Seachef: Bread, budgets and big data

Tapan Kumar is used to people taking the name of his company a bit too literally. “Don’t be fooled: Procurement for ships is only one part of our business “, says Seachef’s Managing Director.

In fact, Seachef has been the pioneer of integrated hospitality management. Established in 1994, the Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) subsidiary introduced an elaborate concept into the maritime industry. A concept that competitors have tried to copy many times since.

“Seachef actively manages health and budget on board – this makes us unique. We coordinate a wide range of services, from procurement and provision budget management to catering, housekeeping and hospitality staff training”, explains Tapan Kumar.

Through streamlined workflows and transparent accounting, Seachef is able to reduce paperwork for senior officers, manage budgets without Cash to Master and improve efficiency on board.

“It’s our aim to offer a nutritious, palatable diet and a hospitable, hygienic environment for crews, whilst remaining cost competitive. Instead of the usual tug-of-war between budget and quality, Seachef creates a win-win for owners and crews by simplifying the way food is purchased, handled and consumed on board,” says Tapan.

Facilitating this simplicity implies a lot of smart thinking behind the scenes. Seachef plans the food supply with a lot of variables in mind. Tapan explains: “We consider the nationality of crew mix, the suppliers’ availability, the quality of goods and the vessel’s budget as well as its trade route. For example, we stock up in economical countries and replenish only fresh foods and essentials at expensive ports to help maintain the budgets.”

Today, Seachef caters to the taste and dietary needs of more than 40 nationalities on over 400 vessels – a joint effort by its catering staff on board and the dedicated back-office on shore.

Big data keeps the pot boiling: Seachef’s innovative ERP-software automates budgeting, diet control, and menu selection. “As we are able to digitally monitor consumption patterns, we can offer ship owners an up-to-date overview of the nutritional status on board,” reports Tapan.

The latest additions to Seachef’s digital toolbox: a new menu planning software that features more than 1,000 recipes, a Learning Management System (LMS) for the catering staff with a series of online courses, evaluation tests and exercises, and the Customer Web Access (CWA) platform that will be launched in Q3 2020.

Tapan Kumar: “The new CWA, that we offer free of charge, allows customers an easy online access to all their files, reports, correspondence, e-invoices, and budgets. All they need from Seachef is now just one click away. This is an added value that perfectly reflects what we stand for at BSM: outstanding customer centricity and transparency.”

For further details, please contact Tapan Kumar (Managing Director, Seachef) at:

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