Meet The Experts

The SeaKing Group was established in April 2001; specialising in marine electrical engineering. SeaKing’ targets maintenance and project work for commercial ships, ferries, naval vessels, cruise ships and superyachts. The company work across Europe, Asia and the Americas covering many market segments of the marine sector. Over the years SeaKing have so-far employed over 100 apprentices. SeaKing is certified through Bureau Veritas for the ISO9001 and 14001 management standards.

Garry Parson

Procurement Manager

Challenges of a sustainable procurement strategy; Promoting the importance of a dependable supply-chain

Sustainable procurement demands strong collaboration and engagement between all businesse’s within a supply chain. The ideal of a sustainable procurement achieves a systemic value-add promoting positive outcomes for the company, the economy, environment, and society.

We spoke to Garry Parson Head of Procurement for SeaKing, to grasp an insight into his role. Finding out about some of the tools and techniques their business has adopted-to support sustainable procurement.

Q1: Tell us about your journey so far with SeaKing

A: I joined the team at SeaKing back in March 2018. I was approached by one of the directors when working for a local wholesaler in a similar role and had a previous supplier/client relationship with SeaKing. There is a small team in the department including two others that work with me supporting the procurement process.

Q2: What does a day in your role at SeaKing look like?

A: My working day is always very busy at SeaKing – which I like! I work closely with the wider team of engineers at SeaKing of around 20 individuals. Due to the nature of our business much of my work can be quite reactive, with tight deadlines to adhere to. The marine industry is quite unpredictable with regards to meeting demands of breakdowns; the vessel will need the equipment to enable sailing, so the turnaround needs to be very quick. We also have ongoing maintenance contracts which we purchase for and this gives us the opportunity to build up great relationships with suppliers and ensure we obtain the best price for the project which reflects in the price we give to our client. My role within the department includes leading negotiations with suppliers to ensure cost effective supply solutions are obtained.

Q3: Maintaining and building business relationships with suppliers are an importance for your role, how do you achieve this?

A: Every day I keep my communication ongoing with suppliers and stakeholders. I ensure that I make suppliers aware of new projects and identify opportunities to improve equipment and service costs. Our regular suppliers receive continuity of business, which reflects in the rate they give us as a loyal customer.

Q4: How do you manage complex project environments at SeaKing?

A: The engineering team I work with at SeaKing – I know well and understanding how the individuals work is really important and helpful to my role. We have multiple projects happening simultaneously all with various deadlines, complexities, and challenges. When I get the opportunity, I try to grasp a good understanding of the project this supports me to plan the procurement and keep to deadlines.

Q5: SeaKing have built relationships over the years with local suppliers – how important is this to the business?

A: We are always very considerate of working with local suppliers and try to be environmentally sustainable where we can. As an established business of 20 years we are conscious about contributing to the local economy. However, as a department we also need to be aware of budgets and timeframes. Purchasing directly from the source which may not be local – can occasionally reduce costs to us and the client and of course promotes reduction of emissions.

Q6: What is the biggest procurement challenge in marine engineering that you are facing?

A: The two challenges that come to mind are time pressures and keeping on track with complex projects. Sourcing of complex parts is essential to our business. The technical specifications for these components are commonly managed by external suppliers, which can cause time delays and unpredictability.