Why resource efficiency is important

At James Fisher, we want to ensure that our resources are utilised in a sustainable manner, that we protect the life systems that support the planet’s natural resources, and that our workforce is environmentally aware in carrying out their day-to-day tasks.

Our focus is to do more with the resources already in place, with the long-term view of doing more with less resource than is required today. This will be achieved through the application of Lean methodology and other operational excellence principles.

At its core, Lean methodology organises people, materials, water, energy and associated activities in a way that delivers increased value to all stakeholders while eliminating waste. By building Lean methodology into our structure and core systems, employees and extended teams have the tools and techniques at their disposal to drive efficiencies and ensure we can accurately measure and then reduce / remove wasteful activities that consume time, cost, and valuable resources, but add little value to our stakeholders.


KPI under consideration During 2022, we will evaluate the right KPI that reflects our ambition, with the aim to report a baseline in 2023.

Progress in 2021

During 2021, we focused our efforts on two key areas:

  1. Deployment of Lean methodology
  2. Asset optimisation



Deployment of Lean methodology

In 2021, we actively sought and recruited a Head of Lean, with the mandate to build a “Lighthouse” within the group, showcasing the benefits a Lean approach will bring to business operations and delivery. This journey has commenced with RMSpumptools and the ambition is to deploy and scale Lean principles across the group based on the success and learnings of its rollout.

Asset optimisation

Due to our business model, some of the portfolio businesses within the marine support financial reporting division are asset intensive. We continued to improve utilisation of these assets through the innovative management strategies outlined below

1. Centralised asset management

Previously, assets such as vessels and portable equipment, e.g. remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), were managed regionally across different James Fisher entities. We now monitor and track our asset base from a global perspective to determine where they can be more effectively utilised. This has resulted in the transfer of ROVs across regions e.g., from the UK to Brazil to build capability based on customer demand.

2. Move to asset-light model

In 2019, we acquired two dive support vessels (DSVs), the Paladin and the Swordfish. Due to challenging market conditions, we have adapted our asset management approach, returning to an asset-light strategy and;

  • sold the Paladin
  • secured long-term frame agreement contracts for the Swordfish
  • established partnerships with vessel owners / operators facilitating access to multiple vessels in exchange for market access
The James Fisher Subtech team stood in front of the Subtech Swordfish Offshore tug/Supply ship

How we will deliver against targets

As Lean methodology, principles and improvement initiatives are implemented across the group, a Lean operating system framework will materialise. This system will comprise Lean leaders and champions who support and embed the capability, with the aim to improve product excellence, commercial excellence, and operational excellence.

We will continue to drive improvements by:

  • standardising policies and processes to embed the right culture and mindset across the group
  • implementing centralised functions, processes, and information management systems where it makes sense to do so e.g., centralising CRM system at division level
  • promoting knowledge sharing and learning through curated programmes and campaigns


We have strengthened our investment decision-making process by revising and updating the assessment criteria. We will continue to invest in strategically significant assets where such investments provide a differentiated level of service or sustainable competitive advantage.

Ray Parfitt, Head of Lean, at the James Fisher and Sons plc Senior Leadership Conference
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