Often, new customers ask us what cooperation with us looks like? In complex and complicated projects, the process of getting  a new client is not quick and simple. Most often we start with meetings with designers, electronics and mechanics. If there is space for new projects or evaluation of the existing ones, we starts to act.

In such specialized markets as yacht and ship building, trust and experience is crucial. There is no room for experimentation and uncertain relationships. That is why we get most of our clients on recommendation. It is not a process that can be completed in one meeting. On average, obtaining one order takes us at least several months. It consists of, among others meetings, visits, checking technical possibilities, and sometimes also audits that clients carry out in our company.

In this article, you will learn what our work with the client looks like from a purely business, and not technical, point of view. You could say that this is a business case study.

One of our clients is a foreign shipyard that builds and services modern luxury sailing yachts. Very often, the end customer makes money from these yachts by renting them out to amateur sailors. Often such “sea wolves” do not even have a sailing license, but they want to feel the wind in their hair and the sea breeze on their cheeks.

As with real estate for rent. If the flat is empty, it does not earn money for its owner. A yacht earns money only when it sails and is rented. Therefore, our client’s yachts are often not moored in one port, but only for several months of the year sail in the Mediterranean Sea, and at other months they can be found in the Caribbean or South Africa.

That is why it is important that all devices and elements are very resistant to sea water, mechanical damage and the destructive effects of the sun. If any of the yacht’s components do not meet these requirements, or if inspections and maintenance are neglected, a failure may occur which, apart from the costs of up to thousands of dollars, poses a threat to health and life.

A few years ago, when we started our cooperation, we made control panels to mange the yacht (you can read more here), but then nobody saw how much they would be exposed to UV rays. We used a standard foil, which, unfortunately, was successfully degraded by UV rays after a few months. The result was a cracked foil and a leaky panel. It risked deeper damage and replacement of the entire panel along with the electronics, a cost that starts from several thousand euros. Due to the fact that it is a custom-made product, it is also not available immediately. Additionally, the damage to the panel itself could be quite dangerous for the yacht’s crew. The consequence could be difficult control during maneuvers in the port, or the need to manually control lighting and other peripheral devices.

Fortunately, the damage was not so serious that it was impossible to drive the yacht, and it was not necessary to stop the next charters.

Unfortunately, the customer could not dismantle the panel, send it back to Poland so that we can check it, test it, repair it and send it back. One of our expert had to travel (at our expense) to Majorca. During a one-day stay at the quay, he could check the damage and prepare complaint documentation.

Replacing the panel with a new one would not help in this case. It was necessary to redesign the entire panel. We used materials resistant to UV rays – foil, adhesive elements, PCB.Having such experience, we wanted to be 100% sure that the new solution would work properly. Therefore, together with the customer, we conducted tests in an authorized laboratory in a climatic chamber. Thanks to this (not a cheap solution), we were able to give the customer a guarantee that our panels will work even in such extreme conditions. The priority for us was customer satisfaction and his certainty that the equipment will not fail.

In addition, with each order especially for this customer, we keep in our warehouse one additional set of elements needed to quickly assemble the panel for replacement. Fortunately, we did not have to use this “guarantee” yet.

It was an irreplaceable lesson for us. First of all, we learned from it that sometimes extreme conditions can even affect reliable projects and that the most important thing we can do is remain flexible and constantly strive to meet customer expectations. In addition, we were able to prove ourselves and show the contractor, who takes responsibility for faults and does everything to reduce them in the future.

Photos by:
1. Mali Maeder https://www.pexels.com/pl-pl/zdjecie/piec-jachtow-na-zbiorniku-wodnym-42094/
2. Tiger Lily https://www.pexels.com/pl-pl/zdjecie/ludzie-biuro-spotkanie-konferencja-7116326/
3. Ana-Maria Antonenco https://www.pexels.com/pl-pl/zdjecie/morze-ocean-luksus-horyzont-12837089/
4. Thirdman https://www.pexels.com/pl-pl/zdjecie/grupa-ludzi-pracujacych-5582867/

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