The oil guy of the maritime supply chain

As salesman, account manager, marketer and business developer at 2BA, Klaas Koetje plays a crucial part in bringing together the demand and supply of maritime companies on the central 2BA data platform. Klaas has more than 40 years of experience in software development, system design and commercial management, making him a valued partner in dialogue and business for suppliers and buyers in the sector. He helps them with participation in the One Maritime Data Standard (OMDS), an essential standard in the maritime world.

Developing a new market - isn't that difficult?

Klaas: ‘When our director, Martin Kreijenbroek, asked me to take over the 'maritime baton' and help to further develop this industry as an extra target group for 2BA, I didn't hesitate for a second. The fact is, I like a challenge and my only goal is to make a success of it for all interested parties. Obviously, that doesn't always go as fast and easily as you'd like it to. But during my sports career as an amateur racing cyclist, I learned endurance and persistence. Hands at the bottom of the handlebars, in it for the long haul as we racing cyclists say. Naturally, there also has to be a firm conviction in order to achieve the goal. In this case, that conviction is sky-high, particularly now I've got to know the shipbuilding sector and a lot of the people in it.'

More and more maritime companies are joining, OMDS and 2BA increasingly clearly visible as underlying platform.

How is awareness of OMDS and 2BA growing in the maritime sector?

‘Firstly, that's a consequence of the pressure of competition from abroad, being felt in particular in the new build of commercial vessels. Unfair competition or not, the Dutch shipyards are seeing now more than ever the necessity of working more efficiently where possible. In that process, we offer a proven digitalisation solution with which the sector can get straight to work. A well-oiled supply chain, thanks to an intensive chain collaboration results in substantially less handling, for both supplier and buyer.

Not only that, but this contributes to lower failure costs, for example as a result of selecting and ordering the wrong products or products with an overly long delivery time. This way, the whole process is considerably more cost effective and that's precisely what it's all about if we want/have to build cheaper ships,' Klaas explains.

What role do OMDS and 2BA play in that?

Klaas: ‘The role played by 2BA as a central product data pool in this field has proved itself for more than eighteen years in the Dutch installation world. So there's a good reason why almost 2,900 installation companies make daily use of product and trade information from more than 1,400 manufacturers and wholesalers through our platform. Estimators, engineers, 3D modellers, work planners, buyers, service mechanics, the warehouse manager and in the end, the invoicer: they all make use of product and related trade data from the central 2BA database in their own discipline. Quite simply because it's the fastest and most reliable source - and it has no limits or opening hours.'

How are you approaching the further rollout of OMDS/2BA in the sector?

‘In addition to the necessary support and leeway in 2BA, I have a lot of support from Hilde Mol-Lukkezen, owner  of Exito Vertaalbureau. Together, we form the secretariat of OMDS, drawing up action plans to expand awareness of OMDS. We are also dialogue partners for the branch organisation, NMT, and have their support due to the vested interests of the sector. Hilde maintains the OMDS website, manages the Waypoint newsletter and posts OMDS messages on LinkedIn.

I see myself as the "oil guy" for the maritime supply chain. My role is that of connecting element for suppliers, buyers and software parties in the maritime sector. I visit them and inform them about the possibilities and annual fees for participation. My aim is to bring together on the 2BA platform, as well as possible, demand and supply in the sector.

Will use of the 2BA data pool also become standard in the maritime industry?

Klaas: ‘I'm sure of it. And not only because of the necessity of improving efficiency but also because I hear the positive reactions from end users in the sector. And we're not talking small. We're really proud that we can now count such companies as IHC, Damen Shipyards, Royal Huisman, Feadship, Huisman Services, Van Oord and Boskalis among the data clients that make use of our central product database containing more than 28 million products and trade articles.

Have you got one last tip?

Klaas: 'Definitely, and especially for suppliers. The use of our data pool being standard in installation companies has everything to do with the fact that products and trade articles can be found fast and that as a data pool, we offer continually updated product and price information. And searching in all kinds of webshops and suppliers catalogues, which used to be the case, is decreasing. There simply isn't time for that anymore! So it's good if suppliers to the maritime sector realise that this trend is now also being followed in the maritime sector, thanks to OMDS and 2BA. And the transition is going fast because as far as I can see, the sector is catching up in this area. If you don't want to lose clients in the future, but rather add new ones, make sure that you and your product and trade information can be found in the 2BA data pool.'