Asking the right questions
Cost savings in flex lay are there for the taking - but are you finding them? MDL commercial director Mike Gaskin believes an open dialog - and an open mind - help make the most of the market's competitive offering.
There are so many operators developing new and existing fields around the world, that it’s no surprise the number of supply chain companies equals, or even exceeds that. The competition in our field of flex-lay equipment has been on a sharp rise in recent years.
Of course, what that meant when the oil price dropped and the industry began falling deeper into the current downturn, was that this competition became even more fierce. As the operators’ Capex was cut down dramatically, the supply chain had to begin to work harder than ever to secure a project.
In this context MDL’s strength lays in the fact that efficiency and cost-savings have been engraved into our equipment’s design since our beginnings. Our existing rental offering, as well as proven Capex technology, were already available to benefit the industry when the oil price came tumbling down.
Proven track record and case studies come to show that our offering can save clients significant amounts of cash on every project - which, you’d think, would be every operator’s ideal scenario.
The problem is, all too often we are not given the chance to present this offering, before we are already turned down - because, in the end, all that seems to matter is the price.
It’s an ongoing argument, one which MDL has covered previously in our blogs, and which remains one of our biggest struggles: the different industry attitudes to price and value. While the drive for innovative cost reduction is well in force, the way of reaching that goal is still very traditional, namely: by seeking the lowest possible price, rather than seeking added value.
The example of this is the ITT: based on a standard supplier form, emailed to us and to other companies like us, asking countless questions about the company’s policies, its track record, and the spec of the equipment, to see how far it matches the RFQ.
In majority of situations, by this stage the client had already made their mind up on what equipment they want, and are on the search for the best price out there.
The RFQ form is not interested in how different equipment from various suppliers can affect the efficiency of the operation or length of the project, and how these in turn affect the overall cost of the campaign.
But MDL is.
Our equipment is focused on reducing the idle vessel time in port and at sea, when neither the vessel nor the equipment are doing any work: either because they’re being mobilised, in transit or serviced.
The saving is huge: the cash equivalent of the mission being reduced by days - rather than the few dollars saved in the formal tender (that difference between truly innovative technology and a cheaper, box-standard version).
But just like the RFQ does not reflect all these savings, neither does it listen to the operator to understand their actual needs - nor can it propose a different, more cost-effective solution for their problem.
That’s why we are here to ask all the right questions, to find the best solution for our clients’ needs.
We’re keen to come and see you in person, to put our knowledge and expertise into your hands - no forms required.
Mike Gaskin, commercial director
- MDL concludes 4-job campaign with TechnipFMCJanuary 2019
- Out with SWL - in with MOLLDecember 2018
- Let's start at the Front EndNovember 2018
- MDL debuts in first mid-stream California projectOctober 2018
- Mexico: bridging the gap to faster recoverySeptember 2018
- MDL delivers first LiveWire spreadAugust 2018
- MDL returns to Norway with TechnipFMCJune 2018
- Double Bibby win for MDLJune 2018
- Halving the headache with a simple approachMay 2018
- MDL awarded California pipelay jobMay 2018
- MDL wins Mediterranean umbilical installationMay 2018
- Three lessons about changeApril 2018
- Delmar and MDL join forces to launch LiveWireApril 2018
- Leading the way in subsea innovationMarch 2018
- Disposing of hidden costsMarch 2018
- RDS completes first GoM mission for Subsea 7February 2018
- Hitting the 150Te markJanuary 2018
- MDL sets up equipment base in GoM with DelmarDecember 2017
- MDL maximises focus in the AmericasDecember 2017
- A helping hand across the SeaNovember 2017
- Instinct, MaturedOctober 2017
- Oceaneering adds MDL 800Te RDS to global fleetOctober 2017
- Safe as MDLAugust 2017
- Calculated MovesMay 2017
- 24/7 AmbassadorsApril 2017
- MDL Spread concludes Trinidad jobApril 2017
- Turning the frown upside down at ExpoFebruary 2017
- MDL converts Expo leads to RNLI cashFebruary 2017
- Contract award brings MDL tensioner to APACJanuary 2017
- Winding up the new-buildsDecember 2016
- 800 Tonnes of InnovationDecember 2016
- MDL goes east with new appointmentNovember 2016
- A different cup of teaOctober 2016
- Early project makes a comeback with USA deliveryOctober 2016
- New system redefines global tensioner marketSeptember 2016
- MDL Spread hits anniversary milestoneSeptember 2016
- Latest rental RDS completes first missionJuly 2016
- Asking the right questionsJune 2016
- MDL launches innovative well intervention systemMay 2016
- Portable spread creates new opportunitiesMarch 2016
- An ex-Captain’s perspectiveFebruary 2016
- MDL opens door in AmericaFebruary 2016
- Subsea Expo 2016: Inspiring smart conversationsFebruary 2016
- That's one New Year's resolution worth sticking toJanuary 2016
- Subsea Expo 2016: MDL powers up flex-lay costs reductionJanuary 2016
- Mission accomplished for MDL PVLSNovember 2015
- Maritime Rentals fleet continues to growOctober 2015
- Maritime Developments' first PVLS sets sailSeptember 2015
- Selling value: The toughest challenge with supply chainSeptember 2015
- Let their hair down: Investment that pays backJuly 2015
- Maritime Developments raises £1,400 for Marie Curie Cancer CareJuly 2015
- Cutting costs: Why we’re all in it togetherJune 2015
- Looking hot this summerJune 2015
- Innovation: Speaking the same languageMay 2015
- Final winch order ready for early pickupMay 2015
- Latest reel drive system steals the spotlightApril 2015
- The Budget: A step in the right directionMarch 2015
- Maritime Developments seals 15th anniversary with first VLS orderFebruary 2015
- Smart thinking at Subsea Expo: It all figuresFebruary 2015
- Bespoke tensioner boosts Maritime Developments’ rental fleetJanuary 2015
- Maritime Developments targets well intervention market with joint ventureJanuary 2015
- Third winch package tips electrical delivery over £12millionJanuary 2015
- MDL celebrates 15th Christmas with magical fundraiserDecember 2014
- MDL extends competitive edge with electrical pushNovember 2014
- Key appointment boosts Maritime
Developments’ electrical divisionNovember 2014
- Maritime Developments celebrates 15 years in businessOctober 2014
- Maritime Developments marks RDS success with Aker deliverySeptember 2014
- Major winch delivery ahead of scheduleSeptember 2014
- £1,000 raised for RNLI at Maritime Developments’ eventSeptember 2014
- Patent protection secured for Maritime Developments’ tensionerSeptember 2014
- Maritime Developments celebrates 15th anniversary with workshop hog roastSeptember 2014
- Subsea Expo winners’ pit stop at British Grand PrixSeptember 2014
- Maritime Developments at Subsea Expo 2014April 2014
- Lochnagar fundraiser for Paul Lawrie FoundationApril 2014
- West African contract success as further growth targetedApril 2014
- Largest contract to date for MDLApril 2014
- Maritime Developments launches equipment hire serviceMarch 2014
- Bright future for subsea specialistMarch 2014
- ‘Next Generation’ Tensioner designMarch 2013
- Increased capacity at Aberdeen and PeterheadMarch 2013
- Paul Lawrie swings by MDL stand at Subsea 2013February 2013
- Maritime Developments appoints Operations DirectorSeptember 2012
- Maritime Developments appoints Commercial DirectorJune 2012
- Maritime Developments continued expansionMay 2012
- Fast-track US contract delivered on timeApril 2012
- £1.7m contract from international subsea businessApril 2012
- Maritime Developments exhibits at Subsea 2012 in AberdeenFebruary 2012