Seaxl® Marine Software Limited is a company with a vast amount of hands on organisational experience within the shipping industry going back to over 40 years. They have introduced a new approach to maritime software that is easy to use, easy to implement with immediate productivity, downloadable, training free, ready-to-use out of the box and, software which is designed and tailored for the shipping industry.
The five products currently available are CashFlow, Masters General Account, Ships Budgets, The Ship and Company Secretary.
Seaxl® Invest in Ships, a very dynamic evaluation of investments in ships, allowing you to assess how good a proposed investment project is, will be released during Q4 2011.
In this day and age who needs complications and snags in introducing any form of new technology to a shipping company? The usual questions being asked; what will be the cost, who will teach the staff on board the ships and ashore, how will we implement such technology with ease? Who will travel to the ships and implement the technology?
Seaxl® has developed all of their products with this in mind. The Microsoft® Excel® base has been used throughout which makes implementation easy and fast with minimum of fuss since this is a tool widely used across the industry. Seaxl® software is downloadable from the internet and can be purchased through a secure credit card link and furthermore, all programs come with detailed user manuals.
Seaxl® CashFlow comes with a difference. If you have ever tried to assess very quickly and accurately how deal opportunities that cross your desk fit into your overall fleet cash flows and how they play with all of your other obligations and commitments such as loan repayments, new building projects, special surveys or you are busy buying or selling second hand ships then you will appreciate the need for the Seaxl® CashFlow program.
Although your team of financial experts and bankers will find this tool very useful and will not be able to do without it they will not be spending hours or days on end trying to tell you what the results might be and how your game plan is unfolding. It is a cash flow program designed specifically for the shipping industry and is very easy to use. All Seaxl® Products have been developed under the Microsoft® Excel® platform for a reason. In all shipping offices and on board the ships staff is well acquainted with the Excel® platform. The time required to attain sufficient skill to use is minimal as all data entry is laid out in a manner that shipping people are already familiar with.
Preparing cash flow reports for any specific period (month, quarter, semiannual, annual) can be done by simply selecting the date range and applying the period increments. With such simple selection the program will automatically create a new cash flow scenario for you. Another great advantage is the ease with which you can consolidate different portions of your fleet by a simple selection of a Yes or No which will automatically exclude or include ships or companies in your calculations. This has great advantages when you want to assess a variety of options such as ship groups, financial groups and others.
The program allows you to update your initial projections with the actual results as compiled by your accounting department and amend current market conditions going forward. This will ensure that your actual current status is always available and up to date.
Each Datasheet is a report on its own and can be quickly filtered to your specific needs. This together with the CashFlow Projections and six pre-defined visual presentations will ensure that are always current and up to date with immediate and multiple reports.
In a newspaper article the Masters General Account was termed “the dreaded Portage Bill” as if Masters wanted to run away from it for fear that the damned thing would never reconcile. In many instances shipping companies create their own Excel® based versions of the Masters General Account which usually will not function properly or will require continuous checking in all data cells to ensure that no one has tampered with the formulas or to ensure that the wage rates applied to each seaman have been correctly applied. Seaxl® Masters General Account or Portage Bill has come to terms with all such problems that confront many shipping organisations.
The work for the Masters on board the ships has been reduced to simply selecting entries from drop down lists therefore reducing the amount of typing required to an absolute minimum. Validation checks for the Master have been introduced on all data entry forms to prompt the user as to the integrity of the data entered. No matter who prepares the MGA all entries will be uniform as the libraries on which the drop down lists are based and the wage scales loaded are controlled from ashore and for the whole fleet. The system ensures that there is consistency across the whole fleet.
Personnel Officers ashore that need to implement a variety of wage scales to cater for the mix of nationalities on board with differing rates of pay, bonus schemes, variety of pay currencies with resulting currency differences that one has to deal with have been taken into consideration and are centrally controlled with calculations made automatically. The Master simply allocates the wage scale applicable to each seaman and all calculations are immediately made available and payroll is calculated instantly. One major effort required by Masters in the majority of cases is to ensure that the closing and opening balances for the Crew Financial Position are correctly updated in each instance and transferred between accounts. This is done automatically by the Seaxl® Masters General Account by simply clicking on the appropriate buttons.
As for the accounting department all the relevant journal entries are automatically compiled reducing the departments work to a minimum allowing staff to act more as internal auditors ensuring that internal controls are applied correctly throughout the fleet rather than preparing tedious bookkeeping entries.
