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FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT – How one oilfield service company plans to buck the trend and take advantage of the downturn
April 25, 2016
Leduc, Alberta (April 25, 2016) – It happens every year. On a slightly chilly (but not cold) spring morning, the Leduc-Nisku-Edmonton corridor is bustling again, as continuous truckloads of equipment return to their bases, an inevitable end to another winter drilling season. But the 11% drop in active rigs this week is unwelcome news, when heaped on top of a year of bad news, terrible news and ever-increasing negative sentiment on the prospects of the oil and gas industry.
Stuck on the south end of the corridor, poised with a good view of the traffic along 43rd street, Dave Joinson remains optimistic. Actually, more accurately, he is visibility excited. Dave and the company he runs, Force inspection Services, has just launched a new product. The timing is curious at best.
“We are in the business of inspecting and repairing drill pipe, bottom-hole equipment and other tubulars”, says Dave, “It’s not the most talked about segment in the industry for sure, but it is an essential service”. Dave adds, “We came into this business with the goal of changing the service model to better meet the needs of the customer and this latest product is an extension of that strategy. What the downturn has shown us though, is there is a real need to hone our business model and become hyper focused on making things easier for our customers”
The new product, Force Field, is cloud-based, tablet accessible, proprietary software designed to increase the speed, accuracy and flow of information to the customer.
According to Matt Gruenenwald, Force’s GM that headed up the project, “we want to give the customer not only the ability to track the status of their current job with us, but we also want them to have the ability to log in and retrieve all the work we did in the past, the history of their pipe, the results of all inspections so that they can make quick, informed decisions”. “This information is currently very fragmented and incomplete” adds Matt, “in the full scope of this initiative, we want to track the movement of all the customer’s pipe, which would essentially provide them with a bolt-on inventory management tool and save them from having to rely on internal resources to continually track assets”.
So far, the effort has been well received. Dean Petryna, Tubular Manager for Western Energy Services Corp. / Horizon Drilling comments on the product, “Force is incorporating technology in an area that hasn’t seen innovation in the past 30 years. I think the industry is all ears on any efficiency gains and costs savings that can be passed on. The product will help and the fact that the fellas maintained focus on this in the downturn is commendable”.
Similarly, Mike L’Hirondelle, Purchasing & Logistics Manager for Ensign Drilling Partnership (EDP) echoes the sentiment. “That the overall industry is under duress is no real secret. It is great to see examples like Force where companies reassess their business models, become more efficient and essentially help each other through the downturn. We really need to rethink how we are doing things in a market that is unforgiving to the bottom line if you don’t drive costs out of your business and offer savings and innovations to your clients”.
Dave mentions that the new product is just one of the projects underway in an effort to change the service model in the inspection business. When asked if the downturn actually helps his business, he quips, “yes but no. Realistically we are on the front lines and feed directly off of the drilling activity, so I can’t pretend a protracted downturn will be a good thing for us. However, I can say that I am proud of our staff in fully using the downturn to rally around and complete key projects. The downturn has helped us to become a stronger service provider and the lessons will not be lost as we continue to move through this”.
About Force Inspection Services Inc:
Force Inspection Services Inc. is a Canadian privately owned company that specializes in the inspection, repair and storage of oilfield tubulars with two inspection facilities located in Leduc and Grande Prairie, Alberta. In addition to in-plant inspection, Force also provides mobile field services and repairs including bottom-hole assembly (“BHA”) inspection, transverse electromagnetic (“EMI”) drill pipe inspection, refacing and straightening.
Media Contact Details:
Force Inspection Services Inc.
Dave Joinson – CEO
(780) 554-9826 (cell)