategy, a shipping company can leverage the broad network of agencies and significantly increase customer bases. Invest in the most effective lead generation channels to ensure the organization’s future success; email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, landing page and website optimization, and SEO make up the most effective digital lead generation channels and result in the best opportunities.

  1. Educate your staff members

For the digital transformation to be successful, operators need to focus on digital competence. Without focusing on your staff members, your organization will struggle. Are the technology tools you’re providing helping staff members do their jobs, or just hardening the process? Is the aforesaid digital culture making your workplace efficient and productive? Digital competence has the potential improve the productivity and effectiveness of your employees.

Why digital culture matters

Of course, digital culture is not developed overnight. It’s a transformation process; a new system thinking approach. And why it matters? As said above, technology is the foundation of digital transformation. Technology advances rapidly and getting left behind is a negative factor for an organization’s internal efficiency and overall customer and staff satisfaction. It’s about rethinking operational models, processes, and policies, taking staff members and customers at the core of the process.