A strong consortium in the Turkish Maritime Industry: ACCOMAR
ACCOMAR is a strong consortium offering turnkey solutions for shipyards. It brings together three major companies which dominate the Turkish marine market including OCEANIST (marine equipment), ÇİTA (marine furniture) and ÜNOKS (marine galley manufacturi
The Accomar Consortium is essentially a project partnership. Firms continue to operate separately in their respective fields. However, ACCOMAR which is competing today as a single power in the overseas markets, is the only brand in Turkey bidding to cruise companies. We have listened ACCOMAR's foundation story and future goals from its founders.
Let's start with you first ... Could you tell us a little about ÜNOKS and why you prefer such a partnership as a long-term company?
ÜNOKS ENDÜSTRİYEL PASLANMAZ ÜRÜNLER SANAYİ
ÜNOKS is like a magician who transforms stainless steel into the forms that customers need. In addition to galley and laundry projects, it provides service in all areas where stainless steel products are needed. It has the capacity and knowledge to be involved in commercial and military projects in all sizes and is able to meet the documentation demands comprising difficult processes.
As ÜNOKS we are a project company and we are proud to be the strongest player in the industry since the late 90's. With our experienced team, we have always managed to survive throughout the fluctuating and stormy periods of the industry and to head towards new ports and goals during the stable periods. When the crisis was at its strongest stage, we showed our confidence and commitment to the shipbuilding industry by moving our production facility from Güngören to Tuzla. We love our job and the excitement of doing business. We are trying to share this with the companies which share the same excitement with us.
ACCOMAR is a brand new approach that gathers under a single brand three big companies, each of which has accomplished important works in their own business field.
This approach simplified the purchasing process of shipyards by collecting the products the three companies sell separately in the same portfolio and added value to their business (namely ÜNOKS, manufacturer of other stainless steel material, particularly marine galley, OCEANIST, supplier of many marine equipment and ÇİTA, manufacturer of marine furniture).
In addition to earning profit, the goal is to be able to strengthen our shipyards’ position against the competitors abroad. Besides, this system which we are practicing is already a system that has been applied abroad for a long time. What differentiates us is that we are the first Turkish company engaged in the production of ship interior equipment.
At this point, we should not pass without noting that we were inspired by the consortium set up by the industry's leading shipyards.
Could you also give us information about your company? When was ÇİTA established? What do you do?
ÇİTA MARİN MOBİLYA & MİMARLIK
Our company was founded in 1997 and we have been in this sector for 21 years. We are one of the leading manufacturers of the maritime industry operating in the field of fixed-ship furniture. We have been working together with ÜNOKS and OCEANIST for almost 8-10 years, we had a de facto partnership. When we worked together for a long time, we became friends and we shared our network. Therefore, we wanted to put this partnership into practice as three companies and ACCOMAR was born in this way. ÇİTA is the only company in the maritime industry that applies architecture in the commercial space (apart from the yacht space)and has been followed up and copied for the last 3-4 years. Because strengthening the shipyards’ position requires a serious work and engineering service.
As our company, our goal was predominantly directed to abroad. With this consortium, our efforts to get a significant share of the pie from the world market has intensified. lf there are ten shipyards operating in Turkey we were already together as ÜNOKS, ÇİTA ve OCEANİST in nine of them. We are now in the market also as ACCOMAR.
How many people do you employ in your company?
The highest employment capacity of ÇİTA was 120. Under normal conditions, we have a core team of 60-70 employees. There are 3 interior designers and about 3-4 shipbuilding engineers. Whereas in Turkey it is impossible to see shipbuilding engineers in companies such as ours. Most people might ask what a shipbuilding engineer has to do with furniture but we are approaching the subject from a very different angle. Imagine that in the 2000’s the ships were being built on agricultural fields in this country.
Moreover, many shipyards boasted that they did not employ a shipbuilding engineer.
We could not and did not serve Turkey at that period. Therefore, we became a company in demand today. We made a very important investment about 3,5-4 years ago and we built a factory in Yalova with the state-of-the-art equipment and approximately full automation.
Moreover, it was not a period when a new investment could be made. It was a very difficult period.
