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Jan Meyer speaking in Meyer Turku Oy symposium

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

The CEO of Meyer Turku Oy, Jan Meyer

The CEO of Meyer Turku Oy, Jan Meyer

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.

Meyer Finland and Germany Process mix

Meyer Turku processes a mix of best practices

 

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.

 

Mikko Varjanne

Chief Operational Officer, M.sc Econ, Bachelor of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, In maritime industry since 1998

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STX Finland sold Turku shipyard

Last week, there were rumors about the negotiations between the Finnish government, Meyer Werft and STX Finland being successfully finished. Today these rumors have been confirmed. The shipyard was bought with 70% of the shares acquired by Meyer and the rest by the Finnish government. In addition to the purchase of the shipyard, it also got 2 new orders from TUI Cruises.

Read the full press release below or from Meyer Werft’s website.

MEYER WERFT joins forces with STX Finland

Posted Aug 04,2014
German cruise ship builder strengthens its yards

 

Papenburg/Helsinki, 04 August 2014 – MEYER WERFT joins forces with the STX Finland shipyard in Turku. Following weeks of negotiations the Finnish Government and MEYER WERFT signed a share purchase agreement with the current owner STX Europe. With its 70% stake MEYER WERFT takes the industrial leadership of the new company.
At present some 1,300 employees and a specialised supplier network are involved in the construction of the cruise ship Mein Schiff 4 for the German cruise operator TUI Cruises from Hamburg. TUI Cruises just announced to order another two ships of this class in Turku. STX Finland is a specialist in the construction of cruise ships and a yard that holds exceptional technological know-how.

 

As Dr. Jan Meyer, managing partner of MEYER WERFT, explained, ” This acquisition will strengthen the yards in Papenburg, Turku and Rostock: With joining forces with Turku we can offer more flexibility to our customers. In addition both shipyards respect each other for their high level of professionalism and thus can learn a lot from each other in order to improve their working processes or to join forces on research & development.

 

We are confident that in this way we can create a good opportunity for the Finnish maritime cluster to thrive and also hope to interest many young people to join us for building the future high-tech ships.”
The acquisition is still subject to clearance by the antitrust authorities and banks. The plan is to rename the company STX Finland Oy to Meyer Turku Shipyard Oy.

 

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU – Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Create QR code for your products in 3 simple steps

Follow this step by step guide on how to create and use QR codes to enable your end buyers to find you through your products and get aftersales through SHIPSU.

Step 1

Once you have inserted a product to the Market, you can open the product view and copy the URL from your web browser.

This method requires that the Buyer needs to join or sign up to SHIPSU (which in the case of end buyers is for free).

or

To avoid the sign up requirement and give little information directly from the QR, you can insert for example product code to the product page and search with that code and copy the URL from your browser, when you see the results page.

Step 2

Just copy the URL to a QR creator such at this one. (There are many more free QR creation tools online and many of them very good, you can choose the one of your liking.)

Generate the code.

Step 3

Print and attach to your product.

Now your buyer is able to find your company and product information from SHIPSU Market.

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU – Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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How to find the provider of a product you have?

Follow this step by step guide on how to get the needed information about products and their aftersales services in  SHIPSU through QR codes.

Step 1

Scan the QR code in the product with your mobile phone or tablet with a QR reader that can be found in application marketplaces for your smartphone or tablet.

Go to the link to find the product in SHIPSU Market.

Step 2

Once the code takes you to SHIPSU, where you have a thumbnail view of the product.

To open the product page you will need to sign in or join to SHIPSU as a Buyer (free for end buyers).

Step 3

Contact the Provider via email or request through SHIPSU’s system.

You can find the company information by clicking the company’s name.

Or you can add it to your order cart and RFQ for it in SHIPSU.

And from there on, you are able to order new products to replace the old ones or get more information, about the products themselves.

If you have any questions concerning QR codes used with SHIPSU’s system, please leave a comment or email to info@shipsu.com.

