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The costs of Subchapter M

Lindsay Schwindt

MobileOps vs. Paper

On July 20th of this year everyone in the towing industry had to be Subchapter M compliant due to the fact that on July 22nd of next year 25% of a company’s fleet must have their COI’s (certificate of inspection) to keep their business up and running. With that said, what does it look like in terms of cost to be Subchapter M compliant?

Many companies are choosing to keep doing what they are doing because they don’t quite understand what needs to be done in order to be compliant with Subchapter M regulations and successfully obtain their COI’s. Then there are those companies that do understand the challenges of complying with Subchapter M regulations and realize they need a reliable recordkeeping system to pass their inspections. But, what kind of system are we talking?

A lot of companies are choosing to create internal systems (spreadsheets or paper-based processes) to maintain and track compliance which, depending upon the complexity, may require spending money and hiring new employees to manage the systems. This approach can work, but is it really cost effective and efficient? Not necessarily. It would be expensive to hire and pay new employees when companies could just utilize the ones they already have. Additionally, companies are putting themselves at risk by creating an internal system that may not deliver when it comes to passing inspections.

What’s the solution then? Vessel management software. Such software, like MobileOps can easily be used by management and crew to track everything that is necessary to be compliant according to their SMS (safety management system). This ensures employee accountability, proper vessel maintenance and that all safety requirements are being met. Vessel management software, like MobileOps, is cost effective because companies can supercharge current employees by training them to use the application and allowing them to keep up with regulations electronically. When it comes time for an inspection there is a paper trail with objective evidence at the tip of your fingers thanks to easy to use software like MobileOps. Kate Keeler at P&R Water Taxi had this to say about MobileOps:

“We had a Subchapter M review of our vessel with a senior surveyor at ABS. He was incredibly impressed with MobileOps for subchapter M compliance. We were able to easily show documentation for all areas requested—training, vessel and personnel credentials, safety gear expiration, maintenance and more.”

Subchapter M will cost towing companies in the maritime industry. Vessel management software like MobileOps offers immediate value and ensures long-term success.

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