Kotug assesses captains’ skills with Sogeti Power App.
Industry: Towage and maritime
Location: The Netherlands
Kotug International is a leading towage services provider, with a fleet of 50+ tugs active across the globe. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands and was founded in 1911 by Antonie Kooren. It has since grown from a Rotterdam family business into a global towing specialist, extending beyond towing seagoing vessels within the port or terminal to include other towing activities. For example, Kotug has an extensive track record in offshore towage support, towing floating offshore facilities, as well as escorting ships in environmental protection areas, and helping to combat oil pollution at sea.
Operating a tugboat demands precision. Any minor error in maneuvering can have major consequences for the vessel or object being towed. Therefore, tugboat captains are extensively trained and regularly reassessed according to strict European rules and each company’s own business standards. Once a captain has met the strict skill requirements, that person can be authorized to operate a tugboat.
Kotug’s approach to assess and train its captains needed an overhaul. The trainers recorded how captains performed against various criteria, using Excel spreadsheets. For example, how do they communicate with the pilot? How well do they negotiate turns and achieve the required turning speed in time? All responses noting a captain’s skills in these areas were recorded in a giant Excel sheet. The challenge was clear – could Kotug simplify and improve this manual and time-consuming process using an app?
Kotug chose Sogeti as its technology services company to help it build and review its new app. The process started with a three-day session to determine the project scope based on what Kotug wanted and how best Sogeti could meet this objective. Sogeti began building a Power App on the Microsoft Power Platform, working closely with developers from Kotug, who immediately received ‘on the-job’ training.
Custom Power App as a solution
The Power App was set up to simplify and standardize the assessment process. In doing so, the assessment criteria were reduced to as possible into closed questions with only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. As a result, each tug master can now be judged on the same criteria, making the assessment far more objective. If there are special conditions to be considered, such as strong winds, currents, poor visibility or seasickness, the trainer can mention these in additional input fields. And because all performance is recorded in detail, a well-founded assessment interview can then be conducted. Trainers and managers can later view and print reports in the Power BI Dashboard.
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