Pragmatic measures that pay off 以务实战略转败为胜

发布时间: 2012-11-09 10:31   来源:
关键词: 英语
Pragmatic measures that pay off 以务实战略转败为胜
After a long period of negotiations, PSA Corporation and South Korea's Hanjin Shipping have finally signed a long-term agreement. Both sides have also pledged continued future cooperation on a win-win basis. PSA's success epitomises Singapore's ability to respond with pragmatic and flexible measures to formidable challenges.
      The deal is good news for all. It is evidence that despite stiff competition from ports in neighbouring countries, PSA is still attractive to its existing customers.
  Is Hanjin Shipping's decision to stay testimony to the effectiveness of a series of measures announced by PSA recently?
  The company had described the rate PSA offered as “very, very, very competitive.” It had also said that PSA's quality and efficient service was essential. But it is clear that price was a key factor in the shipping line's decision to remain here.
  PSA has emphasised that its business cooperation with its customers is based on a “win-win” formula. And it has managed to get Hanjin to renew its contract precisely because of this policy.
  Confronted with immense pressure from neighbouring competitors, PSA has announced the slew of measures under its “stay relevant” policy to sharpen its competitive edge.
  This is not to say that the port operator has not been keeping up with changing times. However, convinced that excellent service is the key to attracting customers, its concern has been more with maintaining service efficiency. Now that it is operating in a different environment with fierce competition from new ports in neighbouring countries, efficient service alone is no longer enough to retain customers. Not only are its competitors improving their service, but they are also offering very competitive prices.
  PSA has realised that if its rates and business relationships with its customers do not “stay relevant”, it will lose them.
  Introduced with the aim of keeping its customers, measures such as providing customers “dedicated berths”, a stake in the corporation, and adjustments in fees are PSA's efforts to adapt to changing times. As the global economy is slowing down, it is necessary to respond appropriately. The reduced charges, in particular, should prove effective. However, a price-cutting war should be avoided at all costs.
  PSA has said that its discounts and rebates are restricted to charges for handling empty containers. The purpose is to help shipping lines tide over the current economic woes. Such adjustments are far from cutting prices. To quote Hanjin, they are a “bonus”.
  Has PSA succeeded in keeping Hanjin because its new measures have worked? Or has Hanjin been moved by PSA's sincerity? What matters most is that PSA has managed to clinch a deal with a key customer. This, hopefully, will have a positive effect and PSA's more than 20 other big customers will also stick with it.
  Granted that it is important for PSA to adjust its fees, there must be no let-up on preserving its good service. An over-emphasis on price competitiveness at the expense of upgrading its service quality may cost the group its global reputation of being a “high service quality” international port established over the last few decades.
  The challenge for PSA, apart from charting its international and regional development strategies, is to remain competitive both in terms of rates and service quality.
The writer is Assistant Editor (Business Desk), Lianhe Zaobao.Translated by Yap Gee Poh.


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