Frank Coles rolls out new strategy for Wallem

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Frank Coles: Quitting Wallem to "focus on putting something back and on the welfare and rights of seafarers.”

Frank Coles is putting his stamp on Hong Kong headquartered Wallem Group, where he became Chief Executive Officer last October after stepping down as Transas Leader at Wärtsilä Voyage Solutions.

With over 115 years of experience and a network of 46 offices around the globe, the Wallem Group offers a range of services that include ship management, ship agency, commercial management and asset protection.

Today, Wallem announced that it has updated its corporate identity “to mark the beginning of a profound shift in its service offering that will harness the latest technology to improve asset management transparency and efficiency in a program intended to transform the relationship between owners and their ships.”

Wallem now aims to establish a fundamentally new approach in collaborating with vessel owners and deliver on its vision of being “the leading provider of technology-driven maritime solutions in a customer centric and transparent manner.”

Its strategy is built on three fundamental values: supporting quality through safety; transparency through technology; and service through support. It says that these principles will enable it to enhance its current offerings, including safety management and compliance, crewing, training, asset and commercial management, and ship agency, among others. They will also provide momentum for the introduction of new services required by vessel owners, such as technology consultancy.

Coles believes a lack of transparency is inhibiting collaboration and preventing owners from making the most of their vessels.

“Giving owners a clearer view of fleet performance and operational status paves the way for building a more constructive relationship. Wallem has an opportunity to grow by taking the initiative in tackling the shortcomings of the traditional model,” he says.

Coles adds, “The new business model with technology also means that transparency is also needed in the new model in terms of business ethics and transactions for gaining business. This is not only about clarity of the operations but how you get the business in the first place!”

Clarity is key to making better decisions and ultimately improving performance, says Coles. It will help at a fleet-level by maximizing asset utilizsation, at a vessel-level by helping individual ships run at peak operational capacity, and at an owner-level by helping them address ever more stringent regulatory requirements and get to grips with emerging trends such as digitalization.

“We want to be consultative experts and provide world-class support to owners as they grapple with industry-wide challenges such as IMO’s sulfur cap and the menace of cyber-threats, while maintaining a competitive edge in an increasingly tight market,” Coles says.

“These are the issues shipping is contending with as we head into the 2020s and the current approach to ship-management just isn’t compatible. By identifying what matters, our new vision sets us on a path to fix that disconnect once and for all.”

With Wallem also positioning itself for growth, the combination of transparency and technology is conducive to delivering a consistently high level of customer service around the globe, says Coles.

“There is no industry inherently more global in nature than shipping,” he says. “In today’s interconnected world – both technologically and economically – there is no justification for regional variations in how owners are supported.”

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