Case: Damen Shipyards

Established in 1927, Damen is a family-owned company, with 32 yards and 9000 employees. Its global turnover in 2015 topped 2.1 billion.

In 2018, Damen undertook a new venture with the establishment of Damen Shipyards Mangalia, in Romania. An all new Cruise, RoPax and Offshore department for the company. In response to increasing competition from Asian yards the focus has been on reducing lead times and improving Damen’s competitive edge. As can happen with completely new ventures, the intention was good, but obstacles were encountered. Barriers that stood in the way of optimum efficiency. The lack of clarity on delivery times eroded customer trust. Even though it had started out with good intentions, it became clear that control was slipping away. To right this, decisive steering and more effective planning control needed to be introduced.

Damen invited EyeOn to look at the causes of the issues and bottlenecks in their planning. EyeOn’s assignment had many areas to cover. Firstly, as is often the case when boarding a moving vessel, there are immediate issues to be tackled. Secondly, the introduction of anticipatory mid and long-term planning based on clear frameworks. And last but not least, regaining client trust in the yard’s ability to guarantee delivery times and budget. We analysed the work processes and management from start to finish. And introduced the importance of sharing planning across all the departments. So engineering, procurement and fabrication now perceived this as a hot topic during work meetings. Realising that taking this seriously would provide immediate and long-term benefits. We made changes to the planning system to improve efficiency. To reassure clients, we implemented a transparent framework. This ongoing updating and fine-tuning is delivering the benefits that Damen hoped for at the outset. Damen Shipyards Mangalia is re-establishing itself as a serious market player, to meet customer expectations and put their sales teams in a better position in negotiations.

Weekly progress reports keep track of the improved structure that has been introduced. This clear and transparent planning has extra advantages. Thanks to EyeOn, Damen can now demonstrate where delays are beyond its control, i.e. due to force majeure, which is a very useful tool in the case of litigation. Where can a delay be attributed to the yard itself and where has a setback been caused by a third party? Or is this a direct result of measures taken, or enforced by, the current global pandemic? These questions are now easy to answer and substantiate.

Best of all, this project demonstrates Damen’s intent to do their very best, so that their clients can too.