June 2020

The Ultimate Health Check

As the pandemic spread, the world went into shutdown... but One Team MDL has been helping clients to keep going. Operations Director George Mackintosh looks back at the last few months.

I bet the word “testing” has been a popular search term on the internet this last wee while - I’ve certainly contributed to the statistic while planning the best return options for our troops from overseas projects. Over recent weeks there has been a whole lot of testing taking place - and I don’t just mean that type that tells you if you need to self-isolate.

I doubt that anyone in business today can remember a bigger health check than what 2020 has thrown at us. Everything is being tested: our internal processes and work efficiency; our teams’ confidence; the strength of our customer relationships; and the adaptability of our business to pull through when orders plummet.

It’s been a tough three months with a lot of constantly moving parts. There’s not one set of guidelines that remained constant as the virus swept through the country. This required (requires, should I say!) daily monitoring in order for us to prepare or adjust, to carry out the work already awarded or underway - and that’s just on our home soil!

For a company like ours where the majority of our operations take place abroad, the challenges multiply, primarily with regard to the movement of people and assets.

And this is where our business - and many others like ours - has been tested like never before. Can we move our personnel safely overseas or onto a floating work platform? Can we mobilise the equipment ahead of time, in case border restrictions are imposed? Can we still provide personal customer service with half of our operations team working from home?

We have certainly tried to make sure the answer is always “Yes” - and hats off to One Team MDL for taking on the challenge, in a true MDL spirit.

To date, we have met all our projects’ deliverables, pre- and post-mission, including mobilising equipment and people in the two major lockdown months of April and May.

We have been driving the conversations with clients, with ideas on how we can overcome the impact of quarantine on project schedules, to ensure that our personnel have plenty of time to isolate, ready for mobilisation at the time of vessel arrival.

We have also self-isolated crew at home before jobs, and we've provided two teams at mobilisations - 1 for onshore and 1 on the vessel - to minimise any risks of bringing the virus on board. And for those of our team who requested to do so, we ensured they had a safe place to isolate after the job as well, away from their families but close to home.

Elsewhere, we have assisted customers with access to our skilled personnel or equipment present in country, to safeguard their imminent projects where their own fleets got stranded overseas, behind locked-down borders.

Of course, the test is not over yet. Who knows what the next few months will bring!

But what we do have today is a 3-month experience of facing up to a whole host of brand new challenges. I believe there’s never been a better time to put collaboration into practice - and that way hopefully end up with a decent set of results from this health check…

George Mackintosh, Operations Director