What Does the Process Look Like? Selling a Custom Terrier

We spend so much time talking with our customers that we sometimes forget this is an intentional method. We started Viking West because we felt the power of teamwork was missing from the drilling, construction, and forestry industries. It takes a great deal of technical expertise to create an attachment for a heavy machine, but it takes nearly an identical dose of field experience to guide that creation.

That’s why it was important for us to get an opinion from the front lines when we were introduced to a brand new company looking for a rig with just the right combination of features. This customer focused on foundations and stabilization requirements, so it was important to get it just right. 

But as it turned out, the right combination turned out to include everything.

Kelvin: The construction season is in full swing. Give us some insight into some of Viking’s conversations over the past couple months.

Kevin Reimer: It’s in full swing alright. I have a giant list here documenting our interactions over the past few months. That’s the best way to stay on top of everything.

Specifically, we just sold a Dando Terrier to a new customer. The deal came about because of our relationship with Dando Drilling as their North American representative. It’s a geotechnical and construction company, and they wanted a very capable limited access machine. They did their research, contacted us and we put together a complete package for them.

They wanted everything. I mean everything, but it needed to work in a confined space. The Terrier we built for them has every single bell and whistle you can get. Absolutely every single option that’s available on the Terrier, they wanted it.

Technically, they ended up with a dual mast percussive terrier rig. They went with a DTH (down the hole) hammer, rotary head, and water pump.

Why is it so important for the rig to be limited access? What are they using it for?

They have a government contract to do geotechnical drilling in government parks. They’re working on lots of trails and pathways so they need limited access. It’s important to not disturb the area they’re in. The Terrier is lightweight and runs on double tracks so it’s mobile and doesn’t cause much disturbance. With all the options included, it’s capable of doing all the types of drilling this company needs to do.

Your business was built on talking with clients and creating helpful new solutions to their challenges. We were talking offline earlier about Viking’s expanding focus, tell us a little bit about that.

It’s not so much an expanding focus, we’ve just been talking with a lot of construction companies and OEM’s this year. Drilling might be the heart of Viking West, but we were built on flexibility, whether that’s in the ground, on the ground, or even under a blanket of snow.

Snow?

Oh right, I’ve got a surprise to share with you in a couple weeks. The crux of it comes back to what you said, the conversations, and those happen in three distinct avenues.

First, we’re talking to equipment dealers on a regular basis about how we can provide them with attachments and guarding packages. We carry inventory to serve our local market and we work with dealers and rental companies to provide them with attachments and guarding as their needs develop. Second, we’re talking with OEM’s on how we can outsource their manufacturing so they can save on their costs. And then our third focus in the past couple months, is the Dando line, which, like we said, one of those was just sold.

Stay tuned to learn more about Viking’s foray into the winter market, coming up in a couple weeks!

Heads Up, Winter: Viking West Has Entered the Snowplow Game

Part of working in the drilling, construction, and forestry industry is digging deep and bringing things to the surface. This includes the literal as well as the figurative sense.

Well, today we’re unearthing an element you probably don’t want to think about at the moment.

Snow.

Sure, it’s late August and the sun is probably still shining on your neck of the woods. As an original equipment manufacturer, however, it’s your job to be prepared for what’s about to come. Enter the snowplow. Viking West has developed a line of sturdy forklift-mounted snowplows for the first time so you can be ready for 2016’s winter. The key behind Viking’s snowplow was to scratch an itch in this particular corner of the market.

That itch? Usability.

I caught up with Kevin Reimer to get the low-down on Viking’s brand new line of snowplows.

snowplow snow blade
The Viking Snowplow: here’s the snow blade

Kelvin: How do new ideas like the snowplow come into existence, and what are some of the keys behind this design?

Kevin: Like all of our work, these ideas are born out of conversations with colleagues and keeping a finger on the pulse of our industry. We’re really excited about the snowplow, it will be great to see one of our products in a completely new environment.

We’re designing and building it, and while there are a few forklift mounted snowplows on the market right now, we’re taking a new approach. Ours is focused on the end user and it’s designed to be more serviceable than the products currently bared by the market.

