External competences reduce West-Marine’s production costs by 70%
The result of a collaboration between West-Marine and R&D is an optimised production technique and a process which eliminate manufacturing defects and reduces the company’s production costs by 70%.
One year ago, West-Marine modified the production technique of their Safe-Transfers, which serve to quickly and safely transport people between offshore installations, drilling rigs and vessels. Since then, they have received a number of complaints related to their Safe Transfer basket fenders and have been unable to identify the cause of the problem. For this reason, they chose to have the engineering company R&D produce a third-party report to identify potential causes and develop solutions to resolve the manufacturing defect.
The result of the collaboration is an optimised production technique which enhances the durability of their Safe Transfer baskets and reduces the production and maintenance costs by 70%.
The collaboration with R&D has provided us with a solid foundation to solve the problem and has additionally reduced our future production costs significantly.
“We received a number of complaints from the Asian countries related to our Safe Transfer basket fenders, where the customers observed that the rubber ring would change its colour from orange to brown within a year. Seeing that we were unable to immediately resolve the defect, we chose to have R&D produce a third-party report to clarify the cause of the problem and develop a solution to remediate the defects on the existing Safe Transfer basket fenders”, Henrik Madsen says, Offshore Service Manager & HSEQ Manager at West-Marine. “The collaboration with R&D has provided us with a solid foundation to solve the problem and has additionally reduced our future production costs significantly”.
External competences have been an eye-opener for West-Marine
West-Marine has not previously employed any external resources but the collaboration with R&D has illustrated how external competences bring an increased value in the shape of innovation and modernisation. “Due to R&D’s new solutions and their competences, we have experienced an infusion of value, which has strengthened our business further. It has been an eye-opener to employ external resources, seeing that we now have a product which is less cost-intensive to develop and manufacture. We had not attained this solution on our own because we do not view our product from the same perspective as an external consultant. Although the employment of external expertise is an additional cost, it has been a minimal and insignificant one in proportion to the result”, Henrik Madsen says.
“It is important that companies continuously evaluate whether their internal competences create the optimal value, or if external competences could increase this value. The outcome of this project clearly exemplifies how external competences are capable of creating an additional value. Our second-opinion has led to West-Marine optimising their production technique and thus launching new Safe Transfers quicker into the market at a lower price”, Nikolaj Jørgensen says, Project Engineer at R&D.