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU – Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Finnish Government announces negotiations with Meyer Werft

It was reported in the Finnish new yesterday 8th May 2014 that Finnish government is negotiating with Meyer Werft regarding purchase of Turku Shipyard. Finnish government had reported a frame decision of being interested in participating in acquisition if an industrial partner can be found. STX group, the owner of STX Europe, including STX France and STX Finland (being Turku shipyard after shut down of Rauma shipyard) had announced already last year, that they will sell European shipyard by the end of June 2014. No information can be found, whether the European shipyard should be sold as one entity or individually.

Speculation naturally started at once and I’d like to speculate too.

Good news for the industry in Finland and ship ownersCranes

One thing is for sure, this is good news. Finnish network of shipbuilders, which have had to live under very stressful environment for the la
st 4 years, got the best news so far when this rumor has even some fact behind it. When governmental decision makers make such announcement, there cannot be just political speculation involved despite of upcoming election in Finland. Meyer Werft seems to be more cautious in their comments but that, in my opinion is rather usual in case of acquisitions because there are always many things that this kind of thing has effect on. Negotiable contracts not being the minor ones.

 

Benefits of possible Meyer Werft of Turku

Turku shipyard has suffered from several problems during last years. Financial performance of projects has been poor, lack of large scale projects after Allure of the Seas and being unable to get the balance sheet in the condition the guarantees require, as written earlier when Turku lost the battle against STX France. Today RCCL ordered the optional second vessel from STX France, which was part of the contract made between the parties in December 2012.

When Finnish government together with Meyer Werft would be involved in the shipyard as an owner, the guarantees should be more easily arranged. To put is simple: the financial muscles would be heavy weight. Commercial output of Meyer Werft is good and most probably due to their system of operational excellence ensuring profitable and high quality production in industrial form.  However, Finnish governmental ownership will not be based on cash injection but efficient and profitable construction of vessels. That is where Meyer Werft comes into the game as “primus motor”, the shipyard that really knows their business. Meyer has successfully implemented the Lean method into shipbuilding and their major clients love the outcome. The quality of the product has to be great everywhere but when build in Meyer Wert, the process is top-of-the-line and the client can really rely on the outcome whenever asked. What are the main aspects in successful industrial shipbuilding, which Meyer Werft, as the top shipbuilder is able to meet and keep the clients happy? It should be kept in mind that Meyer has succeeded to win the trust of all major cruise ship owners in the world. This is not typical but usually the yards serve 1-2 major clients and additionally some smaller ship owners.

Goals and challenges in industrial shipbuilding

  1. Risk – The industrial methodology should mitigate the operative risk of the production through transparent portfolio and supply chain management.
  2. Schedule – The target is to achieve zero deviation to schedule
  3. Quality – In the holistic perspective, the execution and the delivery of the product is high on quality
  4. Efficieny – The Lean systems (flow/takt/pull) recognized in automotive industry, bring efficiencies in several levels. Procurement system and transparency are very different from the traditional shipbuilding.
  5. Cost – The well-defined system reduces cost without unfair pressure, stress and pain. This is proven worldwide in different industries, starting from Toyota automotive production but also for example in healthcare.
  6. Safety – The system which is well planned, operations controlled and transparent, creates a safe environment not only for the end-client as a safe product but for the workforce who builds the ship. What is more valuable than health? Nothing.

Joint-ventureThese goals and challenges are common to many industries but especially shipbuilding, where the amount of workforce is significant and the product is large and complex. The Lean system, which Meyer Werft has implemented successfully is however much more.

Geographical benefit

Some false speculation has already been written and referred to professionals of the industry. The basic misunderstanding is related to length of the dock-pool. Some say, that Meyer werft would need Turku shipyard because of the length of the dock and some on the other hand say, that they would build only the steel blocks in Turku and then move the hull to Germany to be equipped in the covered dock. Both wrong. Well, at least in my opinion those are not the case. First of all, Meyer has more dock capacity than Turku but the location of the yard is the problem. They cannot float out from the yard to the sea more than 200 BRT vessels and this due to the channel connecting the yard itself to the sea. Second of all, it is not according to Lean system to move such big entity as the hull from a yard to another. Turku shipyard on the other hand is located close to Neste oil-refinery and therefore there is a short distance (apprx. a mile) to deep-water route to the sea.

