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Foss Maritime centralizes vessel ops with Helm software platform

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JUNE 27, 2018 — Foss Maritime has kicked off a company-wide project to centralize fleet management and operations with the Helm Connect marine software platform developed by Victoria, BC, headquartered ClassNK subsidiary Helm Operations

The announcement comes as Seattle headquartered Foss moves forward on an initiative to organize and streamline operations across core business units and wholly-owned subsidiaries along the U.S. West Coast, and in Hawaii and Alaska.

Part of the Saltchuk family of companies, Foss operates an integrated fleet of harbor tugs, offshore support, towing vessels and barges, comprising more than 200 vessels managed by four subsidiary companies: Foss Atlantic; AmNav Maritime Services; Young Brothers Limited; and Cook Inlet Tug and Barge.

As part of the agreement with Helm Operations, Foss will centralize its vessel dispatching, billing, maintenance, compliance, and personnel management in the Helm Connect software platform.

Fossparrotwhelm guy“At Foss, we’re constantly looking at new ways to improve our business. Helm Connect is a great fit for us; it offers an integrated software solution but also acts as a partner in managing our wide variety of vessels and operations,” said Foss President and CEO, John Parrott. “Our goal is always to find ways to best support our staff and crews in the field. Helm Connect is another way for us to better provide the tools and information that are necessary to safe and efficient operations. It has long been our mission to deliver to our customers marine services without equal – and HelmConnect helps us to do just that.”

L to R: John Parrot, CEO Foss Maritime and Ron de Bruyne, Founder and CEO Helm Operations

Streamlining marine operations is Helm Connect’s primary focus.

“Our vision behind Helm Connect was bringing all the disciplines from vessel dispatch and billing, to maintenance and compliance, and crewing and payroll, into a single, user-friendly system that could be shared between ship and shore. We’re excited to help bring that to a great company like Foss,” said Ron deBruyne, CEO of Helm Operations.

“Foss will be using the full suite of HelmConnect products, including the Fleet Maintenance, Compliance, Jobs and Crewing modules,” said Scott Merritt, COO at Foss. “These tools help drive our commitment to incident-free operations and continuous improvement in every facet of their services. The Jobs module will support the order to invoice process and help the Foss Fleet Monitoring Center Watchstanders to both track the assets of Foss Maritime and her sister companies and assign the work in the most efficient manner. The Personnel module will enhance the scheduling and payroll process for the over 800 Foss Mariners.”

Released in 2016, Helm Connect has emerged as one of the leading platforms for marine operations and vessel management both in North America and globally. Less than two years after launch, Helm Connect is the most widely used software platform in North America, with some 40% of the fleet of the American Waterways Operators (AWO) and more than 3,000 vessels using HelmConnect around the world. 


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