2 March 2011
This month’s Marine Electronics & Communications fleet management section features an article on how ShipServ has added a new Brand Management functionality. ShipServ Founder & CEO Paul Østergaard is interviewed as well as ShipServ customer Wärtsilä and industry partner IMPA.
You can read the full article below or visit Marine Electronics & Communications website.
Brand management is added to ShipServ platform
ShipServ has introduced a mechanism within its TradeNet online marketplace platform where manufacturers can qualify suppliers and protect their brands. For the first time, ship operators will be able to verify whether a supplier is an official agent to deliver branded arts from manufacturers of all marine equipment, including engines, marine auxiliary parts and bridge systems, says ShipServ chief executive officer, Paul Ostergaard.
“Manufacturers can log onto ShipServ and claim their brands, then decide who is authorised to use that brand,” Mr Ostergaard explains. “For example, Wärtsilä can do that and send a message to all official sellers of the brand. In time, thousands of brand owners can authorise suppliers, thus increasing overall quality and eliminating the purchase of substandard products. We expect the more trustworthy suppliers will float to the top.”
ShipServ is a neutral facilitator of ship sales with TradeNet. In 2010 ShipServ introduced a method of monitoring suppliers’ trade activity, giving companies a ranking, dependent on the number of successful sales they fulfil. Last year ShipServ also developed a way for ship equipment purchasers to review the service they receive from suppliers.
“Our future developments have a big theme of building trust,” Mr Ostergaard says. “We are seeing a lot more use of social media, interaction between users, suppliers and purchasers, to create value, which is why we are launching our brand verifications, so that potential customers can go out and validate a brand.
“This is a transformation. All the information appears, and we have created a network in which everyone is authorising and verifying, thus growing trust and ultimately helping out buyers to make more guided purchases.”
Stephen Alexander, chief operating officer of the International Marine Purchasing Association, says brand verification is a “burning issue” for the association’s members. “We find that there are suppliers which use brands to promote their business but do not actually sell that brand,” Mr Alexander explains. “Another problem is companies selling pirate parts as branded equipment, so for a customer, being able to verify exactly who is authorised to sell branded products, is important. This is the first time that this has been available in the shipping market.”
Wärtsilä’s e-solutions consultant, Tuomo Iivonen, says the company was in the process of examining its list of sellers and those on ShipServ’s platform to find unauthorised sellers. “The brand management tool is a valuable service. We have only a handful of agents since we have our own people out there,” Mr Iivonen explains. “We can override what suppliers are saying on ShipServ and remove their claims to being authorised by Wärtsilä if they are not.”
Download a PDF of the article here.