The situation in the oil and gas industry will encourage offshore suppliers to look at opportunities in the fishing industry. The fishing industry is open to innovative solutions, but this must be combined with a strong track record and reliability, according to Mads Færk at MAN Diesel & Turbo.
With a history that goes back 125 years in the fishing market, the company is a highly experienced player, currently experiencing increased activity in the fishing sector.
‘Increased activity in the fishing market attracts more potential suppliers. Competition is tougher. As the offshore industry comes under more pressure, many suppliers become interested in fisheries. In this situation, innovation, technical solutions and results from previous projects become very important,’ said Mads Færk.
‘We do not sell at the price we sell on quality, reliability and on providing the best service. Reliability is particularly important in the fishing industry because here you typically do not have someone monitoring the engine room all the time. When fishing, he is on the deck, and it can be disastrous if the engine is not running and you lose revenue.’
He said that a company has to show its record of success over a long period and remain in touch, not forgetting customers who don’t need to build new vessels right now.
A key difference between the fishing and offshore sectors is the procurement process, he said.
‘In the oil and gas industry, you are dealing with large international companies, and your contact goes through a large technical organisation or a purchasing department, which determines which suppliers are selected.’
‘In the fishing industry, the shipowner’s decision is typically taken by experienced people who have been through the process many times. This makes the personal relationship central, and you do not have those relationships in place, so you’re not going to get far by simply providing a lot of technical solutions,’ he said, adding that this less complex procurement process does not mean a more conservative approach to the products.
‘The fishing market is often ahead when it comes to implementation of innovative solutions, and our solutions for the fishing fleet are some of the most advanced we deliver today,’ he said.
‘There is increasing focus on fuel consumption and minimising exhaust gas emissions. This trend was first seen on the Scandinavian market, and is now a heavier consideration on a number of other markets. At the same time, there is a strong focus on ensuring that systems be operated simply and effectively,’ Mads Færk said.