2016 has in many ways been a milestone year and it is pleasing to report that we have delivered on many of our strategic ambitions. Those of you following company news closely will have noticed the announcements of significant structural changes since my last WW World address. The changes are further explained here. However, I want to give you the overarching rationale behind these initiatives; given the tough markets and difficult times in the maritime industry, we need to become more efficient and smarter in how we are providing our products and services to our customers.
Many of our divisions and companies in the Wilhelmsen group have done cost saving initiatives for a long time already, and I admire the stamina and work ethic of all who endure these times. At the same time, our structural changes invite a smarter way to work. By structuring ourselves with improved governance models and more agile portfolios, we can easier control our group and through this run our operations smoother, quicker and more cost efficient than in the past. It contributes to what makes us the shaper of the maritime industry – our ability to endure tough times, adapt, and produce value for our customers no matter the situation. We have done it before, now we are doing it again. 2016 and 2017 will be years of considerable change, representing a challenge for many, but at the same time we will most likely see significant opportunities arise. This is a unique chance to prove what we are made of.
In the Wilhelmsen group, we take tomorrow seriously and we need to balance challenging restructurings with investments for the future. The maritime industry did not jump on the digital train as quickly as other industries. However, Wilhelmsen is climbing on board now. In this issue, you can read about some of the ideas, initiatives and projects leading us in the right direction. While reading about the highlighted initiatives in this issue, please remember that if you have ideas on how to improve our business, make yourself heard. Your colleagues want to know and I want to know. We have so much talent to draw upon in the Wilhelmsen group. There are thousands of potential stories and work we can highlight. The bottom line is; Wilhelmsen is on the ball. We are not standing by looking at the world moving past us. We are aware, we are awake and we are committed to be a leader also in the future. To succeed, we must take tomorrow seriously.