The digital hub aims to simplify the process of finding, comparing and appointing service providers specialised in shipping.
Unafix’s launch line-up consists of three distinct types of service providers, namely shipping agents, surveyors and lawyers. Users will be able to connect with, and request a quote from as many service providers as they want, increasing the overall efficiency of the procurement process and its outcome.
“We felt that there are massive efficiency benefits to be gained in the procurement process of maritime service providers such as agents, surveyors and lawyers,” said Jeroen Wolthuis, member of the Unafix founding team and spokesperson for the company. “The transition to platform-based procurement in other industries has resulted in substantial efficiency improvements. With Unafix, we’ve tailored this concept to the maritime services industry.”
The maritime industry is often described as a people business and by its nature it is a global business. Maritime professionals usually have large networks which Unafix complements by offering new means of connecting with service providers. Maritime professionals will be able to connect with tens of thousands service providers through thousands of offices worldwide.
“To provide our users with the best possible tools we had to design our systems from scratch. We’ve built a versatile Request For Quotation based solution that offers plenty of flexibility for future user driven improvements. It took well over a half year of intense work to deliver the platform, but fortunately we’re backed by valued industry insiders and industry outsiders.”.
The Unafix team. Erik Dokter, Wessel Holwerda, Jeroen Wolthuis, Frank Smit.
Launcing a new business during COVID-19
“It’s undoubtedly a remarkable time to be launching a new business,” said Mr Wolthuis. “The current crisis incentivised us to speed up development. We’ve delivered a system with which our users can connect with more providers, in less time and obtain better quotes than they could before.”
Frank Smit of Unafix added: “What makes Unafix stand out is that it is user-driven, which means that we actively involve our users in our development process. This way we guarantee the best possible user experience whilst maximising market fit.”.
Holwerda Shipmanagement, a Netherlands based ship manager with a fleet of 10 container vessels, has been actively involved in the development process. “We’re seeing a lot of potential in digital solutions like Unafix. The way they’ve processed our feedback is an example of their user-driven mentality. Due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, we’re seeing a reduction in time charter duration. Consequently, we’re having more on/off-hire surveys performed than usual. With Unafix, we quickly obtained an overview of reputable surveyors available and with a few clicks we sent the request for quotation to several providers, without the usual hassle of preparing emails and searching for contact details."