How so?

One main element is that the main pivot pin doesn’t use linkage to adjust the angle of the blade. It’s a simpler, cleaner design. The tension springs on the blade are tucked in behind the blade so they’re protected from snow and dirt and rocks.

And then cost of course, that’s the big thing and something we’re always cognizant of.

We talk a lot about keeping costs in check, and I have to ask – how do you stay in business when you’re constantly treading that line?

We talk about this a lot, and since providing products within a friendly budget is so important, it’s part of our mission statement and we consider it our duty to stay true to that. So ultimately we do it by providing a high quality, innovative product that’s worth the cost. We create items such as the snowplow to be engineered user friendly. The value is there for the customer. We always take a hard look at what’s on the market during the design process. We look at helpful features and we streamline products to ensure only the most cost effective and user friendly elements are included.

With all that in mind, why did Viking West make the decision to offer the snowplow?

Like we talked about earlier, it’s all about dialogue and filling a niche. One of our longterm customers currently sells this product and they saw an opportunity. They wanted us to improve on their design and therefore improve their margins. We’ve had a great relationship with this customer for years and our mission statements line up – they’re looking to improve what they offer and get better in their corner of the market, and we’re always looking for opportunities to grow as well. They’re happy with what we’ve done in the past for them and they seized an opportunity.

Now we have something new to sell to forklift dealers as well as end users, so it’s going to be a great addition to the Viking West line.

How Viking Creates Custom Drill Bits to Withstand Extreme Stress

Imagine being deep in the field (or the jungle, or the forest) and the work has been flowing smoothly for a couple weeks and you’re nearly three quarters finished. It’s an important job, a big contract, and you’re poised to not only hit your projected timeline, but you’re going to do so under budget as well.

Now imagine your first thought, or the first 4-letter word you’d use, when the last of your custom-made drill bits cracks and breaks.

The crew is onsite, your drilling rig is humming along, but it all comes to a screeching halt because one of the smallest pieces of the puzzle has crumbled under the pressure.

It happens. We’ve all been there. Drill bits and tooling is expensive, so the longer the last the more cost friendly they become. It’s a familiar refrain, and one we’ve worked hard on since Viking West was created a couple years ago.

How do we save our customers from those frustrating moments in the field? How do we make custom drill bits that can withstand extreme stress?

To find some answers, I turned to Viking West’s own Kevin Reimer.

Kelvin: I think the key to creating custom tooling and drill bits to last is understanding exactly where they’re going to be used, right?

Kevin: For sure. We’ve got customers working in conditions all over the world. It’s not just the drilling rig that needs to adapt, which is something we see when customers report back with specific needs regarding slopes and limited access locations.

One particular customer of ours is currently on a job drilling into rocky formations that are completely bone dry. There’s no water table to speak of, so the bit gets incredibly hot in no time at all.

How do we solve the issue to make the bit last? We test, test, and test some more so we know exactly how a bit will perform. After that it comes down to selecting the appropriate wearing materials and tungsten carbides and carbide patterns to provide the best performance.

Is the process different for each customer, or does it only hinge on where they’re going to be working?

It’s always a bit different, cost is a factor that changes so we don’t want to overdo something that the customer won’t need. With this customer, we did some variations of sample bits. They’re dealing with heat and dryness, so the variations we sent were chosen carefully. Based on the feedback for those variations we were able to make adjustments on the design until we hit the sweet spot.

When it comes to finishes and treatments, is it a little like a chef’s private recipe? Do OEM’s guard these secrets with their lives or are there common methods everyone uses?

The first part of that question is a yes, but it really just depends on the testing. Bits perform differently based on everything from the shape of the bit to the pattern of the carbides and the material. These are the essential components when it comes to bits made to withstand extreme conditions.

But the other part, and the more important component, is simply listening intently to your customer. We make sure we’re talking to more than one person in the organization as well. If you’re talking exclusively to the sales manager then you could miss the opinion of the operator. Who’s in the field doing the drilling? Who’s building the rig in the shop?

