Tor-Arne Berger joined Q88 four years ago and is the Product Manager for Q88.com and Q88 Dry. The experience and industry knowledge he brings with him typifies the company’s approach to supporting its customers with software developed by people who genuinely understand their needs.
When asked what differentiates Q88 from its competitors, Tor-Arne Berger was quick to point out that the company is filled with shipping people, people who know the industry inside and out and together have over 350 years of experience. “Whereas many companies have software people developing software for shipping, Q88 has shipping people developing software for shipping. This is the difference, and it is a key factor in what makes us an industry leader,” he explains.
Tor-Arne emphasizes the importance that experience plays in product development. He has worked on designing, building, and delivering shipping-specific solutions for 30 years across various business areas. He has sat in the offices of literally hundreds of clients on five continents, listening and learning to find out why and how the right software can simplify and speed work flows. Solution development sometimes is born as a direct result of these conversations. Tor-Arne finds that clients often provide a critical piece of information, without even realizing it themselves.
Close contact and cooperation with customers has always been a priority with Tor-Arne, and underscores the strong supporting role this plays in ensuring the relevance of the company’s solutions. “We seek, welcome, and encourage feedback,” he says. “Input from the people using the software helps us to understand how it is being used, how it benefits them, and what more they would like to get from our products. This information forms the basis of everything we do at Q88.”
Strengthening the company’s all-round capabilities
Q88 is well established as a market leader in information management for the marine freight industry and is particularly known and respected in the tanker sector. Building on the success with tanker fleets, Q88 has invested significantly in bringing innovative and value-adding solutions to the dry bulk space as well.
Tor-Arne states, “When I joined Q88, the company already had a mature and successful product offering, and of course, I saw maintaining this dominant position as a major part of my work and that continues. Now I am focused on building from the success in the tanker space to focus on the dry. We expect Q88 Dry to become an industry standard, paralleling what our clients expect and know from us for tankers.
Building integration possibilities
Regulatory compliance has pushed integration to the forefront of the rapidly evolving and changing shipping sector. Companies need to stay competitive and integrate closely with business partners, while the various systems they use also need to be integrated in order to achieve efficiencies and optimized performance. Access to Information (AIT) systems are a key enabler for successful integration.
Q88’s collaborative approach brings stakeholders together to share information throughout the commercial process. The company continues to develop and fine-tune tools for counterparties, enabling the information maintained on Q88 solutions to be consumed in other systems, and vice versa.
Staying abreast of industry changes
During the past decade or so, digital technologies have initiated huge changes in ship and fleet operations. In parallel with this changing landscape, the regulatory environment has become increasingly complex, with new rules and updated to industry standards continuing to come into force.
“We work hard to make sure that we stay in touch with all of the changes happening in our industry. Every new development, and everything the maritime sector is doing with respect to regulations and standards have to be factored into our thinking. We can’t allow ourselves to play catch-up, so we always place emphasis and focus on being proactive in our product development,” Tor-Arne explains.
While the regulatory framework is certainly more elaborate for tanker operations, it is becoming notably tighter for dry bulk operators. This more regulated environment is anticipated to continue for both for the vessels and the cargoes they carry, which is why Tor-Arne and his colleagues are regularly in active conversations with customers. “We seek the best pathway forward for the maritime industry to meet regulations and simplify compliance.
New ownership brings synergistic benefits
The recent acquisition of Q88 by Veson Nautical unites two of the maritime technology sector’s most respected brands. This will further both Veson’s and Q88’s commitment to keeping ahead of its clients’ evolving needs and Veson’s vision to be the standard platform that propels maritime commerce.
“I see nothing but positives in this bringing together of our complementary product lines,” says Tor-Arne. “Looking at it from my background as not only an IT person but also as a shipping and business person, I see very beneficial synergies between the systems developed by Veson and Q88. Our joint customers, and even the industry as a whole, will gain as a result.”