 

Geographical challenge

If the location of the yard is the challenge to Meyer, the northern position of Turku and uncovered dock is the challenge in Turku. However, if a shipyard is purchased, the new committed owner should cover the yard the soonest. Mein Schiff 3 should be the last or the second last vessel to be built outside in the Finnish winter. There is no reason, why these ships should be built in rain, wind and snow.

Meyer

Source: Google Maps

Potential

Summa summarum, the joint venture between Finnish government, Meyer werft and Finnish maritime cluster could be very successful. There is a lot of potential and ships to build and contracts to be signed even quite fast. TUI cruises may want another two ships if there is a committed owner with stable balance sheet. A new cruise line may be established according to rumors and that operator has announced the funds have been collected and they have the will to build the biggest cruise ship in the world. Fincantieri has order book quite full as well as French shipyard. Meyer werft in Germany cannot build such vessel but the joint venture could do it Turku. Those three together, create apprx. 3 Billion EUR worth of potential.

As far as I know, there is no reason why this joint venture should not happen. It is a multiple win –situation. There are so many winners, that I do not even speculate it before this is real and a fact. I hope it will become reality!

 

Mikko Varjanne

Chief Operational Officer, M.sc Econ, Bachelor of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, In maritime industry since 1998

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New payment methods

In the beginning of May, SHIPSU will enable payments via credit cards. In the beginning these payments are available for paying the subscriptions of Provider Premium and Buyer Regular. In the future additional services can also be paid with a credit card. Here’s few ways our users can benefit from using credit card instead of invoicing:

It’s faster. The chosen subscription type will be activated at the time that the payment for it has been made. Previously this has taken up to days or even weeks. With a credit card payments it will literally take only seconds.

It’s more secure. No more worrying about, if the bill has gotten paid or has it been lost in transportation. Now the user will be dealing directly with the credit card operator.

It’s more flexible. Paying for the subscription won’t be tied to being in the office to get the bill paid.

Credit card payment will be available to both old and new customers. The payment method change will not change the idea of Provider Premium being a fixed rate annually paid subscription with no extra charges.

For any questions about the change please contact info@shipsu.com

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU – Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Better user experience and beauty through simplicity

Easily noticeable, if one has previously visited SHIPSU.com. We have introduced new visuals to it, following the principles of flat design. As the basics of flat design aims to achieve functionality and beauty through simplicity, it was also, what we wanted to achieve with the transformation.

SHIPSU is meant to be used as a tool, a bit more sophisticated hammer for nailing your sales, marketing and sourcing. We wanted to bring out, what it can actually do. So we decided to skip the spinning rims and the bright yellow paint and put one of the most important things on top – the search.

Now, when a buyer user comes to SHIPSU.com they can immediately search for providers’ products and services. Simplicity doesn’t mean that we have left something out. The Market is still as it was before as well as all of the help functions, tutorials and as you can see the blog. The road to the actual core is just shorter.

Here you can see the old meet the new version. Which one would you go for?

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU – Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Online references enable global trade

Recently, YLE News wrote an article that we found very encouraging within the SHIPSU staff. The news was about, how internet presence has helped a Finnish company receive a significant order from an Australian company.

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Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU – Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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B2B is doing what B2C started a long time ago

People are used to using web-based solutions in their private life over the years since Internet and web-shops have matured. It is pretty safe to say that you are one of the persons who are already used to using different online tools in your private life. The reason for saying this so confidently is because it applies to most of the people.

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Mikko Varjanne

Chief Operational Officer, M.sc Econ, Bachelor of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, In maritime industry since 1998

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Langh Ship has invented a functional closed loop scrubber

Because of the  upcoming new regulations regarding sulphur levels in exhaust gases, the ship owners have been struggling to find cost-efficient solutions to meet those environmental regulations. Those regulations state, that in sulphur emission control area (SECA) allowed emissions will be tightened such that the sulphur limit for fuel will drop to 0.1% (from 1.0%) at the start of 2015. Last week an interesting news was released, stating that Finnish ship owner Langh Ship has invented a functional closed loop scrubber! Langh ship announcement reveals the facts and figures by clicking this link.

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Mikko Varjanne

Chief Operational Officer, M.sc Econ, Bachelor of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, In maritime industry since 1998

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