What happens in the field or shop doesn’t always get transferred to management. That multi-tiered communication is a huge part of our job. It’s amazing what you’ll learn just by putting in a bit of extra time.

Looking for custom tooling for your rig? Give us a call!

How to Sell Multi Feature Drilling Rigs at Standard Costs

“We never shy away from a new design because that’s what keeps things interesting, and that’s how our company has grown. We’re constantly asking ourselves, ‘well what about this? Can it do this?’ And then we make it do that (laughs).”

That’s Callum Mee from Dando Drilling International. I’ve been speaking with Callum for the last couple weeks about Brexit, Dando’s evolution as a company, and their brand new MK 2 Dando Terrier.

Read part 1

Read part 2

Here’s the final piece of our interview.

Kelvin: Last week we were talking about keeping costs down on the new Terrier Mk 2 while also ensuring it’s capable of pretty much anything. How do you plan to accomplish that?

Callum: The new rig comes with the ability to add or subtract components as you see fit.

So as you can imagine, there’s a lot of thought when a customer purchases the rig because they have so many options. As a salesmen it makes the job more interesting. juggling the options. We were selling a lot of different rigs and the terrier was 14 years old, so we thought the 15 year mark was a good time to evolve and modify it with new technology and features. We’re bringing it into the current age with new components, technology, and abilities. We wanted to build a rig that gave us and our customers as much flexibility as possible.

And so the MK 2 was launched with several new key features, one of the coolest of which is the ability for the customers to retrofit it with other options down the road. Hydraulic stabilizing legs, the rig will already have that capability. SPT casing will be standard, lever casing – these are elements the customer can retrofit themselves in the field or wherever they are in the world. People can use the rig as is and they can add new things, so they can maximize their budgets and purchase new attachments as required.

I feel like, mix and match drilling rigs – I feel like this isn’t a standard way of doing things. Is Dando blazing a trail for other OEM’s?

I think it’s just the path we’ve taken; this is how we’ve responded to challenges in the field, these are the solutions we’ve come up with. We’ve always dealt with customers directly and maintained our flexibility. A lot of big companies will come up with the best product they can and feel it’s perfect and leave it. That works fine, but we’ve taken a different approach. Every customer is different. It’s a commercial tool. Jobs are different, applications are different. Having all those options available to us makes things easier for everyone.

The terrier will be more user friendly than ever. This is where things are going, so I suppose we’re being progressive. We want to make life easier. Little examples, there will be easy-to-follow decals and signage demonstrating components that could be added down the road, so you know where to go next. Sort of like a puzzle, but the original pieces include a diagram to finish the rest of the picture.

So the best kind of puzzle.

(Laughs) Yes, I suppose so. The terrier allows customization down the road after the initial purchase. Some people just want a stripped down drive system and they’re fine with that, but some want to get more out of it.

Our standard line has grown so much over the past decade, but the idea now is to build upon what we’ve got. The terriers, the multi tech rigs, we’ve got all these new models, new sizes, the IBEC slope climbing rig we’ve introduced in recent years – we’ve got everything we need for right now, and it’s the perfect time to really perfect what we’ve got.

Perfecting what you’ve already got can certainly take you a lot further into the future, right?

Right. There’s always changes and challenges to come, but as we come out of this period we want to be in the strongest position possible. And with the new terrier, so far so good.

The new Dando Terrier Mk 2 has something for everyone, and we’re proud to contribute to its success here at Viking. Thanks so much to Callum for the time.

Happy drilling everybody!

See all the awesome features of the Mk2 Dando Terrier.

Product Profile: The Flexibility of the Dando Terrier Mk 2

Last week we checked in with Callum Mee at Dando Drilling International to learn more about how the European Referendum was affecting business, although I’ll admit the interview was originally scheduled so we could talk about the Dando Terrier, the company’s new MK 2 drilling rig.

This will sound ironic at first, but stay with me: it’s always been fascinating reading and writing about companies barreling through a challenge. Did you know water buffalo that encounter a storm will turn into the dark clouds and rain instead of retreating in the opposite direction?

It’s because you’ll get through the worst of the storm when you confront it head on. The darkness is moving one way, so move through it to safety and sunshine on the other side.

