In recent years, shipyards have been facing difficulties in controlling operational costs. To maintain continual operation of all of the facilities, a shipyard must analyze ways of utilizing present production systems for assembling interim vessel products as well as other types of industrial constructions. In the past, new machines continuously improved shipbuilding processes, including software and organizational restructuring, but management continued to search for a modern technological concept that will provide higher productivity, greater profit and overall reduction in costs. In the article the authors suggest implementing Design for Production, Design for Maintainability and Group Technology principles using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to apply to multi criteria decision making methods as an efficient tool for maintaining international competitiveness in the modern shipbuilding industry. This novel methodology is implemented through four phases. In the first phase, the present situation analysis is suggested for a real shipyard by establishing closest relations among production lines. The second phase presents a constraint analysis that must be evaluated when developing the design solution. The third phase involves generating a typical number of selected alternatives of the Design for Production, Design for Maintainability and Group Technology principles. In the fourth phase, the optimal design solution is selected using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. The solution incorporating this modern methodology will improve productivity, profit and lead to decreasing operational costs.