A LISTENING APPROACH
By the 1930s, the Hardinxveld yard, though still a small concern, had begun to develop a reputation for listening closely to its clients and incorporating their feedback into its vessels.
In this way, it generated a number of repeat orders – some of which came from companies who are still clients of Damen today.
The tradition of listening to customers became ingrained into the Damen business model and today, the portfolio of vessels evolves through a combination of in-house research and close cooperation with customers.
THE CRITICAL INGREDIENT
According to Joop Jansen, Manager Research & Development Department, client cooperation and feedback are of vital importance in developing vessels. “I remember, in 1978, visiting a Mexican client who had taken delivery of the first ever Stan Tug 2600L – he was having problems with high levels of vibration. Because this vessel was the first step towards a new generation of products, it was vital to identify, analyse and solve any underlying issue. We accomplished this by visiting the client’s operational site to get hands-on experience of his problems.”
This way of thinking (putting enormous value on a vessel owner’s operational feedback) has been a solid cornerstone of the company. Moreover, one that is still valid today. “Vessels are still very much the result of a collaborative effort with a client,” he states. “A great example of this cooperation is the Bibby Wavemaster 1 that we are currently building for Bibby Marine Services. This vessel is the result of getting together with the client to talk about what exactly is required in their operational environment to make a difference in the market.”