As ÇİTA we grew in every crisis that occurred in Turkey.
In short, you turned the crisis into an opportunity.
We can both say that we turned the crisis into an opportunity and that the breakthroughs that we made coincided with those times. I can not say that we did this consciously. The market needed it. In addition, our competitors in the international market had begun to take a share in the the Turkish market and we naturally entered into competition with them and strongly confronted them as ACCOMAR. Because we share a serious network. We seriously get strength from each other.
How did OCEANİST join this consortium?
We as OCEANIST are a representation company and we represent 43 different companies, mostly European companies. We represent important companies from the Far East and America and we are moved forward together for about 15-16 years. We made serious works not only on the interior design side but also on the machine side. We attach importance not only to sales but also to providing service.
Our products are of high quality and have always been used in quality projects. This increased our preferability. Our aim is to continue our projects both in the international and domestic market. In this regard, ACCOMAR has been a very important initiative. We are currently combining the power of three companies in one project and doing important works. Nevertheless, it is a matter we consider very important to transgress our boundaries. In fact, our ultimate goal is to ensure the viability of our company. As it can be seen it is not possible to accomplish this by solely adhering to Turkey. We absolutely and absolutely must work with countries like Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain and Croatia where we have important contacts.
Where does the name ACCOMAR come from?
GENERAL COORDINATOR OF ACCOMAR
ACCOMAR is a combination of the words "accommodation" and "marine".
How did the story of ACCOMAR start? Whose idea was it at first?
I am a shipbuilding engineer for 16 years. I was in various positions in the shipyards. Most of these tasks were project management. I have been working with ÇİTA, ÜNOKS and OCEANİST in many projects for the last nine years. We were working in coordination. I encouraged them to put this consortium into practice and reduce the overburden on the shipyards. I begin seeing such consortia especially since I started building ships for Norwegian shipowners. The shipowners brought along ACCOMAR-like formations from Norway. Then our desire to set up a consortium became even more fervent. As a matter of fact I was not involved at the phase of the foundation of ACCOMAR in conceptual terms. I was involved in it along with the designation of the name ACCOMAR and here we are now.
A Project Made in Turkey.
Yes. As a matter of fact, we started to make turnkey projects through this coordination. Since I left the shipyard where I finally worked I was fortunate enough to take part in this formation and I took part in the consortium's business development, marketing and corporate identity creation operations.
What are ACCOMAR's operating criteria?
When we created the ACCOMAR consortium, we set some core values. The most important of these was innovation. Instead of imitating somebody, we thought we should bring innovation in this business and be a leader.
You can serve all specific projects, right?
KAAN BONCUK: We can serve up to the top segment starting from boat and tugboat. We are currently offering bids for cruise projects.
COŞKUN ÇİN: This is actually the most crucial point of ACCOMAR; apart from the projects of the standard vessels, having the capacity to offer projects to cruise ships.
This is indeed a very important issue.
COŞKUN ÇİN: We already initiated marketing activities for this purpose. We do triple, quadruple, double major business trips. We do not even have time to go to the company. We work hard. That's why we can say that we are the only company from Turkey which is able to bid for cruise and RoPax vessels.
METEHAN YÜKSELEN: It really is a situation that excites us. We are progressing with pleasure.
COŞKUN ÇİN: We aim to work in every country where we can compete with the Far East like Norway, Spain, Netherlands, Iran, Romania, Poland. We draw limits only with Far Eastern countries and America. The transoceanic regions are somehow distressed. In short ACCOMAR was not founded just to serve the shipyards in Turkey. We have completed the second project in Iran as ÇİTA and OCEANIST. Our ability to do projects abroad is improving. Of course, Metehan was also a serious strength for us because it came from the shipyard business. We all specialize in our own fields. Today, everybody can come up as a shipbuilding engineer or interior designer, but we have the advantages of coming from the sea from scratch. When we see a project, we can read very well what it is without getting into the details.
METEHAN YÜKSELEN: As ACCOMAR consortium, we are on board beginning from the bidding process up to installation. We even put down the bedding in the last room and we leave the vessel.
Do you provide servicing?
