Our client is the maritime industry’s leading third-party due diligence service provider. They provide value to customers by attributing accurate risk ratings to available cargo transports. Founded in 2001, the business aims to offer logistics organisations a means of understanding and measuring the risk involved in sea transportation. They have a particular focus on raising safety standards within the industry.
Based in Australia, the company partnered with several of the shipping industry’s largest companies to roll out a program to eradicate questionable practices that could endanger the safety of crews, ships, and the environment. This program proved so successful that the business opened a US office in 2006 and a European office in 2007.
In 2016, the client launched its flagship vetting service. This allowed customers to better assess the risk involved in shipping their cargo with specific vessels. This service was developed by ValueLabs and was our first project with the client.
A significant percentage of the client’s revenue is derived from its ability to provide customers with real-time risk ratings for specific maritime vessels. The value of the ratings they provide is dependent on the accuracy and reliability of the data used to calculate these ratings.
The client needed to ensure that the data was as up-to-date and delivered as quickly as possible to maximise the value of its services. The client chose ValueLabs as their digital transformation partner as they believed we had the expertise and experience to achieve their goals. Our team began by automating testing processes for the client’s previous vetting system. They then moved on to building and developing the current vetting app.
While the principal challenge involved reducing the amount of time it took to make risk calculations, our client also faced several other hurdles. In particular, the client wanted to improve third party integration and significantly reduce the amount of manual intervention involved in the vetting process. Facing tough deadlines, we successfully deployed the new vetting system. This reduced calculation times from hours to minutes.
The team also implemented an API-based custom rule system that reduced system load by 80%. This dramatically improved the accuracy of risk ratings by ensuring all data was as current as possible. Ultimately, we helped the client to increase revenues by improving integration with more than 260 of their customers.
At the same time, the team developed and implemented automated testing processes for the app. These minimised the amount of manual intervention in the process, guaranteeing a stable digital system. We also provided comprehensive, 24/7 product support for the application.
Once the new vetting system was in place, we focused our attention on the client’s data warehousing, migration and reporting systems. New data management structures and practices were necessary to help the client further reduce the amount of time it took to calculate risk ratings, relieving the strain on its digital infrastructure. We began by building a real-time data warehouse using Snowflake.
The team developed a system that offered remarkably fast computation speeds and allowed for instant integration with the client’s vetting app. This ensured that real-time risk assessments were being made constantly, increasing the accuracy of the data. It also enabled the platform to predict shipping risk and make calculations within fractions of a second.
This development benefitted the client in several ways. First, it offered auto-scalability and reduced batch-processing times by 95%. Second, it ensured that the business and its customers could use real-time data to inform their decision making and draft business reports. Finally, it reduced the cost of infrastructure maintenance.
In 2020, facing major disruption to international shipping due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the client managed to weather the storm without a significant revenue drop. The ValueLabs team focused on the company's cybersecurity. While this will remain the team's immediate focus in 2021, we will also continue searching for innovations that can further increase the value of the client’s services. Having aligned ourselves with the business’ core values - in keeping with our OneCompany philosophy - we’re prepared to take on any challenge that is presented.
Throughout our six-year relationship with the client, we’ve faced several challenges. These included the unique nature of the maritime industry, the niche expertise required to operate within it, and time pressures imposed by short deadlines. At every stage of the journey, we strived to take an OneCompany approach, ensuring that any problems the client had were faced and fixed by our team.
By consistently delivering high-quality products and services on time and round-the-clock support, we gained the client's trust and became a valued partner. In ensuring the business had the digital tools and infrastructure necessary to make real-time risk calculations, we also improved the value of the client's services. This has helped them to achieve their strategic goals and maintain their position as an industry leader.
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