There’s no way to know just yet how the European Union’s Brexit referendum will affect the longterm stability of business in western Europe, and indeed, throughout the world. Many companies in the drilling industry have been forced to ask tough questions and make difficult decisions long before the referendum passed, and now a complete new set of concerns has been born.

The good news it that Dando’s philosophy – flexibility and adaptation – has allowed for the impact of Brexit. It’s this creed that’s allowed Dando to thrive over the years, and led to rolling out a brand new Mark 2 Terrier rig that’s as flexible as ever.

Read last week’s interview with Callum.

Here’s the rest of our conversation.

Kelvin: Tell us about early versions of the Terrier, what was it built for?

Callum: We sold the first unit to a UK contractor and we agreed to build a second that we were going to test in house, but during the build we ended up selling the second one as well. Through working with the contractor and listening to their feedback we’ve made some cool improvements and adjustments to the second. While this was happening, Luke from our design team was hard at work on the updated design we’re going to use moving forward.

The MK Terrier 2 is available and has been thoroughly tested in the field with excellent results so we are now planning for production of high volumes so we can offer the units from stock.

What’s the process been like getting the MK 2 off the ground?

As the design process wraps up, we’re contemplating the right number to put into production right away so we can maximize production and maximize economy of scale. We sell a lot per annum and we obviously want to sell more, and we think the demand on this one will be huge. The terrier people want them quickly, sometimes in 2 to 4 weeks instead of your standard two to four months, so putting this many through will make the lives of our sales department a lot easier (laughs). It’s a win win situation, our margins get better and the cost is lower for the customer.

What are some of the upgraded features of the Dando Terrier MK 2?

First off, we wanted to improve simply how it looks. So new finishes and designs to improve that while also improving functionality. When I started at Dando ten years ago the rig was just for drive sampling and general investigation work. Over the last five years or so it evolved rapidly. It has a rotary attachment, different strokes, angle drilling capabilities – it’s evolved to include a whole range of different requirements and different setups.

However, just because one customer wants a certain feature doesn’t mean the next one will. So it was important for us to take that into account so we could keep costs low for everyone.

Next week in the final instalment of my interview with Callum we’ll learn exactly how Dando plans to control costs for customers looking for different features.

Want to learn more about the terrier? See all the specs here.

How the UK’s Dando Drilling is Dealing With a Turbulent 2016

Here at Viking West, it’s important to stay in touch with our friends and colleagues in the drilling industry. We’re the North American dealer for Dando Drilling and we’ve built a great working relationship with the guys across the pond in the last few years.

So, in the wake of the European Union’s referendum a few weeks back, we decided to check in with Callum Mee and the gang to see how things were going.

Kelvin: Brexit aside, how has business been for Dando in the first half of 2016?

Callum: It’s been quite busy, now that I think of it. Last week I was at the Hillhead Exhibition, which was interesting. I also recently attended a geotechnical show up in London as well, so it’s been busy in just the past month or so.

Overseas in the last six months has been busy as well. We’ve been exploring some potential contracts overseas as well as here in Europe and Asia. We normally work with two teams, one working with larger contracts and then another on the client relations, the smaller details. So that approach has led to some great conversations. Indonesia is busy, Sudan has come back online, there’s a lot of interest from Pakistan. The exports side has picked up considerably as confidence is re-established in global markets. Latin America is showing interest and strength as well. We have great representation in many countries in central and south America and our efforts are beginning to bear fruit.

Has the European referendum slowed things down for Dando?

It has had some impact in the UK but we expect this to be short term. Early in the year we got off the ground with some pace and there’s still a lot going on, we have a lot going through our workshop and some great leads that we expect to convert soon. We’ve been speaking to companies and contractors, some of the big companies are still busy, but a lot of that is due to the fact some of those companies are still expanding, so they’re busy in other areas in the industry. Overall the referendum has had little impact on us as most of our business is overseas. One positive side in the short term is that we have become more competitive as the pound has weakened.

