Fidelio Cruise has kicked off the development of a new add-on to its powerful Fleet Management System. Based on already-proven crew handling systems developed by Fidelio Cruise, the Crew Management System (CMS) will support numerous aspects of the overall shoreside and shipboard crew human resource operation, with significant benefits for cruise line productivity.

Holland America Line has already lent its support, having signed up for the new software which will enable efficiency gains in cruise line human resource management. This move, by Seattle-based Holland America Line, is a result of a strong partnership between the two companies which has seen the cruise line adopt a wide range of Fidelio Cruise software systems across its 14-ship fleet. Now, Holland America Line is set to become the first cruise operator to benefit from the extensive functionality of this fully integrated human resource management system.

“The management of human resources is a growing challenge for cruise lines,” explains Tony Heuer, President of the Hamburg-based cruise software specialist. “Labour costs are one of the heaviest overheads and rise each year. As vessels increase in size and the global supply of suitable labour comes under increasing pressure, lines must source their personnel more widely.”

“This can mean many hundreds of shipboard staff working on the same ship,” he points out, “with a number of different nationalities, different terms and conditions, all requiring individual records to be kept, and each with different qualifications, different travel arrangements, and so on. It is an extremely complex operation.”

Likening the present systems adopted by cruise lines to puzzles where the pieces don’t fit and some are missing, Mr. Heuer explains that cruise lines have developed a range of stand-alone applications which are usually not properly synchronised, are not real-time, and require additional manual support which is labour-intensive and subject to human error. From now on, however, cruise operators can benefit from a well-structured and fully integrated human resource management system.

“On board Holland America Line’s ships, we sail with nearly one crew member for every two guests, providing the very best service to our passengers,” says Stein Kruse, President and CEO of Holland America Line. “It is absolutely vital to have proper control of all shipboard staff and to hold an accurate overview of human resources at all times. Once again, Fidelio Cruise is assisting us, this time by helping to raise the standards of crew management, to everyone’s benefit. We are looking forward to this innovative software to be developed and have another great tool to help maximize the efficiency of our operation,” he says.

The system will address every aspect of crew management. Its Human Resource function will track recruitment, terminations and re-employment, promotions and demotions, appraisals and disciplinaries, personal data and occupational position, and movement history. The Crew Scheduling feature will help to ensure that the most suitably qualified crew members are automatically selected for certain assignments whilst potential candidates for occupational officer positions can also be proposed. Leave entitlements are automatically calculated.

Crew Payroll management will be another key element of the software. Based on existing Fidelio Cruise’ Ship’s Property Management System application, it is designed to handle all components of earnings, including wages, overtime, bonuses, incentives and allowances, as well as storing deductions. Multiple payroll cycles and frequencies are supported. Temporary or permanent pay changes are tracked. Standardized pay scales and ranges are incorporated and seniority scale points are maintained.

Crew management system’s productivity will be designed with maximum functionality and with several key aims in mind. It will be flexible and easy to use, it will eliminate data error and redundancy, it will ensure that the same information is available on board ship and at head office, and it will enable a crew member’s information and historical record to follow him.

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