ISM code Implementation

Bridge wheelhouse crew discussing MXSuite

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Now over twenty years it is required to have an ISM on board. The ISM code stands for “The International Safety Management (ISM) Code”. According to the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) the purpose of the ISM Code is to provide an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention.

The ISM Code in its current form was adopted in 1993 and was made mandatory with the entry into force, on 1 July 1998.

Working in the 19th century

Nowadays we encounter a lot of companies who uploaded their entire ISM handbook to their fleet management software, hoping their crew will know where to find and how to apply these overwhelming amount of pages in pdf format. Another observation is, that a lot of effort is done to create all sorts of forms, but the way of working is still from the 19th century. Ok, true, this is a little bit exaugurated, but think about it: A form is created in the size of an A4 format piece of paper, it is archivad for future purposes. When needed a copy is made, often filled in by pen, scanned, or saved, send by mail. Nowadays we work via email and Whatsapp and other means, so the forms get send via mail to numerous people, in the hope it will be picked up.

When the right person starts to follow-up the item, seldom feedback is given, so for the creator of the form the action is something like throwing a dart in the dark and hoping it hits target.

traditional form creation ISM
Traditional form creation ISM

New way of working

Most of the actions here above can be simplified. Nowadays it is possible to create and fill in a form in the Documents Module of MXSuite. The sailor, or officer can fill in the form, then the QHSE manager is warned that there is a new form that he needs to review and add comments to. He immediately can decide to assign a task to the form to guarantee the follow-up. When everything is finished a supervisor can even sign of the form.

Possible ISM process in MXSuite
Possible ISM process in MXSuite

How to implement

“One-size-fits-all” doesn’t exist when we talk about implementation. Every company is different and has there own challenges. But that doesn’t mean it has to be impossible, or hard. We always follow the these next steps:

  1. Start investigating what is really required
  2. Look for similarities
  3. Define the required process flows
    1. What is the purpose of a form?
    2. Who needs to do what and when?
    3. How does a person want to be alerted?
  4. Configure your tool to comply with your needs

It is almost always possible to configure all your requirements within the MXSuite Documents Module. The digital forms can be created with custom attributes that helps you to setup your form to your needs. In this article you can read how custom attributes are applied in the maintenance module.

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