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Dockyard magazine picks the brains of Steven Winder, Managing Director of Neptune Inspection – a global reach provider of reliable and professional Non Destructive Testing service to the Marine Industry on vessels both at sea and in dry dock.

DY. Welcome to Dockyard Magazine, so first up please introduce yourself and Neptune Inspection Limited...

A. Hi, I am Steven Winder of Neptune Inspection, I have 7 years industry experience. I started my journey in the NDT industry as an assistant technician having come from a construction background. I started Neptune Inspection in 2015, after developing a particular interest in NDT for the maritime industry. I wanted to concentrate on offering UTM surveys in a maritime context as this is where my passion lies and so decided to go it alone.

DY. Do you offer a typical set of services &/or is it more bespoke customer solutions?...

A. We offer a wide set of services which includes, UTM thickness Surveys, Class Renewal, special Surveys, CAP Surveys, MPI, Dye penetrant and Pre-Docking surveys. We work very closely with vessel owners so they know what to expect. However, the type of work that we carry out means that we are guided by the classification society rules and so we have to remain impartial in terms of the survey results.

DY. How do you go about giving customers peace of mind that you are providing the best service for them?...

A. We are currently accredited by 3 classification societies – Lloyds register, Bureau Veritas and DNV-GL. These are three of the biggest classification societies in the world. In order to achieve these accreditations each comes with a rigorous audit and check procedure which we have to undergo every three years and includes inspecting our Quality Management systems and proposed equipment. This gives clients peace of mind that we are fully equipped to offer those services and that we are working to benchmark industry standards. It is part of our long term business plan to widen the number of classification societies we operate under.

DY. What differentiates Neptune Inspection Limited and makes you stand out from your competition?...

A. We are lucky, we are a small company working in a niche market and that allows us to work to some more old fashioned values which are appreciated by clients. We have developed close working relationships with our clients. Our clients know who they are dealing with and I can say with confidence that if we say we can deliver to their timelines we will. They are enthused by our transparency when the invoice lands. We only bill what we say we will. There are never any nasty surprises. We are the only company that I know of, in this market that offers an online portal. This allows us to upload reports quickly and accurately so that our clients can get immediate access and also cuts down on the paper trail. Hopefully making us more sustainable. This is still a work in progress which will be fully rolled out in the next few months. Feedback is important to us and this goes beyond just a form filling exercise. I am in constant dialogue with clients and work closely with surveyors. The classification societies that we work with are rigorous in their reporting structure and they will always identify areas of improvement which we will always resolve. This is imperative if we are to retain all of our approvals.

DY. Ok, once a job is completed and you seek customer feedback – how is that feedback used to gain/ implement improvements and do you have any examples?...

A. We have a lot of repeat work from our clients and if something has been identified that we need to improve on or a suggestion has been made it will be acted on and I will work with that client to ensure that they are completely happy with our service. Working with surveyors also gives us the opportunity to improve our reporting structure. One of our classification societies has identified an in-house training course which may be of benefit to our company and which I intend to invest in over the next few months.

DY. How is the market place currently and has the looming Brexit had an impact at all?...

A. The market for this industry is buoyant and I remain optimistic. We are still a growing company and so our priorities at this stage may be different to say larger companies who have expressed concern over Brexit. The main area of concern for us is the strength of the pound and whether our prices will still remain attractive in a fluctuating market. However, when you run your own business you are constantly having to evolve and absorb the knocks and until Brexit is delivered we are dealing in the unknown. On that basis I am determined to remain optimistic!

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