One of the major advantages of the Seaxl® system is the Import/Export utility available and automatic naming and file location for all projects. The file sizes that are being transferred from ship to shore or vice versa are very small as only data is being transferred in each instance and the speed and reduced costs to any shipping company are an added major advantage.
How do you go about setting targets for your daily OPEX and how do you monitor the performance of each department and each ship when it comes to costs, in an easy and understandable manner. Seaxl® Ships Budgets is a tool which can be easily adapted to any department of any shipping company and introduces consistency throughout in an easy, clear and understandable manner. All the datasheets are clearly laid out so users can complete details by simply selecting titles and entering units, amounts, percentages, periods and such like and let the program do all the hard work for you instantly.
Included are some very useful timesavers for instance, when it comes to computing payroll and overlap days, with immediate reports being made available from the few entries that you need to make. These shortcuts and decision makers really are very handy where you have a mixed crew complement with various nationalities on board paid in a variety of currencies and where duration on board is also mixed. You can view results and projections immediately on a daily, monthly and annual basis.
Another useful tool is the compilation of the Technical and Repair costs. The Technical Detailed Jobs Datasheet allows you to build cost budgets for specific jobs methodically and in detail. Cost titles and cost centres are linked to pre-loaded libraries which are based with reference to an EU Study on Competitiveness and Benchmarking in the Field of Marine Equipment. Simple selection of cost titles and amounts on readily recognisable title headings quickly compile your budget projections. Of course if you wish to take further shortcuts you can simply enter the total amounts in the appropriate cells based on past experience or use both facilities; the detailed and the rule of thumb.
Included in the program are many shipping-related datasheets where all calculations are performed for you by simply entering easily recognisable data. The moving highlighter bars that follow your every move and easy navigation and toggling between related datasheets and reports make the program very easy and a delight to use by anyone.
Financial performance of a single ship or of the fleet as a whole is something that any shipowner would welcome to have available instantly on a single A4 sheet of paper.
Seaxl® The Ship is appropriately named to give you this information simply as a photographic image of the history from the date you purchase the ship through to its final sale or scrapping.
Information collected from source documents and updated in the program over the years builds an appropriate database that is useful not only to management but to many departments within the company.
The information compiled will assist any manager or owner, accountant or financial officer to make effective decisions on information that is always current and consistent no matter who makes the updates. Easy to follow datasheets allow the user to make updates without difficulty.
The many reports available will become a must for any accounts department which includes automatic calculations for depreciation, impairment costs, amortisation of special and intermediate surveys, profit and loss on sale and group fleet reports and others.
Seaxl® Company Secretary, the final program in our review and of the present Seaxl® package, takes control of all your companies within your group whether they are active, dormant or shelf companies ready for use.
In a very simple and effective way this program without much ado takes complete control of all the paperwork that is lying on the shelves of your offices and compiles the records that one always needs but never has readily available to keep abreast of what is what and who is who and where.
The program compiles databases for all of your companies, shareholders registers, officers register, register of transfers, registered offices and agents and document tracker utility of where your documents have been distributed, when and with whose authority.
All updates are made through specially designed data entry forms with ample pre-loaded document libraries that make it easy to use by simple selection and clicking reducing to an absolute minimum all typing which inevitably apply consistency throughout irrespective of who is in charge of keeping the records updated.
The program is not only useful to shipping companies but also to law offices that handle many companies on behalf of their clients will also find it very useful and reduce the amount of work required in reporting to an absolute minimum.
Seaxl® Marine Software products is a collection of professionally and well designed puzzles that fit together and can be built one piece at a time or all together to give you an overall solution for each department and management reporting needs.
There are a variety of useful ready designed and installed tools that come with all Seaxl® products to assist you and make your work easier and more enjoyable. These include pre-loaded libraries and drop down lists to reduce typing, highlighter bars to ensure correct updating, import/export utilities that manage your file sizes, automatic file naming and file location to make your life easy, validation checks to ensure integrity of data, multiple well designed data sheets and reports that are laid out in shipping industry language and easy to understand, help and user manuals that guide you through at all times, forums that resolve any user problems and implementation guidance and much more.
Their website where one can view all their products at www.seaxl.com is well worth a visit. You can see their video presentations and screenshots on all products which will give you a very clear idea of what is available. It is well worth the time spent and will give you a very comprehensive idea of the quality of the products presently available and the ease with which you will be able to implement them across your company. Fresh, innovative and simple!
Source: The Maritime Executive. 16 August 2011