Guest column: The challenge

Over the years the Dutch maritime industry has gained a worldwide reputation for quality and reliability. Within this sector a large number of companies is active in the field of’marine electronics’ and their reputation confirms my opening statement on a daily basis. And for good reason.

Despite the difficult business climate in the maritime world, there will always be business opportunities for companies that stay close to their customers and companies that have a keen eye for innovation. Or preferably both. In other words, companies that innovate alongside their customers will find lasting success, even in tough times.

One of the definitions of innovation is: stepping out of your own shadow and finding ways to help customers that others have so far failed to see. Well spoken words, but how to handle that challenge? How to find innovation opportunities as a Dutch marine electronics company? Allow me to make a suggestion.

At Royal Dirkzwager we work with your customers on a daily basis. Be it ship owners, operators, their agents, ship suppliers etcetera. And the key themes in our discussions with those companies are most often cost saving and increased safety through more clever use of information. We help them achieve this by offering services that combine reliable information and technology.

Marine technology in itself is often innovative, but the true challenge – in my view – lies in presenting a strong combination of technology and information to your customer. Innovative information solutions for the maritime world, presented in close partnership with state-of-the-art marine electronics. Stepping beyond the shadow of only selling a technological solution.

One example is the increased use of remote diagnostic monitoring of all vital functions on board a vessel. In combination with the latest sensor and ship-shore communication technology this will lead to a revolution in technical management and on board or in port equipment servicing. Technology and information coming together in an innovative process.

A challenge? Yes, definitely. But at the same time an opportunity for companies that realise electronics alone – however innovative – will in the end have limitations. The challenge and the opportunity lie in ‘scrumming’ about efficiency, cost saving and safety with information partners and with customers.

And I strongly feel that such an approach is well within the scope and the reach of the Dutch maritime electronics sector.

Pieter Bloemendaal
Managing Director Royal Dirkzwager

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