For those not involved in first-hand operations of a superyacht, uniform management may be pretty low on the list of priorities. But in reality, crew uniform management is one of the biggest headaches on board. In Issue 83 of The Crew Report, we speak to Lottie Lyne, client director of Crew a la Mode about what it takes to successfully manage uniform on board and how to avoid running into disasters.
Even with the management of existing uniform, there are so many ways in which things can go wrong, especially on large yachts and vessels with a high turnover of crew. “The changing of crew has a big impact,” says Lyne. “There are some yachts where a huge amount of money is wasted on reordering uniform due to the high level of crew turnover.”
Retaining a loyal crew is important for a successfully run superyacht for numerous reasons, such as familiarity, a cooperative team and lower hiring and training costs. However, maintaining a successful inventory system for a superyacht with a high crew turnover is very difficult, so well-thought-out processes are essential. “When boats are getting through a lot of staff, that’s when the problems start setting in,” explains Lyne. “Often, new crew don’t know where everything has been ordered from, or even where replacement uniform is stored.”
Lynn goes into detail about one of the largest issues of uniform on board, storage. “Crew a la Mode do offer off-the-boat inventory storage options,” says Lyne. “This means that the crew will have on board what they need, we have a warehouse with their inventory and the boat orders what they need when they need it. The trouble really comes when owners want uniform that is visually exciting and, as a result, constantly want a different look, but there is nowhere to put it all.” If there is an owner who likes to change the uniform on a regular basis.
According to a survey of 644 crewmembers conducted by The Superyacht Intelligence Agency, 80 per cent said spare uniform for new crewmembers is stored on board. The trouble with this is that storage requirements are often such that there is simply no space on board the yacht.
Apart from the issue of storage, the biggest frustration concerns delivery delays and incorrect orders, according to The Superyacht Intelligence Agency survey. Here, 18.3 per cent of crew complained that often uniform is delayed because of being held up, customs, not completing orders within an emergency time frame or taking too long dealing with customised colour pallets.
Read the full article, and more, in Issue 83 of The Crew Report - download here. Or, pick up a copy from The Superyacht Group's stand at FLIBS - Superyacht Pavilion 617.
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