Are you heading in the right direction?
Simply being innovative is no longer enough! The main focus needs to be on optimum development of the right markets and customer target groups, on establishing mutually profitable relationships and on generating impetus.
Following a number of boom years, the yacht industry is now undergoing extensive change and restructuring. A decrease of €3.4 billion in sales and the loss of 46,000 jobs since 2008 are figures which speak for themselves. Core markets have dramatically collapsed. The aims now are both to tap into new markets and regain the ones which have been lost. The customer base has aged, and there is a lack of young up-and-coming potential enthusiasts able to afford the sport of yachting in whatever form. The vital objective is to remain in the market. New, non-EU based investors from China, Brazil and Turkey are changing the rules of the game and altering the face of the branch. The Ferriti Group is just one such example.
Many yacht manufacturers are living in the past. The skills of their staff have been honed in markets dominated by sales and distribution. In the present buyer's market, they are casting around for success without any strategic sense of direction.
The general prevailing conditions which are currently making the decision-making process more difficult for every potential yacht buyer also need to be improved. Registration and VAT rules are complex and require standardisation. The necessary safety regulations and minimum standards are not in place. Legislators and tax authorities do not see the branch as a leisure activity and treat it accordingly!
The ability of a company to survive is determined by strategy. This has very little to do with long-term planning. Particularly within complex systems, the future cannot be predicted, precisely planned or micro-managed. Crucial life-and-death issues may arise swiftly and without warning. Sooner or later, every entrepreneur will be faced with the question of which structural measures need to be undertaken in order to secure the existence of a company, increase rather than merely retain value and embark upon a path to long-term success. Crisis situations call for refinancing, restructuring and realignment.
In-house expertise and standard solutions are not usually sufficient. It is often the case that a certain inability to see the woods for the trees can develop over a period of time. For want of a better phrase, companies tend to "stew in their own juices". Companies require a critical distance in order to be able to scrutinise their own decisions, question the reasoning behind long-established structures and review the logic and efficiency of such structures. Clever entrepreneurs are fully aware of this and seek out the views of impartial external agencies which bring less baggage and which can address painful sticking points and reopen old wounds if such an approach is necessary in order to move forwards.