METEHAN YÜKSELEN: Of course. Spare parts, technical service, after-sales services are all there. Here is an important detail: If the warranty period provided for a ship by the shipyard is one year, we will keep in touch with our customers after this period of one year. As a result, our spare parts support and after-sales service are also very strong. We recently visited the shipowner of a turnkey delivered ship in Norway. They were very satisfied with their ship and were very pleased with our visit and support.
If we come to the production area, both of our companies have their own production facilities. ÇİTA MARİN carries out its production operaions on an area of approximately 1600 square meters in Yalova. Production is very close to full automation. We also have mobile workshops which is one of our other innovations. Thanks to the mobile workshop, we can bring a full-fledged furniture factory to any part of the world. Equipped with professional machines, this mobile workshop is a functional product that can go anywhere when needed. We can also call it a touring factory.
Our factory which produces ÜNOKS stainless products is able to serve the shipyards in Tuzla and Yalova region very fast with its 1,200 square meters production facility equipped with modern machinery and advanced design equipments in Tuzla.
How does your project process work?
METEHAN YÜKSELEN: It starts with the bidding process. Our bidding process consists of a general layout visual material and a simple technical specifications. We list the living areas and their content via the general layout picture. Then we do two dimensional project design. Again, in the process of bidding, we prepare three dimensional modeling in some key regions and show the customer what concept we offer in the content of our bid and we also give our customers the opportunity to shape the offer by their comments. Then we go to production and assembly stages on the ship. Mounting on board is one of our innovations. We definitely have a shipbuilding engineer and architect in our landing team.
KAAN BONCUK: We work with many famous brands from all over the world as long as the brand is not mentioned by the customer.
ÜNOKS is the representative in Turkey, especially of LOIPART and ELECTROLUX leaders of marine galley sector. We are also the representative of the brands like MIELE, producer of laundry equipment and DISPERATOR, which offers class certified products in the field of waste management systems.
Our company OCEANİST is the representative of the world's most important materials of living spaces in Turkey. We use WEBER and GERFLOR products on the floor, HBM products in panel and wet cabinets, and marine plywood products which have fireproof properties of OPTIMERA in furniture. We choose passenger seats on the passenger ships from WEST MEKAN. Captain's seat and wheelhouse are part of our design. We still work with the world famous ROCKWOOL brand in isolation.
ÇİTA MARİN itself is one of the best quality marine furniture manufacturers that have been already known in the sector for many years already. In addition to all these, there is a partnership with İSTİKBAL in the furnishings group. İSTİKBAL's marine products are designed by ÇİTA MARİN. They are manufactured in their own factory and are marine certified. Various products of CADI DESIGN are also used.
COŞKUN ÇİN: We do not differentiate between projects as small or big, but our target is cruise boats. We have already achieved this goal. We can put DAMEN in the foreground in this area, which is a huge group that produces in 40 big points of the world. We are doing business to DAMEN.
Okey you say your target is foreign markets. What do you foresee? In some segments, the situation has begun to recover. But in the coming period, can the factors that exist around us prevent the foreign shipowner from coming to us? Do you see anything? Is there such a danger?
KAAN BONCUK: The world economy is passing through a difficult period and regional developments are negatively affecting the sensitive Turkish economy. The sector we are in is fragile against all kinds of political and economic developments because it is open to the outside and requires expertise. We live as a group focused on our business. As I have said before, we are captains who jointly direct the ACCOMAR ship as much as our own ships. In every climate and under every weather condition we are obliged to take our ship on its route, that is, to the goal of profitability and success. We also make investments in this direction.
COŞKUN ÇİN: Although we have not completed one year as ACCOMAR, we have participated together in 2 foreign and 1 domestic expo. One of them was Nor-Shipping Trade Expo in Oslo, and the other Neva 2017 exhibition in Saint Petersburg. And the one in Turkey was Expomaritt Expo in Istanbul supported by the Chamber of Shipping of Istanbul. The interest in the expo was very good. Especially we have attracted great interest from Russia. We will receive our place at the Navalia 2018 fair, which will be held in Vigo, Spain from May 22 to 24, 2018.