Creating Better Shipyard Project Outcomes
In 2019 Fisher Maritime celebrates its 43rd anniversary. Founded in 1976, it is a firm of maritime project management consultants and analytical naval architects, marine engineers and marine technologists. The firm is focused on giving more high-level analysis to ship-related matters than is normally given in an engineering environment. Having completed over 600 engagements during those years, Fisher Maritime has amassed considerable experience with clients on five continents. The firm is widely known for four major capabilities:
- resolving shipbuilding and conversion contractual problems and disputes.
- expert witness services for ship conversion, construction and operation.
- pre-contract Quality Assurance Reviews of proposed contracts, specifications and drawings.
- training to improve project management skills for shipyard projects.
Resolving Shipbuilding and Conversion Contractual Problems and Disputes
Fisher Maritime regularly provides project and contract management assistance to ship owners, shipyards and major subcontractors, especially when the contractual relationships are deteriorating. When we are engaged after the commencement of a troubled project, we first use analytical skills to determine why the project is not working out as planned. We also identify inconsistencies between actual performance and contractually-anticipated performance by each party. We then identify the most appropriate procedural corrections to the on-going project to achieve a delivered vessel as close to targeted cost and schedule as possible, benefiting both parties.
Expert Witness Services for Ship Conversion, Construction and Operation
There is a theme common to nearly every disputed or troubled matter addressed by the firm. That theme is to seek what did not occur as planned; why did it not occur as planned; what should have been done to increase the likelihood that it would go as planned; and identify which party had responsibility to address the possibility that it might not work as planned. Our considerable experience in developing such analyses creates a solid basis for the expert witness services provided by the firm’s principal consultants in many technical and operational areas of the marine industry. We have provided such expert witness services on numerous occasions pertaining to contract disputes, vessel operations, vessel design, and vessel maintenance issues.
Pre-Contract Quality Assurance Reviews of Proposed Contracts, Specifications and Drawings
One result of having helped remedy numerous contract disputes is our ability to identify potential risks that, if they do occur, will have significant consequences for one or both contracting parties. Our pre-contract quality assurance reviews of those draft documents identify ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors that create unnecessary risks. Those risks are eliminated or mitigated by suggesting alterations to the proposed contract documents. The risks are reduced even further because, through the suggested alterations, both parties will be mindful of their possibility.
Training to Improve Project Management Skills for Shipyard Projects
As an outgrowth of analyses of project disputes and working to get them resolved, Fisher Maritime developed and provides to the maritime industry several lessons-learned training programs. They include one for managing shipbuilding contracts (Contract Management for Ship Construction, Repair, & Design), a second program for improving shipyard profitability (Shipyard Management of the Customer and the Contract), and a third program is for the development and implementation of ship conversion and repair specifications (The Port Engineer’s Course). Over 150 organizations in 21 countries have had these programs presented on an in-house basis 260 times over the past 29 years, in addition to about 200 open-registration programs. Total attendance has been almost 6000 persons world-wide.