LESSONS LEARNED FROM COVID
Every business in the world had to adapt to the new reality brought on by the COVID pandemic, and Argo Navis Engineers is no exception. The transition to COVID era operations was facilitated by the fact that Argo Navis Engineers had carefully cultivated an extensive business network beforehand. As the world ground to a halt, partner companies situated all over the world assisted us with solutions and helped us create new opportunities for cooperation.
For instance, our 3D Laser Scanning requests often come at a moment’s notice, but our local scanning team’s ability to travel has been hampered by PCR test lag times and stringent COVID policies adopted by countries, port authorities – even airlines. Thus we now outsource a large percentage of our scanning to partners abroad who are able to overcome logistical hurdles while at the same time maintaining our high standard of quality.
Lockdown and remote working coincided with our transition towards project management of a greater number of outsourced projects. Though our local engineering teams are still busy creating the technical drawings and specifications for Ballast Water Treatment System and Exhaust Gas Cleaning System retrofits, we allocated additional project management duties to our more senior staff. Whether at the office or working remotely, they now oversee Engineering Studies created by the Argo Navis network of partners.
Our installation, service and commissioning engineers faced the usual COVID restrictions with their attendances. Unless quarantine exceptions can be acquired, long quarantines await engineers for all their visits to foreign countries. The COVID bottleneck has also restricted the availability of specialized teams and hampered timely delivery of spare parts, making our engineers’ work that more difficult at the drydock. Often, there are very serious problems faced by the ship managers themselves too – and this in turn indirectly affects their own network of partners, including our own.
Regardless of who is working to find solutions, whether it is Argo Navis Engineers and our partners or the ship managers themselves, the best way to deal with the new COVID reality is to develop a robust network that will allow industry stakeholders to subcontract projects that are difficult to complete from a singular point.
Every new era comes with its own set of challenges and this one is no exception. Instead of moving away from one another, stakeholder cooperation should be significantly expanded, allowing everyone to adapt and successfully overcome the many hurdles placed in our path by this new business reality.