For the past five years, Amam had been thinking about how she could help interior crew who enter the industry and are suddenly expect to be experts in every field – something she feels is unfair and something that, until now, was not being addressed by the industry. “I would love to give all the young girls out there the opportunity to actually do a great job because, let’s face it, they all get lured into the industry being told, ‘You can make great money and pay no tax’, but nobody tells them they also need to be an expert in leather care, couture care and all sorts of materials. They have to instantly operate on the highest level and they don’t have the protocols in place.” Amam has a background in textiles engineering, so is confident her knowledge, shared through CRYSTAL, will support new crew in this way.
The software has been designed for the lifestyle of crew; always moving around on the boat and off the boat, the software works across a variety of platforms. “It works on the iPads and iPhones and also on the desktop. The idea is not to strap the girls behind a desk, because we all know one thing – the people who get the desk are the captain, chief officer and chief engineer.” One problem Amam highlights with the current state of the industry is the lack of clear, concise instructions for interior crew – something she hopes the software will be able to solve. “Nobody writes it down – and I understand that, because maybe a chief stewardess only stays six months or a year. I’ve seen attempts on yachts I took over – there was a word document on the desktop in the crew mess, an extra sheet on the personal laptop and some notes on the iPhone. But the software channels all of this – you can literally have a skeleton of what needs to be done and you can assign it to different people so you don’t have to pluck it out of thin air every time.”
The software allows for as much detail about on-board interior operations and procedures as the head of department would like. Individual stewardesses can be assigned specific tasks via ‘cards’ that will appear on their calendar, with time slots which, Amam adds, helps new crew understand how long certain jobs on board actually take.
And, more importantly, having this skeleton of work set up means that when crew turnover there is less pressure on the interior to start from scratch. “It gives the chance for girls to step up. Let’s say you have a chief stewardess who was there for 12 months and she leaves, the next girl can step up because she has seen the cards, she knows the system and she can read it. Even the captain will be able to see what is in the wine cellar and what it is the interior crew are doing.”
Find a full interview with Amam in issue 72 of The Crew Report – out February 2015.