WÄRTSILÄ : Enable sustainable societies with smart technology
With great enthusiasm, Frank Kevenaar, Managing Director Wärtsilä Netherlands, explains the underlying trends and paths of the mission of Wärtsilä for 2018 and the future. A tip of the veil: it’s going to be full of new possibilities.
Let me sketch the current playing field. Our industry is highly dependent on the price of oil. If it falls, investments and prices are under pressure and fuel-saving products become less attractive. Our business depends on complex, expensive oil extraction. The market experiences difficult times and that has a great impact on our customers. There has been a true shake out and there are still customers who are struggling. Fortunately the price of oil is slowly moving back up.
A very different phenomenon that affects our market and our business operations is the fact that possession is becoming less important. This is visible in the success of initiatives in which people share cars or houses and their derivatives, such as Airbnb and Uber. People do not want a car; they want transport. This is also happening on a professional level. For example, a company like Schiphol does not pay Philips per lamp, but per lux. This development is visible in our sector as well. Our customers don’t t want to own vessels per se anymore, they want us to make sure the vessels sail. They expect us to care about their processes and want us to proactively relieve them.
This implies that we must look at our products in a completely different way. And to the services and solutions we offer. For example, we can be faced with the question that has arisen of how we can deliver systems that can reduce the number of people on board. This is both cheaper for the customer, and a challenge for us. In terms of technology, but also in terms of laws and regulations – especially when we have no more crew on board ships at all.
Since the industry is changing, we have to respond flexibly. This puts Wärtsilä at a tipping point at which we change from a mainly traditional shipping company into a future-oriented maritime enterprise that can stay a step ahead of market requirements and movements.
Our new vision is to enable sustainable societies with smart technology. Among other things, this means that we offer our knowledge and our ability to conceive of sustainable solutions to our customers and that we look further than simply what the customer is asking.
We have already made a start, for example, we have started the further integration of offshore and onshore. We work on less wasteful systems in harbours, such as wireless power for ships when loading. We are also working on communication systems that make mooring easier, and on connecting systems to the ship and shore. We will continue to constantly adapt the needs and changes in the industry and society.
Managing Director Wärtsilä Netherlands
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