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PRODUCT : Product is the core offering. This is the thing that will fulfill the needs of customer.

For Canopus Shipping this is the Agency work. Agency work is nothing but a service industry, where the agent enters for an agreement with their client and provides their service to the client. Agency work being a part of service industry this is intangible i.e. it cannot be measured. Also they are heterogeneous, perishable and cannot be owned. Product of agency refers as the service and satisfaction offered by the Agent to their client. Generally goods are first produced, sold and then consumed. Services on the other hand usually sold first and then produced and consumed simultaneously. This makes agency industry more tough due to participation of customer in the production process and delivery process. Here the service needs to be customized for each call of vessel. However Ship Broking activity being a part of service industry it works more like a tangible product, as here first broker has to Clean Fix the vessel i.e. producing the event before selling it. When a service is sold i.e. when agent gets an appointment letter from the client, there is generally nothing tangible to show for it. Services are consumed but not possessed. This is essence of what is being bought is a performances rendered by one party. Agency Service is a deed, a performance an effort made by the agent for the faster and smooth turnaround of the vessel . Agency service is people based. So it varies if being provided by un-skilled or professional workers. Providing of agency services combines operation, human resources, finance & marketing responsibilities in one individual. Biggest problem with agency service is that this cannot be stored. Any idling time is a direct loss of revenue.

PRICE : Pricing for Canopus Shipping is the Agency Fee or Brokerage Commission. For a ship agency company role of determining the price to the customer in lieu of providing service to them is entirely different than regular service industry. E.g. any restaurant will determine the food charge by adding their expenses of Ambience, musical band etc plus the profit mark. But here in

agency business company need to be competitive as per the prevailing market rate being offered by other agents. While Brokerage fee is fixed as per International convention of charging 1.25% to owner on their total earning on Frieght/Dead-freight/Demmurage/TC Hire. Price is considered a Proxy for the Quality and vice-versa in service industry. Higher price means more satisfied will be the customer and vice-versa. But this concept also doesnt apply to the ship agency and broking company and infact it seems that concept works in Reciprocal way here. As such proving worthiness of of clients additional money would be also very difficult to achieve. At Broking desk what all matters is to match owner and charterer number rest becomes the story and at Agency desk what all matters is how less an agent will charge to their client and hardly it matters for the client how good the agent is in offering their service. It has been experienced !

PLACE : Services are often chosen for their place utility. For ship agency Work Company must position themselves at the port where the clients vessel/cargo will come. Preferably it should with own banner but keeping feasibility in mind a good subagent concept can also work. To supervise the the operation company may send their representatives for doing on board supervision work. For ship broking company ideal place would be to locate at the hub of activity i.e. where the charterer and ship owner /operator is located. Having placed at such location gives an advantage to broker as they can always reach to them for the meeting purpose. Contact is the biggest asset for ship broker and to maintain a good contact frequent meeting is required. In present context while selecting the place; mode of distribution of services must be good e.g. Internet and Telephone connectivity because ship agent or ship broker distribution of their services is (mostly) via Internet only. For ship agent this is done by means of sending the berthing prospect, daily updates and other operational activity. For ship broker this is done by sending intial enquiry, firm offer, counter, recap, post fix messages etc.

PROMOTION : Promotion is a critical factor in the service sector due to very high competition. Services are easy to be duplicated and hence it is generally the Brand which sets a service provider a higher level from its counterpart. Promotion is therefore a must for service industry. Ship agency or broking work being a part of the service industry there are no hidden process of making the product and this is open and known to all the people involved in the process. Therefore entry of new ship agent/brokers entity in the market is very common thing. To survive in the market Brand value of a company matters a lot. Therefore a ship agency/broking company must keep promoting their brand. Canopus shipping does it by means of regular participation in Coaltrans and by preparing and distributing in house weekly report on shipping market. Promoting the clients to the industry is equally important in ship agency/broking work. This has dual effect Client feels companys special attention towards them which helps in getting their valuable support for the business and the other counterpart realizes that company truly values their customer and this strengthen our position in their view. Canopus shipping does it by arranging on table meet between ship owner and charterer at least once in a year.

PEOPLE : People define service for a service industry e.g. for IT company software engineer defines the company, for a restaurant chef and waiters defines the restaurant, for a bank employees behavior towards customer defines that bank. Similarly for Ship agency company the Operation Executive, Sr. Manager operation, DA and A/c dept people in combined way defines the company. Quick reply by DA department would reflect as the prominent company, Efficient operational activity and reporting would reflect as capable agent in work and timely processing of payment would ensure to seal the future business from the client.

All the three basic departments here : DA, Operation & Accounts have to be fully awaken to provide the overall satisfactory agency service to the client. Slow and sluggish work by any one of above three wing tarnishes the Brand value of the company. For a ship broking company, broker responsible for fixing the vessel/cargo is mainly responsible for establishing the image of the company. While the role of post fix brokers are to ensure that file gets closed amicably and smoothly the ultimate responsibility here lies on the broker who fixed the vessel. From the company point of view, a Brokers sole responsibility is to generate the revenue for the company. While in case of ship agent all the wings are responsible only in implied way and not directly for generating the revenue for the company.

PROCESS : Service process is the way in which service is delivered to the end customer. Process of a service company in delivering its product is of utmost important. For ship agency work, all the guidelines with respect to port, custom, immigration, PHO etc is same for the agent and same must be accomplished by all the agent. Here the upper hand becomes of the agent who understands these rules and regulations and their implication to various operational aspect. Clear understanding of the rules and updated information about port infrastructure not only helps in avoiding the red-tapism but also ensures optimal performance. Back office support work for ship agency is eually important as an agent must keep informing the clients about each and every activity happening out there by means of mail/telcon/sms. While the responsibility of advising the operational activity is of executives in operation to communicate the same to client is of managerial rank guys. DA and account department process the DA and payment work with vendor and closes the file. Here the product catering is done by the Operation executives, Sr. managers, DA & A/c department. All wing has to work in tandem and with efficiency to make the overall process effective. Here the point to remember bad work of one wing tarnishes the image of entire company and undoes the good work of other department.

For a ship broker to fix a vessel/cargo, he must be aware of the prevailing rate in market and the policies of the government affecting the trade company is involved with. By keeping the market freight and hire guidance updated, it helps while talking to the owner/charterer and putting effective dialogue with them. Although final decision is always of owner/charterer to decide the number.

PHYSICAL EVIDENCE : Although services are intangible in nature, however to create a better customer experience tangible elements are also delivered with the service. Though in theory above is being said but unable to relate this concept with Ship Agency/broking work. What matters here is the fastest turn around of the vessel and getting vessel fixed. How good is the ambience of the office is completely unrelated here. In the area of ship agency/broking generally meeting with client takes place outside and office ambience seldom matter. While not giving any importance to physical stuff here doesnt implies that office working facility needs to be compromised. Office must have equipment for faster and smooth communication.