Operational Optimization through Assessment and Management Systems


The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation


Maritime Business Strategy – Operational Optimization

Risk Management and Process Improvement – Risk Assessment, Loss Prevention

Marine Technical Services – Engineering Management Systems, Capital Planning and Asset Lifecycle Analysis

The Inchelium-Gifford ferry is a lifeline for the Colville Nation, providing crucial service to communities on either side of the Columbia River.  Owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes, the Columbian Princess is a unique vehicle ferry operating on a stretch of the Columbia River, upstream of the Grand Coulee Dam on what is known as Lake Roosevelt. Being in a very remote area, the ferry provides a crucial link to communities on both sides of the river where, without the ferry service, driving times to basic services would be significantly greater.  The service operates year-round, every day and it is vital that these communities are able to rely on it.

It is with this in mind that the Tribe recognized the need to retain the services of MCP to assist them with increasing both the reliability and the efficiency of the operation.

Services Performed:

MCP members performed an in-depth assessment of the ferry operations to fully understand the challenges and identify any potential opportunities to optimize the ferry system.  Recognizing the crucial mission of the ferry, MCP recommended and then implemented two basic yet critical initiatives.

The first initiative was to improve the safety of the passengers, crew and vessel by developing and implementing standard operating procedures.  MCP performed an interactive risk assessment workshop with key personnel from the ferry to identify the primary risks they face and develop mitigation strategies for each.  This provided a clear prioritization for what procedures the group should develop first.  Working with the crew, a Safety Management System was developed and personnel trained on its use.

The second initiative was to develop and implement a comprehensive preventative maintenance system.  A full analysis of vessel systems, equipment and vendors was performed and organized into a user-friendly interface for planned maintenance, unscheduled maintenance and overhaul planning.

The Results:

By following a collaborative approach with the crew and other support personnel, we were able to develop systems that were tailored to their needs and simple enough for them to maintain themselves.  The risk assessment exercise was a valuable learning tool for their organization and highlighted the need to prioritize their efforts.  Ultimately, the effort was successful in providing the crew with valuable tools that would increase safety, reliability and efficiency.