Operational risk management is part of the daily work of the Businesses. Opportunities and risks are identified, assessed and managed on a daily basis and reported to, and managed by, the appropriate management level. On a periodic basis (weekly or monthly) the status of the opportunities and risks are reviewed and further actions are taken.
Risk assessments have been made for all the main delivery centres, and significant safety and risk mitigation investments have been completed. Wärtsilä utilises management systems for quality, environmental, occupational health and safety, and other systems to improve productivity and safety. Wärtsilä has implemented business continuity plans for its key delivery centres. Wärtsilä is constantly analysing its manufacturing footprint and capacity costs, including the supply chain.
Supplier and subcontractor risk
The centralised Wärtsilä Supply Management (WSM) function is responsible for all strategic sourcing activities. Within that responsibility, WSM manages and controls Wärtsilä’s supplier network to make sure that the suppliers’ performance meet Wärtsilä’s expectations. Supplier performance is, therefore, also continuously measured. A key activity in managing business continuity planning is the continuous assessment of business interruption risks, which is made in co-operation with our suppliers. Several supplier risk audits have been completed jointly with the insurer as one means of mitigating risk. These audits are now part of the regular work for the WSM and Risk Management functions. To further mitigate risks, a comprehensive follow-up of suppliers’ creditworthiness has been established.
Wärtsilä Supply Management has developed its activities by creating close collaboration and long-term relationships with its main suppliers. By having these close relationships, WSM secures a common view with its suppliers on values and goals. These shared values and goals support Wärtsilä’s management of strategic risks. In addition, WSM continues its supplier structuring programme in order to create and maintain a sustainable supplier base. As part of that programme, WSM is further developing its global sourcing activities. Furthermore, supplier related risks are also addressed by having double sourcing on key components.
Lifecycle quality of products and product liability risk
Launching new products always involves risks. In the R&D process, several risk management techniques are applied, including FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis), a risk elimination tool, and in-house validation testing. Furthermore, Wärtsilä seeks to control quality risks by montoring the incoming quality from the supply chain and by designing and manufacturing products with all due care. Wärtsilä applies a GATE model in order to control the product development process. First, only a limited release of new products is allowed, and via the gate approach, only after testing and further validation has been completed, is full release authority given to the sales organisations. The 5S (meaning sort, shine, set, standardise and sustain) philosophy is being implemented in all production sites to increase quality and to support lean operations. Services is responsible for all warranty issues, and it offers a feedback loop from the field to production and R&D while taking care of customers’ installations throughout their lifecycle. The company makes warranty provisions to cover any warranty costs that may arise after product delivery. The product liability insurance covers unexpected damages.
Wärtsilä’s non-Service sales consist of project deliveries of various sizes. The most substantial orders concern turnkey power plants. However, in relation to the total volume of business, the risks from individual projects do not reach significant levels. The lifecycle quality of the products and work, from the initial design, throughout all stages of the production process, to the eventual field service work, plus the use of standard sales contracts including the establishment of a contract review process, together reduce the risk of product liability claims.
Commodity price risk
The direct effect of oil price changes on Wärtsilä's production is very limited. The indirect effects of oil price volatility on customers are outweighed in importance by the long economic life of the investments, fuel-efficient technologies, and the availability of alternative fuels.
Changes in price differentials on different types of fuel and fuel qualities might impact the chances for winning new orders, as well as the feasibility of running existing equipment. The impact can be both positive and negative.
Metal prices have an indirect effect on the component costs of our products. Furthermore, some key components are sourced with long-term contracts, and thus raw material price volatility is limited.
Electricity prices have no substantial impact on Wärtsilä’s production costs.