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. The status of these opportunities and threats are reviewed on a periodic basis and appropriate further actions are taken.
Wärtsilä constantly analyses its manufacturing footprint and capacity costs, including costs related to the supply chain. Risk assessments have been made for all the main delivery centres, and significant safety and risk mitigation investments have been completed. Risks identification, assessment and mitigation actions are executed on a regular basis as part of operational management. Management systems for quality, environmental, occupational health and safety, and other systems are utilized to improve productivity, and safety and business continuity plans have been implemented for the key delivery centres.
Supplier and subcontractor risk
During 2014, Wärtsilä’s supply management was reorganised. The previously centralised organisation was moved into the business lines, with the goal of securing quality, lead times and costs according to business specific requirements. In order to ensure coordinated interfaces and synergies for the cross-divisional supplier base, a category management structure has been put in place. Indirect Purchasing remains a centralised function responsible for managing strategic sourcing activities for indirect materials and services in all businesses and support functions.
The supply management units have a unified process for managing and controlling Wärtsilä’s supplier network and for verifying that the suppliers’ performance meets Wärtsilä’s expectations. Supplier performance is, therefore, continuously measured. A key activity in managing business continuity planning is the continuous assessment of business interruption risks, which is carried out 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 supply category managers and the Risk Management function.
Wärtsilä has developed its supply related activities by creating close collaboration and long-term relationships with its main suppliers. This co-operation with the suppliers creates a common view towards values and goals, which in turn supports the management of Wärtsilä’s strategic risks. To further mitigate supplier and subcontractor risks, a comprehensive follow-up of suppliers’ credit worthiness has been established. Supplier related risks for key components are mitigated by establishing dual or multi sourcing.
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 the risk elimination tool FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) and in-house validation testing. Wärtsilä seeks to control quality risks by monitoring 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, full release authority is given to the sales organisations only after testing and further validation has been completed. The 5S (sort, shine, set, standardise and sustain) philosophy is implemented in all production sites to increase quality and to support lean operations.
Services is responsible for supporting customers in all warranty issues. This 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 costs that may arise after product delivery. The product liability insurance covers unexpected damages.
Wärtsilä seeks to continuously improve the quality of its products and services through the adoption of best industry practices and good governance. Management at all levels is responsible for the quality of output from their organisations, and is accountable for ensuring that appropriate review and feedback mechanisms are in place. The centralised Wärtsilä Quality function is responsible for coordinating quality activities across the businesses, and for ensuring that senior governance mechanisms are in place and effective.
Wärtsilä’s non-service sales consist of projects and equipment supply 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.
For Services, the target is to sign long-term service agreements aimed at keeping the customer’s investment productive throughout its lifetime. This enables customers to focus on their core business while Wärtsilä ensures optimal performance of the installation. Reliable performance and risk management are identified as key needs of our customers. An essential part of a service agreement is adequate preparation prior to the operational phase of the installation, including the recruitment and training of personnel, the purchasing of safety stock and tools, the establishment of the operational infrastructure, maintenance routines, and occupational health and safety systems. The target is to prevent the unexpected and to ensure cost efficiency and smooth operations for both the customers and Wärtsilä as the service provider.
Risk of non-compliance, corruption and fraud
Wärtsilä complies with the law and its own internal regulations everywhere the company does business. Wärtsilä's Code of Conduct is the key guideline for all employees globally. Wärtsilä is committed to high ethical standards and integrity in its Businesses, and to preventing corruption and violations of the principles set forth in the Code of Conduct, as well as in Wärtsilä's Anti-Corruption and Compliance Reporting policies. Compliance processes are embedded in all of the Businesses, and the responsibility for compliance and awareness of ethics and integrity is that of all Wärtsilä employees.
Wärtsilä is fully committed to compliance with the anti-corruption laws and statutes. Wärtsilä's Anti-Corruption Policy absolutely forbids any kind of corruption and bribery, and the top-management of the company has a zero-tolerance policy regarding corruption and fraud.
The Compliance function promotes Group wide compliance and continuously strives to raise awareness of the risk of corruption and bribery and other misconduct. It is primarily responsible for creating and enforcing Group level policies and procedures, training programmes, compliance investigations, managing the consequences of misconduct, and reporting. The continuous development of Wärtsilä's compliance programme and nurturing the company’s commendable ethical culture are pivotal tasks for the Compliance function. Moreover, Compliance supports and co-operates with the Businesses and other corporate functions in their risk management efforts.
While Wärtsilä is aware of the risk of being subject to fraud by external business parties, and that the risk of corruption and fraud is heightened in many markets where the company operates, Wärtsilä maintains its highly ethical practices at all times. Full compliance with its stringent anti-corruption regime, including policies to prevent the corruption and bribery risk of third parties, is demanded by Wärtsilä.
Commodity price risk
The direct effect of oil price changes on Wärtsilä's production is limited, with their impact being mainly demand related. Higher oil prices represent a risk for global economic growth and increase operating costs, especially in the shipping markets. However, they also stimulate investments in exploration and production for oil and gas, both on land and offshore. Furthermore, high oil prices increase investments in gas carriers, gas based power plants and, increasingly, also in gas fuelled vessels. Low oil prices can delay investment decisions in oil producing countries and regions and in the offshore industry. Wärtsilä is a global company involved in different shipping and power plant segments where oil price changes can have an opposing impact on demand drivers. This position is further diversified by the increasing importance of natural gas in Wärtsilä's business.
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. In the Power Plants business, high electricity prices support investments in new capacity from utility customers. Lower grid electricity prices do not favour industrial customers’ investments in their own generating capacity.