Building quality and trust in the cruise industry

Jari Suominen, CEO of NIT, discusses the firm’s approach to marine construction and outfitting, and why there is no substitute for customer-focused expertise

Building quality and trust in the cruise industry
NIT combines expertise with adaptability to deliver great spaces to clients' deadlines

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2017 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

NIT’s skilled team collaborates closely with clients to deliver high quality projects, and the firm enjoys recurring demand. “We have completed 35 projects over the last four years with an average of two ships per year, so we’ve done several projects for each ship,” says Jari Suominen, CEO of NIT. “We are focused on our client relationships, and it’s important that our clients can trust the quality of our work, our flexibility and that their great spaces are ready on time.”

Building Mein Schiff vessels has accounted for almost 40% of NIT’s workload in recent years, but as these projects end there is plenty to look forward to. “Our order book shows a full workload until 2021 and we are offering selected projects to increase volume for the coming years,” says Suominen. “We are in constant discussions with owners we know well and we believe you will also see NIT delivering more refurbishment projects in the future.”

Combining expertise with adaptability has been key to NIT’s success. “Every owner and shipyard has its own working methods, so adaptation to each shipyard is very important for turnkey contractors like NIT,” says Suominen. “We have experienced a lot of different methods and, in many cases, we help our clients to find better solutions for outfitting.

“Different geographies can also bring logistical challenges because classified and approved marine industry products cannot necessarily be found in every market area. Cultural differences need to be considered too. Every country has its own manners and way of doing things. Politeness and open mindedness are always a good starting point. We always plan our projects beforehand in detail so we’re ready for any challenges we might face.”

The company’s focus on quality also helps set it apart from competitors. “Being an experienced contractor with a lifelong record of delivering high quality projects, NIT is close to the pole position when the race starts,” says Suominen. “It is up to the yard or owner to decide how the race finishes – some are more quality oriented while others only look at the price. However, the signing price of a contract has no value if the scope of work is not delivered as intended and planned. Experience, skill and knowledge are the most important factors in a successful project and there are clients that are ready to pay to get a reliable partner. The coming years will reveal a capacity shortage of experienced workers and this will benefit NIT, which has a very experienced team of workers and one of the world’s largest network of subcontractors.”

As the outfitting industry evolves, NIT is looking towards a successful future. “The market is booming like never before, but we are not aiming to grow at the same pace as the market,” says Suominen. “Our aim is to be the preferred contractor for our clients. We are constantly developing our way of working to become better (our lean project, participation in Meyer Turku’s sustainability project) and more efficient and the coming years will show what we can achieve. But everything starts from our professional team building these great spaces with the right attitude and passion.”

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Jacqui Griffiths
By Jacqui Griffiths
Monday, February 12, 2018