How MAN became a superman in shipping: diesel giant shares its strategy secrets with the superwomen of WISTA Denmark

Events, Marine Equipment Products and Services, WISTA - Women in Shipping — By on November 9, 2012 at 1:50 PM

The WISTA group who were visiting MAN.

Women executives in Danish shipping have heard how MAN, the renowned marine systems manufacturer, has built a new ‘superman’ status. On October 30, some 30 members of WISTA Denmark (a significant association within the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association) joined a visit to the Copenhagen facilities of MAN Diesel & Turbo, the global supplier of engines and  marine systems, turbo machinery, power plants and  services.

They heard from Per Rud, vice-president and head of MAN PrimeServ two stroke business (MAN’s service brand) how the company has changed the focus on their two stroke After Sale Service business in order to bring the customer more into the picture. Mr Rud spoke passionately of the new approach to the market, at the meeting which was organised in conjunction with Irene Rosberg, president of WISTA Denmark, and which was deemed a great success.

Mr Rud offered a fascinating and educational account of the 250 years of MAN’s  history, which opriginated in an iron works for the Ruhr coal and steel industry and went on to become an integral part of the global maritime business. MAN Diesel & Turbo, with a strong tradition in Denmark, today employs around 14, 000 staff at more than 100 international sites. Mr Rud said: “Earlier this year we celebrated 100 years of MAN engines, the birth of the first diesel engine in shipping history, Selandia. Fifty percent of world trade is powered by MAN Diesel Engines today and MAN Diesel & Turbo two stroke business has approximately 17, 000 engines in operation.”

Per Rud

The key point of Mr Rud’s presentation homed in on the PrimeServ Diesel after-sales services of MAN Diesel & Turbo main activities which have helped raise turnover for the whole MAN Diesel & Turbo division to the level of Euro 3.7bn in 2011. PrimeServ Copenhagen (home of the two stroke business) has the stated aim of providing customers with 24-hour professional technical support and original spare parts, where the main goal is to deliver as fast as possible anywhere in the world. Mr Rud and his team shared the new journey in changing focus from a technical organisation to a more commercial and strategic orientated organisation, at the same time keeping the strong technical knowhow and the customer in focus.His strategy was based on the following pillars:

1         To change from a technical orientated organisation to a more commercial and strategic orientated organisation in order to gain more business in relation to the 17, 000 two stroke engines in operation worldwide.

2         To strengthen the customer focus in order to serve them even better in the future

3         To develop more products and services to the benefit of the customers and the environment

4          To improve the whole supply chain efficiency in order to get more competitive, have the right parts available and to be on time with all deliveries.

The PrimeServ two stroke strategy also included:

1       Involving all concerned, “breaking ‘barriers and silos’ and making sure that all understand what we are trying to achieve and how we are planning to get there.”

2      “Decentralising our activities by making sure we are closer to our customers, by setting up our activities in their countries.”

3     Improving the expertise of our customers, and educating them to operate engines in the best way and servicing them at location if need be. MAN Diesel & Turbo has to give them the confidence that they are a part of the solution offered “and their needs are our top priority.  In this regard, we have also created our own training centre in Denmark where we train our customers.”

4     Choosing the right people, investing in them and making their work as rewarding and exciting as possible; setting up different work groups and making the goals of the company the goal of each individual.

The presentation was rounded off by a lively Q and A session.  In a company which is 250 years old, making major changes can be not too easy, and Irene Rosberg commended Per Rud and his team for an impressive achievement in less than two years in being such an effective agent team  for change.  Ms Rosberg referred to recent research she has carried out which confirmed that executives within the shipping industry consider clarity and transparency of strategy in all levels of any company a major success factor. She praised Mr Rud and his team for having accomplished the type of outcome desired by many executives.

The session was followed by a generous buffet dinner where the WISTA ladies had an opportunity to further discuss matters with Mr Rud, who is very much a ‘MAN gentleman.’

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