Are there parallels between marine outfitting and satellite tracking for husky races? New Trimline Director Nick Farrell certainly thinks so. Having been embedded in Trimline for six months during the acquisition process, Nick noticed certain similarities between the time-sensitive requirements of interior outfitting and the onsite demands of tracking events that span ocean, desert and ice.
Nick’s previous company, YB Tracking, supplied ground-breaking satellite tracking solutions for international yacht races and extreme terrain adventure sports. Upon starting work at Trimline, Nick said, “It became rapidly apparent that there are so many similarities between the industries, which you might not think about. The success of a ship refit is very much down to our ability to get our people and supplies to a ship on a set date. Sometimes in hard-to-reach places. Every job has to be 100% right, and you need to be pretty self-sufficient if and when things go wrong. We had many of the same challenges when getting our people and equipment across the world to support remote events.”
Trimline have completed refits on three P&O ferries. Check out how they identified specification changes and provided solutions below.
Embedded in the company
It was important to Nick that he spent significant time at Trimline. He would get to know the business and its people, discovering ways in which he could bring value to the business going forward. He had been approached by Ross Welham, who he knew well, about the possibility of acquiring Trimline. Ross, previously COO of Trimline and deeply knowledgeable about the business, had in turn been approached by Mike and Gary Oliver, who felt it was time to step back from the business. Trimline had been a family-run business with a strong legacy within the marine interiors industry. Everyone knew that it was important the next steps felt right to all.
“One thing I did learn quickly is that the senior management team here have an extraordinary amount of experience between them and are totally passionate about what they do. They wouldn’t consider doing anything else.” Nick said. “Joining the business whilst the world had ground to a halt due to the global pandemic offered an opportunity to look at old processes with new eyes. Trimline were already scrutinising their workflows as part of their commitment to continuous improvement and it became clear that I could help them continue on their journey.”
Building on an excellent reputation
What are the next steps for a company that is already an industry leader?
”Trimline has a fantastic reputation for quality and professionalism, built up over decades. Its name is held in high esteem across the industry. In order to maintain our market-leading position, Ross and I plan to enhance our offerings even further by embracing new technology and systems.”
Of course, these systems will require good communications onsite, which has been a challenge in the past. ‘Connectivity onsite is improving in leaps and bounds’ he said, laughing as he recalled Mike Oliver’s tales of times the team have had to run down the dock to the payphone to call back to the office.
Technology is key
“We are keen to exploit technology to improve accuracy and communication from survey right through to delivery. Technology should support the Project Manager in the more mundane admin tasks. They will be able to focus on what they do best – looking after our customers. The same with the contractors too. Drilling down, gauging their progress, spotting challenges early and being totally transparent with the customer.”
Nick went on to explain that building long-term relationships with more customers is key to Trimline’s future plans. As they roll-out their new systems, Trimline’s customers will very quickly see the benefits of smoother project management. Such as, improved efficiency and potentially reduced costs.
Another area Nick discussed was how Trimline will be focussing on further strengthening the relationships with its contractors. They have worked with many of their valued tradespeople for decades and they plan to further enhance their relationships with them so that Trimline is always their preferred interior outfitter to work for.
Looking forward to the future
Director Ross Welham has said, ‘We have a fabulous and experienced team who are passionate about delivering the highest quality service and as we emerge from this disrupted year, as a team we are all excited about the future of Trimline.’ Nick adds to this, saying, ‘I can’t wait to see where we can take the business over the next few years!’.
Nick is looking forward to attending his first Cruise Ship Interiors Expo in Miami this October. He will be accompanied by familiar faces Simon Dawkins and Mike Oliver.
Want to know more about the future of one of the industry’s leading outfitters? Visit Trimline on Booth 187 at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America.