Silver Ship Company designs and constructs marine equipment for different companies in the marine industry. The company also repairs marine equipment including boats for other companies in the industry. This paper focuses on the company`s strategy within the workboat and military boat industry. The paper highlights a brief history of the company, the executive summary, and recommendations in the long and short terms for the company.
In 1985, Mike McCarthy started the Silver Ships Inc after he ended his career in the fishing industry. The fishing industry offered him a chance not only to develop a successful career but also to understand the marine business. Originally, McCarthy intended to start up a small-scale company, which would handle the medium size operations in boat repairs and manufacturing. However, the demand for his quality services and products in the marine industry led to the company`s growth. The company ventured into computer aided designing in 1988, to design new model boats (Cooper, 2008). The computer-automated design enabled the company to expand its capabilities in the designing of boats. The company introduced the first inflatable boat made of aluminum in 1990. This opened up opportunities for the company to engage in a larger industry. This became the company’s signature product. Six years into designing and production of boats, the company moved to Theodore, Alabama for larger space and increased production. Today the company has its headquarters at Theodore, Alabama (Silver ships Inc., 2012).
Presently, Silver Ships operates on a 15,000 square foot building that was recently expanded. The company contracts for Ambar Marine through a joint agreement association between the two companies. Silver Ships purchased Ambar Marin in 2000 but did not change the company`s name since the company had an established venture. In order to support increased production due to the high demand of marine equipment the company increased the floor space to 12,000 square meters in 2002 (Silver ships Inc., 2012).
The company engages in vessel construction, customized designing and final assembly in enclosed manufacturing facilities. The new premises enable the company to access the mobile bay and conduct see trials for the new equipment. The access to the mobile bay also enables the company to access clients in the marine industry. The company has invested in high quality laser cut parts and welding equipment that enables the company to construct the best aluminum boats in the marine industry (Silver ships Inc., 2012). The company has manufactured and sold over 1000 units of aluminum boats since its incorporation in 1985. The company receives jobs in the form of contracts from both private and public sector. The contracts cover a period of two years. The two-year period enables the company to determine the production schedule. The schedule also enables the company to have a competitive advantage against other companies in the marine industry. It also enables Silver Ships to determine the expected profits in the end (Cooper, 2008). The company majors on customization and produces boats that meet the customer specification. This has enabled Silver Ships to achieve sales to the US Navy and other government agencies within the marine industry. The company also deals with repairs on special request and receives refurbishment contracts from former clients only. By dealing with former customers in the repair and refurbishment sector, the company earns customer loyalty.
The workboat and military boats industry has attracted a number of small businesses since it covers a narrow scope, which lowers the chances of large ship building companies into the market. The company has earned customer loyalty and dominated the aluminum boat sector in the marine industry. The company needs to understand the competitive forces in order to work in the industry successfully. The company has also had a high bargaining power within the industry in terms of suppliers and access to products for manufacturing. The company should apply the following measures in the short run. Initially, the company should accept customized ideas from both the military and other private customers. The marine industry currently has a number of manufacturing entities, which creates competition for the company. However, the company currently accepts customization offers from the private clients and military. The company should continue receiving customization requests and refurbishment requests from other clients rather than just former clients.
The company should establish a partnership with aluminum suppliers to ensure they acquire aluminum on a timely schedule. Many small companies produce aluminum; the company should identify the supplier that offers best prices and timely delivery. Such a supplier will enable the company to increase production and have raw materials ready at all times. It also gives the company competitive advantage over other marine equipment manufacturers.
The company should also hire creative designers who come up with new designs for the boats. The company should not only rely on customization contracts. The company should venture into the manufacturing of boats without prior requests. It will enable the company to capture the freelance industry for luxury and fishing boats.
Silver Ships Inc should hire and train new laborers who will assist the company in production processes. It will also ensure that that Silver Ships receives quality skills and produces quality boats for the marine industry. In addition, the company will engage the relevant talent and reduce the chances of competition from other companies. Training of workers will ensure that all employees understand the company`s objective and contribute to the growth of the company. It also ensures that all employees understand their role within the company.
In the long run, Silver Ship has enjoyed success from an unplanned business venture. McCarthy did not intend for such a large company, however, it has grown to its status. The company needs to develop a formal strategic plan. The strategic plan will enable Silver Ships to respond proactively to the changes in the industry.
Silver Ships also needs to create a marketing strategy. The current marketing strategy applied by Silver Ships revolves around attending boat shows and receiving government RFP. A proactive marketing approach will enable Silver Ship Inc to target the civilian and rescue departments with their products. Currently Silver Ships only serves the military and limited customers.
Finally, Silver Ships under the management of McCarthy has achieved success. However, the company should reevaluate the management structure. McCarthy needs to consider other departments in the company that require managers. Considering a different structure for the management of Silver Ships will enable the company to embrace new talent in management. However, if McCarthy wants to retain full management of the company he should consider attending a management training institution. He will receive training in managerial practices, which will enable him to manage Silver Ships Inc.
Cooper, B. (2008). The silver ship and the sea. New York: Tor.
Silver ships Inc (2012). Because failure is not an option. Retrieved on 10th April 2014, from http://www.silverships.com/