Improve Operational Efficiency – Automate your Workflows!

Improve Operational Efficiency – Automate your Workflows!

29th January 2018 Uncategorised 0

Did you catch our recent webinar where we spoke about Improving Operational Efficiency by Automating your Workflows!

If you missed it, you can view the recording here.



As part of our commitment to bringing you the best service, we will be hosting monthly WebEx sessions for our resellers, providing information across a range of subjects including hot topics with the maritime industry, presentations from relevant external and internal experts, and GTMaritime products. As well as providing sessions on training and sales support.

These sessions will be hosted by our sales and operations team, providing you with the opportunity to connect with both your individual sales manager and our wider team.

For our January Webinar, we walked you through how software can help to improve operational efficiency by automating your workflows between vessel and shore.

We explained how others are using the software to save costs, time and risk as well as opening up the possibilities that vessel data can offer. We showcased a few real-world case studies to show you how others are already reaping the benefits.

Don’t worry if you missed it, you can still access the recording here.

Or, you can read all the information below.


Improve Operational Efficiency – Automate your Workflows!

At the moment you need to connect to one ship at time, setting up tasks, or requesting data. Instead of connecting with one ship at a time, what if you could do this to multiple tasks?

Even better…

What if you could automate it?

That’s exactly what GTRAFT can help you do.


What is GTRAFT?

GTRAFT is GTMaritime’s Data transfer, synchronisation solution. It stands for Reliable, Automatic, File Transfer.

At its core RAFT allows you to configure, monitor and execute simultaneous remote file transfer tasks from a central shore side location.

RAFT makes the job as an IT administrator easier by automating routine tasks; from data file transfer, remote folder synchronization and task automation.

Let’s take a look at it in practice…


Use case: Scenario 1

RAFT can be used for 100’s of different ways, and help you to be as inventive with your vessels as you’d like. We’re going to walk you through a number of real world scenerio’s that RAFT is being used for today.

This Scenario involves updating the charts.

So whats the “problem” RAFT can solve…..

Well in this example, the Captain used to receive chart updates via email. The attachment then had to be manually extracted from the email and imported into the application.

It used to take around 5 minutes per task. No big deal for one or two updates, but when he received updates from other critical business systems, for example weather updates, chart updates, ecdis updates etc.. 5 minutes of the masters time can turn into hours of the masters time. Specifically when you think how much time is spent over the course of a week, month or even a year.

Then from time to time there would be problems with the update, human error, “technical problems” or even just a bad update. How many man hours is the captain spending on troubleshooting tedious tasks. Allow him to get on with his job rather than IT tasks.

In this Scenrio, GTRAFT was able to take over the task. It took minutes to set up by a their IT teams back in the office and once setup, it repeats the task again and again, with no interference from anyone on the vessel. No time wasted on the vessel and the IT office back onshore, know the task has been completed succesfully.


Function: Groups

Better still GTRAFT allows you to create the job once and push it to the entire fleet.

1 or 2 vessels may not be a big deal but what happens when we think of larger fleets.

We have 1 customer using GTRAFT on a fleet of 100 vessels.

They have over 90 jobs per vessel.

That’s a total of over 9000 jobs that would initially have to be created.

Not by using GTRAFT’s Groups.

They created 1 job and assigned it to a group which contained all 100 vessels limiting the administration to just 90 jobs.

Easy – 1 job is easily sent out to all 100 vessels at the click of a button. It can also be managed and reported on to make sure the tasks are working well.


Use case: Scenario 2

Here we have Scenario 2 – transfer Engine Management Systems data automatically using  GTRAFT

A Vessels engine has valuable data. This data can be used to help save fuel, money and more importantly make your operations more efficient…

GTRAFT can interact with the engine management system to actually tell it to output it’s report and then automatically send that data back to shore.


How does it do it?

GTRAFT uses a ‘Pre job task’ to interact with the engine management system triggering the report, before packaging it into an Email which is then sent to the office.

You can schedule this task to happen on a regular basis, or trigger one off jobs as and when you want all from the comfort of your office.

Pre and post job tasks all you to interact with 3rd party application before and after a job has run.

Options are limited to the imagination.

If you can interact with an application raft can do it. Simply write a script and allow raft to trigger it.


Problem – email size limitation

Email has limits, it wasnít designed for file transfer!

GT allow upto 25mb in email size. We are pushing the boundaries with this. We are at the limits of receiving mail servers.

RAFT can overcome this problem with its file splitter

It can split files into smaller chunks and send in small batches.

Very useful for sending applications and larger files.


Oldendorff use RAFT for:

Sending back PMS (Performance Monitoring System) data from vessel to shore for analysis purposes

Sending/receiving ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) data from/to the vessel

Sending/receiving data back to shore from specific maritime software on board (for example reports, forms, etc..)

On demand file sharing: Sending big installation packages (>50 MB) to the vessels for software rollout purposes

Sending new documentation to a specific group of vessels (for example service letters only for a specific vessel class)

The time reduced not being forced to connect to 80 vessels in order to send only one small pdf file to the Captainís computer on multiple vessels is massively!

It makes life much more easier for us as Admins, for the crew and also for third parties since GT RAFT can be utilized for it. You just need to configure it the correct way and adjust if needed

Tobias Huebner

IT Consultant

ITE Information Technology Engineering


Use case: Scenario 3
Engine management system
this time can drop it into the Office

Similar to the previous example where RAFT can interact with the engine management system to output a report,

In this example RAFT will interact with the engine and automatically transfer the data into a network drive on the shore office allowing the management application or portal to consume the data for reporting without any user interaction.

You can rest assured the data being 100% accurate and untampered


Feature: Variables

Variables act as a placeholder

Variables within RAFT enable you to create a single job for multiple users where aspects of a configuration are unique to a vessel.

For example:

You create a job to retrieve files from each vessel within your fleet to synchronize to its individual specific shore side directory in the format of C:\RAFT\IN\<VESSELNAME>

You can assign the variable <VESSELNAME> to a unique string for each user. This could be anything from the vessel name to the call sign. The directory will change for each vessel based on the variable.


Use case: Scenario 4

ERP – planned maintence store – makes the vessel a branch office – syncing data between each other – no longer isolated – they aren’t on their own anymore.

Example synchronisation

PMS / ERP, automatically synchronise datastores.

Vessels no longer remotely isolated, with the use of RAFT providing directory synchronisation allows the vessels to become part of the office sharing the same data.

No manual intervention required.

The use of variables allow you to use 1 single job across the entire fleet changing specific elements in this case the vessel name.

Vessels are no longer remotely isolated, with the use of RAFT providing directory synchronisation allows the vessels to become part of the office sharing the same data.

No manual intervention required!

The use of variables allow you to use 1 single job across the entire fleet changing specific elements in this case the vessel name.


Task Automation

Not just file transfer – can perform remote tasks with scripts etc.

RAFT is not just a file transfer mechanism, it also allows you to perform task automation. Similar to the windows scheduler.

As an IT manager it will allow you to remotely trigger tasks on a vessel, whether this be to bring up or down the network, run a script or remove an application.

All from the comfort of your office.

Link this with other functionality such as groups and variables you can simply push the one task to the entire fleet and have it self execute.

Imagine what you could do with all the time saved..