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Grieg Star: ‘Start with the value proposition first, not the solution’

On July 1 last year Matt Duke took over from Camilla Grieg as CEO of Grieg Star, one of the best known names in Norwegian shipowning. Coming from an IT background, Duke is busy transforming the company into a pioneer for the digital age.

Duke joined Grieg Star as chief business process officer in January 2018. He came from a role as VP digital platform maritime at Kongsberg Digital. Prior to that he worked for 14 years at Odfjell, lastly as corporate vice president IT.

“Grieg Star is no different than other shipping companies in that we see the need to deliver on targets relating to safety, profitability, sustainability and digitalisation,” Duke tells Maritime CEO. In order to achieve this, he’s busy putting in place what he describes as a “lean, high quality, high competence” organisation.

“We need to foster a hunger for knowledge and personal development. We need to make sure the organisation is diverse. These are the foundations that give that dynamic environment that produces new ideas and solutions,” Duke maintains.

Grieg Star has developed digital solutions for many years. Duke arrived at the company in a situation where it was clear the firm could build on these foundations and then take advantage of new opportunities related to emerging technology.

“It is not about digital technologies,” Duke says, “but about getting the best results by building a good mix between carefully identifying the problems we need to solve, and then empowering our experts with new technologies to complement their domain knowledge.”

Duke stresses to all employees that it is vital to always focus on the problem they are trying to solve first.

“It is only after defining the value and benefit of solving the challenge, that we use resources to develop solutions and new processes that improve our performance,” he explains.

In that way, for example, Grieg Star used time to build business analytics to pull specific trends and indicators out of its core systems that have value.

“There is no value in the technical achievement of bringing sensor data from our assets, if the information isn’t understood and of use to our experts. We start with the value proposition first, not the solution,” Duke asserts.

This article first appeared in Maritime CEO magazine, published this month. Splash readers can access the full magazine for free by clicking here.

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