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MOL chief targets cost competitiveness in 2018 plan

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), one of Japan’s largest shipowners, has prioritized price competitiveness in its “Rolling Plan 2018”. MOL president and CEO Junichuro Ikeda said that it has narrowed actions down to more specific goals with price competitiveness and ICT at the fore.

Almost drawing a critical roadmap for sustainable competitive advantage focusing on the key need of the customers, the price competitiveness and the core business efficiency, Ikeda said in his MOL Foundation day message, “We must seriously accept that, above all, customers are seeking price competitiveness based on the premise of safe and reliable transportation. With this in mind, we will work squarely to enhance the cost competitiveness of our fleet and enhance business efficiency through business process reforms.”

He said that the company had to explore ways of increasing utilisation of its vessels and not just cutting costs. “We will extensively discuss this priority without being bound by past practices or keeping any areas off limits to reforms in an effort to enhance the competitiveness of our fleet for the current and coming era.”

These reforms would also apply to the company’s business processes and work styles, and the active utilisation of ICT.

“One recent example is robotic process automation (RPA), which has also attracted a lot of public interest. We have already begun examining whether we will be able to streamline routine tasks and boost labour efficiency by introducing RPA within the company,” Ikeda said.

He said that the company needed to do more to raise customer awareness of its ICT initiatives and that just issuing press releases was not enough to fully deliver its message.

“At each frontline site, I'd like you to understand MOL's various activities, even if certain activities may lie outside your department's field and help to get the message out to customers and other stakeholders,” Ikeda said.

“The 'seeds' of business activities that we have may happen to match a customer's needs, or casual small talk may set events into motion, leading to a major business deal. Opportunities for innovation that would otherwise lie dormant may be awoken by your conversations.”


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