Monitoring our activity and environmental impacts: a challenge
From Abeilles salvage tugs to Bourbon Offshore Surf MPSVs, Frédéric Siohan has already experienced a rich professional life full of challenges. Today, as shore-based Excellence Operational Manager, he ensures that the group’s standards align with those of our clients. An interview.
OFFshore : Can you tell us about your career history?
Frédéric Siohan : I joined the Merchant Marine School in Marseille, now the ENSM, in the 2000s. I did several internships in various maritime companies on ferries, ore carriers, etc. before joining BOURBON as a student, with a first mission aboard Abeille Bourbon in Brest and then on AHTS vessels with Bourbon Offshore Surf. I was promoted lieutenant and then chief officer. I then discovered the group's fleet of IMR vessels aboard MPSV Bourbon Enterprise and later on Bourbon Evolution 801.
OFFshore : Why did you decide to join BOURBON?
F. S.: Towage and salvage along the French coast really attracted me since I was a kid, but after my internship on Abeille Bourbon, I decided to take the advice of the “oldtimers” and gain international experience. I said to myself, why not Bourbon Offshore Surf? At the time I had a clear preference for service vessels over freight and passenger transport.
OFFshore : 2015 was the turning point when you decided to operate onshore...
F. S.: It’s true, our sector was hit head-on by the crisis, and I was looking for professional alternatives. I then joined the Corporate Audit department for two years, which enabled me to acquire enormous knowledge and to have a much more global view of our activity and our affiliates. After that I joined the Smart Shipping Program team, where I contributed to the development of the "Log On" digital tool, including the electronic log. Finally, in 2019, I joined Bourbon Marine & Logistics, first as "Operations Continuous Improvement Manager", and then Operational Excellence Manager, the position that I hold today.
OFFshore : What does that consist in? What are your day-to-day tasks?
F. S.: My department is entirely focused on client satisfaction. Our goal is to ensure that our standards and services fulfill their needs. Our standards have been defined according to those of the OCIMF (the forum created by the oil majors). We ensure the application of those standards through our Operational Safety Management (OSM). The department contributes to ensuring that the ship managers use a common Safety Management System (SMS) in order to enhance our coherency with respect to our clients and affirm the BOURBON way of doing things. Our department is also in charge of consolidating the group’s HSE data and ensuring that HSE information is shared with all the subsidiaries to enable everybody to benefit from the experience.
My department is entirely focused on client satisfaction. Our goal is to ensure that our standards and services fulfill their needs.
OFFshore : Which aspect of your job do you prefer?
F. S.: It’s precisely this cross-sectoral side of the job. Ensuring feedback, information sharing and team cohesion in a vaste perimeter is very rewarding.
OFFshore : What are you most proud of since you have taken up your job onshore?
F. S.: I think that my greatest achievement is the validation of the electronic Log Book by four flags. We are pioneers, the first shipowners to have done so. It's a job that took over two years to complete and was crowned with success. I wrote the functional specifications of the electronic log and contributed to the creation of each of the modules in the application. It was very interesting.
OFFshore : What are your goals today?
F. S.: To give the environment a bigger role in the BM&L strategy. In HSE, we need to put the E on the same level as the S, and we are working on it. It means succeeding in establishing an environmental system, integrating it into our current system in order to better monitor our activity and environmental impacts: it is tomorrow's challenge for operational excellence. On a personal level, the scope of my role has expanded considerably, I have to do my best to face the challenges I already have today.
OFFshore : What advice would you give a person who wants to enter this type of profession?
F. S.: Be prepared for change by grasping the opportunities! Know how to adapt and succeed in discussions with a large number of people with different points of view in order to reach results that enable the group to progress.