Targeted market intelligence at Wärtsilä
Interviewed for this case was Vesa-Pekka Virkki, General Manager at Wärtsilä Corporation.
Background on Wärtsilä
Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets.
Wärtsilä provides ship power solutions and flexible power plants with related services to customers. The company employs more than 16,000 professionals manning 150 locations in 70 countries around the world.
Q: Vesa-Pekka, you are in charge of the Business Intelligence operation at Wärtsilä Ship Power. What is characteristic of Wärtsilä Ship Power’s business?
“Wärtsilä Ship Power’s strategic goal is to strengthen its leading position in all its market segments. Wärtsilä aims to further enhance its Ship Power concept by integrating components and subsystems into complete solutions that support each customer’s business.
Wärtsilä is deepening its expertise in areas that support this objective: automation, electronics and ship design. Wärtsilä is strengthening its position through organic growth, partnerships and acquisitions.”
Q: How would you describe the role of Business Intelligence in your organization?
“At Wärtsilä, Business Intelligence exists to maintain awareness of the strategic developments in our operating environment, but also to support business development by generating direct sales leads.”
Q: So you essentially have trends, business drivers and sales leads under your business intelligence radar. How does that work in practice, what kinds of output does Business Intelligence at Wärtsilä produce on top of the regular market signals monitoring?
“Well, we have put heavy emphasis on “Shipbuilding Intelligence” in the form of a weekly ship deals report. The report puts together all ship deals on a global scale from a number of sources, and serves as a list of leads for our sales people.
How it works in practice is that a M-Brain analyst collects information on a weekly basis and delivers it to Wärtsilä in Excel format. As a result, Wärtsilä’s sales organization has up-to-date information about all ship-projects that are going on, and the listing also gives a tool for our sales management to monitor the efficiency of our sales activities.
We also make use of a monthly Ship Power Intelligence Report that highlights macroeconomic trends, market signals, competitors’ activities, and those of our key customers. The report serves as a quick recap for our management of the key developments in our operating environment on a monthly basis. “Quick recap” is key here; Busy leaders need to stay on top of market developments but at the same time they don’t have much time to spend on that.”
Q: What kind of feedback and development ideas have you received from the internal business intelligence network that your unit serves?
“We have received very good feedback for the concrete, down to earth approach in the business intelligence output that we produce. Obviously our sales people will be happy when they receive a concrete list of sales leads on a weekly basis, and our management has also been very satisfied with the concise monthly reviews.”