Socoges and marine applications. What about the COVID experience?
Socoges has never really stopped its activities, being involved in so many sectors and markets. Clearly we had to manage, and we are still doing so, the two phases: first the stop in Italy and, after the reopening, the leopard spot closure of some foreign markets. A drop was perceived, but the real difficulty is represented by the fact that the OEMs, a bit in all the sectors in which we are involved, found themselves forced to stop the production lines. In April, which coincided with the most difficult period, we were faced with the impossibility to deliver the goods even in front of the will of the parties to close a delivery. In France it was absolutely not possible, even in front of the requests of the final customer, since there were no carriers available (either the Italian warehouses were stopped or the country of final destination did not accept goods coming from Italy). We proceeded with smart working and remote communication through company management, limited the physical presence in the company and assigned shifts to the departments, thus doing everything possible not to suspend the activity. My evaluation, at the end of this experience, is that no substitute will ever replace the work in presence, smart working is a useful tool but must be managed in a balanced way. Companies are made of human exchange, of contact between people and departments. We have taken the opportunity to improve internal company processes and also implement new strategic functions to project the company towards a future of growth. We are confident that once this difficult moment for everyone is over, there will be a further push for continuous improvement and new working methods. Since the beginning of May, the flow of information and contacts has started again, at 60/70 percent. Currently (Editor’s note: end of June) we are still at 80 percent.
To project where?
In 2021 Doosan is planning to develop the new family of engines in electronic version for various fields of application, including marine. The electronic range will complement the current one with mechanical injection and offer an even more complete product portfolio. It will be a line composed of n. 5 models, from almost 6 liters to 22 liters (three with the 6 cylinders in line and two with V configuration, one 8 and one 12 cylinders), which will be introduced in steps by 2022. They will meet the requirements of the IMO Tier 3, which groups together the requirements of other regulations. Doosan is working with the compass oriented to the wishes of shipyards and new market evolutions in order to tune the research and development work on commercial strategies. The hope is that the market, after this phase of contraction, will be receptive again to the recovery. When it will happen, we will have a totally new range to propose.
Is the Doosan brand well known among shipyards?
The Doosan brand is one of the most reliable realities in the marine world. We believe that it is seen very well by the industry and especially by our customers. I remember that we at Socoges introduced the DAEWOO brand, now Doosan, back in 1995. This year we celebrate 25 years of this long and satisfying collaboration that has seen us and our representatives grow together in a highly competitive market where there is no lack of competition. We are very proud of the results we have achieved and the path we are taking in all the sectors in which we operate. Returning to marine applications, which is for us not only work but passion, Doosan engines are present in all marinas in Italy in the professional field (fishing, passenger transport, tugboats, pilotine, etc.). Our product is highly appreciated for its reliability (there are engines installed about 20 years ago that continue to work making their owners very satisfied), simplicity of management being a mechanical line, and excellent value for money. In addition, it is a brand 100% made in Korea that is synonymous with the highest technological quality (see names like Samsung, Hyundai, LG just to name a few). Doosan has never succumbed to the logic of the offshoring in areas with low work costs that would also affect the quality of the final product. Now with the introduction of the new electronic range we will promote something new. And novelties are often weighed in the customer’s choices, since they can be frightening. This is a challenge that must be faced in the right spirit. But the history of Socoges proves that we are not afraid to introduce new products and our references help us to win the resistance of our customers.