The first step: divesting the catering supply business and focusing on core material supply
Established in 1993, ITC Foreign Vessel Supply Company is an approved enterprise engaged in the supply and service of foreign vessels in ports, specializing in providing a series of services such as catering, marine materials and marine spare parts for international voyages.
Among the foreign ship supply services, the provision of food is an essential business. At first, ITC Foreign Vessel Supply Company was also engaged in catering service. "But it involved too much manpower and material resources and had a low entry threshold, making it relatively easy to intervene in this market." Lin Xianjie, the company's deputy general manager, said that in 2005, the company decided to divest itself of this piece of business and set up a specialized catering supply company. In this way, the food outsourcing company is not only an affiliated monolith serving the ITC Foreign Ship Supply Company, but can also provide professional services to other counterparts and become an equivalent external service.
The ITC Foreign Ship Supply Company, on the other hand, focused its main efforts on professional material replenishment. The company is equipped with professional staff and procures specialized materials needed by foreign ships, such as marine materials, marine electrical appliances and marine spare parts. "These materials, to use professional knowledge and services, have a higher threshold of access." Lin Xianjie told reporters that the expansion of professional fields has led to the company's rising sales. The following year, the company's annual sales increased by 30%.
The second step: hand in hand with the foreign ship "predator", the main body of customers from the sailing ship to the new shipbuilding change divesting catering services, so that the foreign ship company of international trade into the first step of rapid development. The next step to make a name for itself in the industry is the company's cooperation with the French company Bobon, which has successfully entered the field of newbuilding.
Originally, the customers of ITC Foreign Ship Supply Company were mostly sailing ships, but the materials required by sailing ships were small and varied. Lin Xianjie told the reporter that sailing ships usually replenish food, tools, or household goods such as paper towels and toothpicks when they are docked. These temporary replenishments are not only fragmented and less profitable, but also take a lot of effort.
Unlike this, new shipbuilding often requires large, fixed supplies of materials to replenish. For example, marine fire-fighting, electromechanical, engine and other equipment, and it also needs a complete set and a large amount of daily supplies such as tableware and kitchenware. The total cost of materials for a newbuilding is nearly 10 times the total cost of materials required for an ordinary sailing ship, and the profits are quite lucrative.
In order to be able to undertake new shipbuilding business and cultivate new markets, ITC Foreign Ship Supply Company began to try to reform. "The company has changed from a simple form of trade transaction to a systematic and large-scale packaged service." Lin Xianjie said that it is no longer the case that the company temporarily buys whatever goods the shipowner needs for materials. Instead, the company itself first stockpiles a large amount of specialized materials for ships and uses information technology to place these goods in separate categories. At the time of shipment, the materials are loaded into containers and packaged as a whole according to the unique loading method to the customer.
In addition, new shipbuilding has particularly high requirements for materials, and many products have specified brands. "Some brands, in particular, are not sold in the domestic market." Lin Xianjie said, for this reason, the company especially with Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore and other foreign professional ship material suppliers, as well as brand manufacturers, to establish long-term strategic cooperation, some special products concentrated on purchasing back from abroad, and then transit customs distribution to customers, to provide customers with convenience.
With a series of efficient and convenient services being recognized, ITC Foreign Ship Supply Company has become the only domestic supplier designated by the world famous maritime service provider France Bobon. France Bobon can undertake dozens of shipbuilding business in China every year, which also brings tens of millions of yuan of sales performance for ITC Foreign Ship Supply Company. In addition, Zhejiang Xinle, Xiangshan Zhenghong and other shipyards have also established cooperative relations with it. Nowadays, the material supply business of new shipbuilding has become the main source of Guomao Foreign Ship Supply Company, and the company's share in Ningbo foreign ship supply market has jumped to 50%.
Step 3: Develop intelligent system and establish efficient service platform
An important reason why the material supply of foreign ships can be completed efficiently is that ITC Foreign Ship Supply Company has a professional procurement and storage system. The company has a ship material commodity database and supplier database system, which can provide a computer network service platform for foreign ship owners as well as ship manufacturers.
"The supply work of foreign ship materials is characterized by many links and complicated procedures, and involves a variety of complex commodities." Lin Xianjie said that the company usually buys corresponding materials according to the shipowner's requirements. These materials include tools, clothing, stationery and ship-specific products, as well as some items that are not commonly found in the market. Without a professional procurement system, it is difficult to buy all of them in the same place, and it may take a long time just to find the sources of goods.
For this reason, ITC Foreign Ship Supply Company and a Singaporean software company have worked together to develop a matching procurement and warehousing system. The company also invests corresponding funds for system redevelopment every year. Not long ago, the company optimized the system again, and the company's database capacity increased from 30,000 to 70,000 entries. The salesman can complete a material purchase online with just a click of the mouse, and the whole process takes only a few minutes.
The new model has brought high efficiency. Lin Xianjie said that it usually takes a month to replenish materials for new shipbuilding, but the company can complete it within a week.