Ian Millen033a

Raising the standard – a view from the COO

The uncharacteristic heat of the British summer that I spoke of in our last newsletter, inevitably didn’t last, but we have had no let up in the temperature here at Dryad with a busy programme of development and operations. Externally, our newest offerings are sitting alongside our tried and trusted products and services, continuing to add value by helping our clients reduce risk and save money. Internally, we have been focused on having our process and quality control assessed by a testing international standard, to ensure that we continue to add this value in all that we do.


We have followed on from our time in Posidonia, exposing our new VES and PRISM to a much wider audience of existing and prospective clients with activity in Hamburg, Copenhagen, Singapore and Mumbai, to name a few locations. With an ever-increasing focus on efficiency and continued need to keep seafarers safe, our interaction with the shipping industry has confirmed that we are on the right course with our products and services at a time when we continue to find new ways of improving safety and efficiency with new developments.


In addition to travelling abroad with our offerings, we are delighted to have established a new office in Singapore with Mark Thomas who is working closely with our Director Asia Pacific, Karen Jacques, and enabling us to build important new relationships and take our products and services to a much wider audience in this important shipping hub.


If our outreach to new markets has kept us busy, so too has our operational output, with our team delivering across an ever-widening range of areas in support of our clients’ global trading, including in some challenging areas. A particular highlight has been the way we have supported clients to operate safely in Libya, where they have enjoyed the competitive advantage that comes with trading in places that others avoid. This intelligence-enabled, competitive advantage has kept them happy and their crews safe. By contrast, our ops team have been busy supporting an international sporting event with preparations for the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race. We are delighted to be the provider of choice for this prestigious event once again and look forward to helping them to navigate challenging waters in the months ahead.


Our Q3 maritime crime statistics in this newsletter edition serve as a useful reminder to all to remain vigilant in all maritime operations, where the threats are many and varied. Whilst the multi-faceted approach used to mitigate the risk of Somali piracy continues to reduce this particular threat, maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea and Southeast Asia continues to give seafarers and those responsible for their welfare pause for thought. Other waterborne threats, such as the recently reported terrorist attack on an Egyptian patrol craft in the Mediterranean and the threats of international terrorist action against the maritime industry mean that we need to continue both our intelligence-led horizon scanning and analysis, to anticipate such threats and develop sound recommendations avoid them in the first place, or deal with the impact if encountered.


Closer to home – in our Portsmouth HQ to be exact – we have been focused on ensuring that our capability and capacity to offer value-added services to our clients in such dangerous regions is fit for purpose. We have done this by subjecting our systems, processes and people to a testing international standard in the form of ISO 9001, for which we have now received certification. The important thing to note is that this has resulted from a comprehensive review and assessments of all that we do by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) – a highly respected, external Certification Body. The end result recognises the huge effort and professionalism of our compliance and operations teams in particular, as well as the wider support of the Dryad staff, in the achievement of this important international standard. A standard that our clients can rely upon and one that gives us the foundation for future growth.


If you would like to keep up to date with developments on how we are doing and what we are looking at, I encourage everyone to take advantage of the information on our web pages and social media streams. In our last newsletter, I said that we had embraced this in a more meaningful way and I’m delighted that the Dryad team has ensured that we ‘walk the talk’ on this promise, producing informative, free to view, content via these modern media. Our marketing and communications professionals have done a fantastic job in developing the foundations for this success and they continue to find new ways of reaching out to our clients and friends alike. So again, please join us on the web, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up to date with what’s going on out there and inside Dryad. We would love to hear your views and engage with you on a regular basis.


Well I think that’s enough from me for now. All that remains is for me to thank you for your continued interest in Dryad Maritime and give you all an assurance that we are committed to the continual improvement of the quality of our outputs and of our customer service. Something that we need to do to serve you better and strengthen our position as a market leader in the maritime operations sector.


Ian Millen, Chief Operating Officer