As a result of the review, the UK-based builder’s operations will be consolidated, or ‘simplified’ as a group statement phrased it. As part of this realignment 300 ‘non-core’ jobs are now under review, with their necessity to the company being evaluated before a decision is made on whether to retain them.
SuperyachtNews.com spoke exclusively to group executive director, Sunny Thakrar, days after the announcement was first made, to assess the likely impact of this review on the Sunseeker workforce and the yard’s business model.
“With an ever-changing market we looked at how we position the business for the longer term to make sure we are in a position to respond to our customer needs”, Thakrar explained.
He went on to say that the 300 job cuts widely banded around in the media were not yet set in stone, and would be the subject of a 45-day consultation process, with adequate employee representation and correspondence with staff over the most agreeable outcome.
“As part of this review we’re ensuring that we bring new products to market in a much more swift and efficient manner. As a business we have a portfolio that goes from 40 feet all the way up to 168 feet and we’ve got to make sure that that portfolio is managed to satisfy all of our customers throughout that range. We will continue to invest at the top end but we will also re-focus and re-balance our products throughout the range, looking at the sweet spots and geographical regions that will maintain us at the forefront of what we do at Sunseeker.”
While there is a strong likelihood that jobs will be axed in Poole, there will also be opportunities created within Sunseeker’s regional and international supply chain. “One of the key drivers to support this strategic review”, Thakrar explained, “is our long-term commitment to purchasing, which is a totally different way of operating.
“Where we have visibility on certain boat lines, rather than placing boat-by-boat orders, we’re actually placing orders of 18-months on certain lines. And what’s key to us is to make sure that our customer gets a world-class product in a timely manner, which means being correctly organised, having the right supply chain that we’re working with for the long-term.”