At the helm with Tuomas Häkkinen, NAPA Stability and Safety Service Manager
NAPA Safety Solutions are unrivaled in technical capability, with the NAPA Loading Computer, NAPA Emergency Computer and NAPA Logbook leading in their respective sectors. As much as our products, however, our success is down to our people. With a genuine passion for the maritime industry and the NAPA brand, it is our people who go above and beyond to ensure our users are achieving the highest levels of safety and efficiency.
NAPA Safety Solutions experts can be found around the world working closely with major players in the passenger and cruise industry to keep their fleets safe.
From supporting customers during COVID-19 to favorite NAPA projects and working across the globe, we spoke to Tuomas Häkkinen, NAPA Stability and Safety Service Manager, about life as Naparian and the experiences that led him to where he is today.
It would be great if you could provide us with a little background on your previous experience and insight on how you came to work at NAPA?
After commencing my studies as a Naval Architect at Aalto University, Helsinki, I joined an annual excursion at NAPA where the company was introduced to Naval Architect students. The university offered the option for a workplace excursion – NAPA, which seemed like a really cool place to work at the forefront of ship design and software, was at the top of my list!
Following the completion of my undergrad studies, I secured a master’s thesis position at NAPA and then applied for the commissioning role. That was in 2012, and I have not looked back since.
What is your current role at NAPA?
I applied for a role at the Customer Support Desk and then as a Stability and Safety Service Manager after working as a Commissioning Engineer. In my time as a NAPA employee, I have been given the opportunity to work globally, from Hamburg to Miami. The Miami office specifically provided me with fantastic experience in the cruise sector and also allowed me to travel to the Caribbean to support customers!
After experience supporting customers in Miami, I moved back to Finland where I now work closely with European cruise customers and am the main point of contact for many European cruise operators using NAPA Loading Computer and stability management. I know the software and users like the back of my hand and am responsible for user training, service visits and troubleshooting.
How do you go one step above to support NAPA’s customers?
We aim to be as close to the customers as possible to ensure they are realizing the full potential of their NAPA safety software in the immediate-, mid-and long-term management of their ship stability and safety. This helps us better understand the processes and people behind the processes. We also endeavor to respond to onboard crew members as soon as possible to ensure they are fully supported. From being the main point of contact I know the fleet and its systems very well, which enables me to resolve problems exceptionally quickly. At NAPA, we pride ourselves in taking a proactive and hands-on approach to support our customers to ensure their vessels are safety-secured and compliant with all regulations now and in the future.
What are some of the most unexpected or surprising things you’ve learned at NAPA?
At NAPA you are free to define your own role. The NAPA way is one that is flexible and provides you with a lot of freedom. Unlike more traditional companies, where you can end up bound with protocols, processes and hierarchy, the self-managed structure offers a fantastic opportunity and is truly unique. It sounds cliché, but at NAPA you really do learn something new every day.
What major changes do you think we will see in the shipping industry in terms of safety over the next decade?
Digitalization is one of the biggest changes the maritime industry is undergoing at the moment, with advanced data collection and analysis already happening on a scale now. I think this will irreversibly change the industry for the better and enable greater safety, environmental and cost benefits, as well as opening up greater opportunity for autonomous vessels.
What is your favorite activity to do outside of NAPA?
I am really into my sports and love the outdoors. Especially skiing and squash!
If you want to ensure that your vessels and the crew are supported in the best possible way, familiarize yourself with NAPA Service Agreements.
To find out what it is like to be a Naparian, or to view our open positions, visit NAPA Careers.