Designed to perform with the sea. Smart inventory system proof of concept for MacGregor, a marine and offshore operator.

Phone with MacGregor application
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Position in the project
UI and UX designer

Holding workshops with a fellow designer and developer, planning with client’s representatives and designing the user interface.

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Team details
Start with two designers holding workshops. In latter phase one designer and four full-stack developers.

Design work was done in collaboration with developers and client since POC was done in 4 weeks as a programmed, functional hybrid application.

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Challenge of the project
Developing software for equipment reporting and stock handling while Internet connections are limited.

How to keep cargo ship’s equipment and equipment stock levels on the same line? E.g. missing lashing equipment means lost time and costs to shipping company.

The process

Workshops for getting better insight of the problem
Figuring out the most needed features with the client for the proof of concept version. Constantly cut-off connections led to hybrid application. Understanding end-user’s work, environment, equipment needed to be under consideration.
Two week design sprints
From gathered information user interface and features were built quickly to prototype and then handed over to developers.
Constant reviewing of the developed software
Reviewing the updated software and already accepted parts with representatives almost daily provided the possibility to quick changes and improving.
POC fully functional
Tested and ready-to-install -hybrid application was handed over to client’s representatives for test cases.

Crew member’s task and safety aspect

In most cases the user would be a crew member doing surveys on vessel’s bays during the loading or unloading phase. The most consumable parts and equipment are under constant survey.

Improper stowage and securing of cargoes has resulted in numerous serious ship casualties and caused injury and loss of life, not only at sea but also during loading and discharge.

Lashing equipment

Turnbuckles pose problems as they take constant damage, come in dozens of various sizes, have color codings and embossed codes which doesn’t last long in harsh conditions.

So, how can damaged pieces be recognised and replaced efficiently?

Lost cargo caused by damaged or missing container securing cause millions of dollars financial loss to maritime industry each year.

Recognising equipment

The vessel is divided into bays, rows and tiers. Each bay has a cargo securing manual presenting types of cargo securing equipment. 

During the surveying task, a crew member selects the current bay. Next, the type of equipment which is missing or damaged. Finally, certain amount of parts per bay is 
 presented with significant lengths for each part. Also color coding is shown if such still exists.

Submitting reports

After recognition of the correct part, a short description is demanded, describing what has supposedly happened before submitting the report.

Viewing reported and replaced equipment vessel’s officers are up to date of the vessel’s 
part stock situation.

Replacing parts

After reporting crew members can collect needed parts from vessel’s buffer stock and replace the damaged parts with correct parts. Bay’s status is visible during the replacement operation which can be monitored from the vessel’s bridge.

Surveying reports

Adding transparency to the survey-report chain, reports are also viewable to the shipping company’s management off-board.

When the vessel’s cargo securing equipment is running lower than suggested in the cargo securing manual, officers can take steps 
ordering substituting parts in advance.

Crew member start

Best example of how a team
 can achieve their best while working under tight deadline

Results & thoughts

For this project, there are lots of potential. 
Ideas how to scale it up and features which would bring more than extra value for maritime industry. There are also plans of a programme 
to bring green values to shipping business permanently.

The team

Probably the best project I have been involved so far where the team functioned seamlessly from the start 
and client’s interest and efforts were truly 150%.