By Claes Eek Thorstensen, President & Chief Commercial Officer, Thome Group
The Business Development Team works closely with all departments within the Thome Group to market the Group’s wide variety of services.
The success of business development is a team effort with every member playing an important role.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and business development are closely inter-linked, and the Business Development team has been working with the commercial team to establish and further develop CRM procedures to ensure customer focus and customer feedback.
CRM is mostly linked to training and follow ups with the individual business units to ensure that customer care is key to everything that the Group does. Thome’s business leaders are responsible in ensuring that our customers are taken good care of. This involves CRM training for all client facing staff, maintaining a CRM database, customer surveys and the circulation of reports to all business managers and customer follow-ups.
The business development team is in close contact with other departments regarding commercial proposals. The team takes responsibility for generating market intelligence, competitor analysis and bench marking. It also produces annual strategy reports (reviewed on a quarterly basis) plus quarterly performance reports including fleet KPIs and analysis of the fleet identifying key trends.
The team helps prepare commercial proposals by evaluating different parameters within the Group’s business units to ensure all elements are considered.
Some of the parameters are, but not limited to;
• Vessel type
• Cargo carried
• Trading pattern
• Flag State
• Machinery/equipment maker. RH and maintenance due
• Crew composition
• Insurance (P&I and H&M)
The Business Development team also attends conferences and trade events to keep informed about the global maritime economy and network with existing customers and potential new business partners. The department also prepares budgets for specific projects and attends to any business opportunities identified by the Thome Group.
Marketing is an essential part of any company that wants to promote itself and the Business Development team helps the Corporate Communication team prepare powerpoint presentations, marketing material, sponsorship opportunities and advertising.
Lastly but probably the most important aspect of business development, is the performance of the fleet and office. Good performance is the best marketing tool and we need to operate in a safe and cost-efficient manner.
Everyone within the organisation (on board and ashore) is directly responsible and is an important member of the team.
Business development is a team effort and everyone in the Group is an ambassador.