Better Buying: It’s Time to Shake Up Marine Purchasing

The marine procurement business is long overdue for better data, lower prices and improved delivery, writes Freddy Ingemann, founder of Moscord

Marine procurement is a market worth $32bn a year but is still dominated by a combination of intermediary trading companies and pre-digital business practices which conspire to make it opaque and inefficient. 

Even the most proactive managers struggle to obtain value from their purchasing because the many middlemen in the business are unable or unwilling to provide the data they need to improve pricing or delivery. As a result, as much as 20% of final deliveries are returned because the wrong parts or equipment have been specified due to incorrect or missing data. 

Using better quality data for contract purchasing should enable buyers to achieve substantial savings not just on their direct costs but also the cost of the process. Instead, product data that could improve the front-end process and drive back-end analysis is missing, incomplete or wrong. 

In thinking about how best to design a platform that would shake up marine purchasing, the founders of Moscord began by asking some simple questions: 

1. What if shipowners and managers were able to buy direct from the manufacturers via a data-driven marketplace with pre-priced global logistics fulfilment? 

2. Could both new and established industry suppliers increase their volumes by simplifying and improving the transaction process using a common platform? 

Moscord was founded with the belief that a transparent, data-driven marketplace could improve the efficiency of procurement and ship supply process, delivering significant savings for contract purchasers. 

At the heart of this opportunity lies good quality purchasing product data. Moscord has spent the last year and a half establishing a transparent platform that properly integrates supplier product data, enabling buyers to adopt a data-driven purchasing process. 

Neutrality is also key – the platform is not owned by any supplier, shipowner or manager, which means it can deliver on its overall aim of delivering the best solutions and products to buyers and suppliers alike. 

Buyers do not pay to use Moscord, which can be integrated into any shipboard purchasing system. All prices on the marketplace include last-mile logistics services including delivery to the ship or the buyer’s own hub. The company has also established a 24/7 operations centre, which will ensure that all deliveries are tracked and managed; quality in delivery and fulfilment is key in the Moscord concept. 

The first shipowner customers include Singapore’s Berge Bulk and MMS, with several other buyers under implementation. Owners are actively encouraged to bring the suppliers they want to trade with into the community. 

As well as working with some of the biggest names in marine supply, including VIKING LIFE-SAVING EQUIPMENT, RS Components, Gemu, Hoyer Motors, DESMI, Schneider Electric and MedSupply, Moscord has struck deals with a range of suppliers which have been unavailable to buyers until now. 

“Moscord was founded with the belief that a transparent, data-driven marketplace could improve the efficiency of procurement and ship supply process”

To cover the last mile, Moscord struck deals with logistics providers GAC, Steder Group and SG Shipping to provide consolidated delivery of items ordered via the marketplace. This logistics network allows last mile deliveries in more than 1,000 ports around the world. 

Because fulfilment is pre-priced and not calculated per job it can be included in the purchase cost, including specialist cross-border shipments. 

The Moscord management team and board of directors includes shipping professionals with high-level experience at companies including Maersk, DFDS, MAN Diesel, CEMEX, Blue Water and Panalpina. 

By bringing new and established supplier brands together with buyers hungry for a better way of managing their purchasing, Moscord will make purchasing data-driven for the first time; creating value and driving cost savings. 

The launch of Moscord is just the beginning of the story. Future development plans include integrating Blockchain technology into the platform for credit and supply chain management, as well as dual pricing structures for conventional and 3-D printed components. 

Buyers have, for some time, acknowledged that procurement is a process that is overdue for change. Using Moscord, they have the opportunity to save money through the work done on data management, on contract pricing, on fulfilment and logistics. Moscord’s investment can deliver them efficiency improvements and real savings. 

This is not disruption for its own sake; it’s about improving a market process that has not been able to become truly digitised, despite the clear advantages of doing so. By embracing the opportunity, the maritime industry does not have to start all over again or deal with a non-industry solution provider. It just needs to remember a simple principle: improvement is not just desirable – it is achievable.