City of Turku arranged a symposium around the newborn Meyer Turku Oy, company owned by Finnish government and Meyer Werft. In the symposium, the governmental owner represented the Minister Vapaavuori described the acquisition process in rather humoristic way which reflected the relief of the industry. Mr. Vapaavuori told stories about the very start of the process 2 years back into latest negotiations between the Meyer family and Finland. The stories were many times spiced with comments of the importance of the industry and Meyer Turku to Turku and Finnish maritime cluster. Basically the message was, that the current industrial owner is a perfect match as I speculated in the blog post of mine earlier as well.
Jan Meyer convinces continuance
Mr. Jan Meyer was very proud to be the CEO of the newborn Meyer Turku Oy and convinced that the acquisition is a big step for them and they intent to stay in Finland and continue to create innovative, high-quality vessels to the client base of their. Earlier Turku had basically leaned into Royal Caribbean group as nearly their only customer. Meanwhile Meyer Werft has 9 clients and the order books full until 2019. In Turku the intention is to built the biggest vessels, as well as technically special vessels and passenger vessels with ice-class.
Energy efficiency and Lean philosophy
The key element I picked from Mr. Meyer’s speech was to execute the integration of best practices from both shipyards in Turku, not only bringing methodology from Germany to Finland. Quite wise, I think.
The Lean philosophy, which Meyer has learned from the automotive industry, mainly Toyota, is well driven into processes in Germany. There was no room for operational discussion in the symposium today but I would be surprised if the Lean philosophy would not be brought to life in Turku as well. Royal Caribbean appreciates the philosophy quite high as amongst other cruise ship builder FCR Finland has learned and started to implement the philosophy into processes where applicable. The philosophy is deeper than just a strategy and pile of books. It is more than just a word but when executed well, the shipyard may work as a factory, profitably building high quality vessels in competitive price. Like Meyer Werft in Papenburg!
Another key element was to find energy efficient ways to lower the vessels energy consumption, bringing innovations to both marine and hotel energy flows. Energy efficiency is important in order to save fuel but still be able to create astounding experiences to cruise customers like Oasis (and Allure) of the Seas did and Quantum of the Seas will do.