Filestream has won a contract from Carnival UK to install its electronic document management software (EDMS).
The EDMS system will manage all seafarer employment agreements (SEAs) for crew working on its two cruise brands – Cunard Line and P & O Cruises. With a total of 11 ships, the seafarers aggregate around 18,000 from 80 nationalities. Staff numbers are expected to increase by 20% when P & O launches its biggest ship in 2020.
Carnival UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp, the world’s largest cruise company carrying 48% of global cruise guests. Operating 102 ships through a portfolio of nine global, regional and national cruise brands, the company carried 11.5 mill guests last year and achieved the most profitable year in its history with a net income of $2.8 bill.
Lynn Cossey, Carnival UK’s senior manager of vetting and compliance, said;”In terms of the on-boarding function, it’s a legal requirement to have accurate and signed contracts for all our seafarers when they join a ship and for the duration of their employment. Filestream allows us to store all this information centrally so it’s available both at sea and onshore.”
This is claimed to be crucial given Carnival UK employs many people. Employment contracts are complex and varied – some are annual, others are fixed term based on the specific ship and voyage – and differ due to the employing entity and nationality of the individual. Last year, 27,000 different documents were generated, the company said.
The Filestream-based seafarer contract management system allows Carnival UK to meet the International Labour Organisation’s Maritime Labour Convention 2006 – now mandatory – which sets out minimum working and living standards for all seafarers. It means that the business is also compliant when inspected by port authorities, flag state inspectors or Carnival’s own internal auditors.
Filestream’s EDMS integrates with Carnival UK’s HR system – Mistral – which is used to generate each SEA. This shows the date of employment, terms and conditions, salary, entitlements, etc. This is emailed to each person, signed when they join the ship and then scanned so that a ‘wet’ signature can be shown.
Paul Warren, Carnival UK’s application analyst, explained, “Each SEA has a barcode attached to it which is produced based on the person’s name, an employee ID generated in Mistral as well as other details. It’s unique to an individual. When an SEA is scanned and the document ingested, Filestream reads the barcode and then automatically saves it into the relevant personnel file within the system.”
Filestream is accessed using a standard web-browser by crew managers on board each ship, as well as manning agents onshore.
EDMS runs on Microsoft Windows Server with information stored at Carnival UK’s data centre in Southampton. The system is set up so that each ship only has access to its own seafarer data.
Charles Hooker, Filestream’s managing director, said, “Our EDMS is an essential and robust tool for Carnival UK. It means they can not only comply with legislation but effectively manage the volume of their contractual arrangements with employees given the fluid movement of seafarers on and off ships.”