Birkeroed: Until Maritime CEO had met Hans Ottosen we had never come across the word ‘servitisation’, but now we’re up to speed given the huge emphasis the ceo of Danelec Marine places on this 21st century addition to the English language.
Danelec Marine is a manufacturer of Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS), a sector that has become increasingly competitive in recent years.
“There is a tendency for shipmanagers to order the least expensive product that is type approved to the standards,” Ottosen says. “Our position is somewhat different. We are looking to add value through an innovative approach to service and also by designing our products with functionality beyond the minimum standards with any eye to the full life-cycle costs of ownership.”
This is where the word ‘servitisation’ crops up for the first time in the interview, a concept Ottosen says is gaining traction in other industries around the world, but is relatively new to the maritime sector.
“In essence, it’s the process of moving from a product orientation to an integrated product/service solution,” Ottosen explains. In the past, manufacturers of marine products focused on manufacturing processes to bring to market products with desirable functionality at the most attractive price, he says. “The service department has typically been off on its own, and is often considered a separate profit center for service calls and spare parts sales,” he adds. Danelec, however, has decided to elevate service to a central position in its whole product strategy.
“We have integrated serviceability into our product designs from the very first with our exclusive Software Advanced Protection (SWAP) technology, and we have instituted a comprehensive eService program,” Ottosen says.
A good example of servitisation in action, Ottosen says, is Danelec’s VDRConnect initiative, which transforms the VDR from a static collector of ship data for after-accident investigators into what Ottosen describes as a “robust dynamic data hub” for real-time ship-to-shore transfer of data from the ship’s sensors and systems through commercial satellite channels, something that could help as shipping embraces Big Data to chase efficiencies in today’s depressed markets.