That’s definitely good news. The global drilling community has been dealing with a worldwide recession, and then the referendum develops. It’s good to know that people are pushing through. What are some of the specific methods you’ve used to overcome these hurdles?

We really try to turn the focus back on ourselves, to internalize the challenges. We’ve had to adapt and make changes like everybody else. Our product range has grown over the last couple of years in line with market demands. People no longer have the cash to invest in large capital plans so they are looking for cheaper machines that have multifunctional capabilities to allow them to make their offering more diverse. This is an area where we have focused our efforts along with continued improvements of all our products. We’ve also made a number of changes internally with a view to streamlining processes in all departments which allows us to improve productivity and our competitiveness.

We believe that the recession presents choices and opportunities rather than problems – a time to reflect on our own operations as well as product range.

We have our own unique challenges, most of our success and growth comes from the export market. It’s important to get the best structure, the right people on board, and spend the right amount of time and effort in design. We believe the recession is loosening, so we want to take initiative now instead of waiting. The minimum market will come back online and we want to be well equipped when that happens.

At Viking we talk a lot about controlling what you can control in light of the turbulent price of oil. What advice do you have for companies or people feeling the pinch of the economy?

I think ultimately you need to concentrate on your strengths. At Dando, that’s always been our flexibility. We work with customers to build custom rigs. We’ve taken years of that experience and it’s really stronger now more than ever. We’ve made several rigs over the last few years from scratch and we’ve tried to build on that and make the process easier for us and easier for the customer. The modular design is a big part of that direction in which we’re headed. People can now swap out components easily, which makes their lives a lot easier. With both the sales team and the design team, it’s important to maximize our strengths to make sure we’re understanding and utilizing them efficiently.

Callum and the gang are always so great to talk to – what was intended as one post has grown as well. Check in next week to learn more about the specific improvements to Dando’s Mk 2 Terrier.

Climbing the Ladder: How to Land Oil Rig Jobs With Big Potential

Our work at Viking West is based on finding ways to augment machines with helpful attachments that are cost competitive, guarantee safety, and get the job done quick.

No small order, right?

Well, the best way to go about the process of building these attachments is to talk to people. This means we have a lot of discussions with original equipment manufacturers, dealers, and hard working men and women committed to the drilling industry.

Fortunately, we’ve watched a lot of colleagues work with new recruits who have been positive additions and able to climb the ladder in their respective companies. It’s not easy – particularly given the state of the economy and the imbalance between oil’s supply and demand – but now more than ever, valuable resources will rise to the top.

Here’s a few ways to find a valuable fit, followed by ensuring you are a valuable fit.

Evaluating Potential

The first perspective we’re going to consider is that of the potential employee, he or she on the job-hunt. In order to prove yourself a valuable asset, it’s important to determine the opportunity awaiting for you.

  • What do the company’s future prospects look like?
  • Does the company have a void you could fill with unique skills?
  • Can you push the business over the top?


If there’s a fit in terms of financial logistics, that’s great news. The next step is determining fit based on the company’s values, mission statement, and how its employees and contractors conduct themselves on a day to day basis.

In short, can you see yourself fitting into the culture of this company? If we’re all yes’s so far, let’s assume you’ve snagged the job. Now it’s time to perform.

Performance in Entry Level Positions

Some companies call them floorhands, others leasehands, but one thing is for sure, all hands must be on deck and ready to go when you’re working in an entry level position. You might be tasked with general labour and maintenance responsibilities, but if you’re eyeing an ascension up the company corporate hierarchy, it’s probably a good idea to do the best job you can possibly do no matter what.

It happens to educated recruits with tangible, technical expertise; it happens to veterans who’ve spent years in the industry – but it’s beneficial to buy into the new guy mentality.

And just because you’re busy with entry level tasks doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about how the work is done and how you can move up through the system.

Acquiring Technical Expertise

The level up from entry level is one of the sweet spots in the drilling industry, both from the deckhand’s perspective and the perspective of the company.

Why? Because these positions are based on value contracts. The worker is ambitious, eager, and focused on improving their skills moreso than they’re worried about their salary. This is the level where people get to work on more sophisticated drilling rigs and machinery. They’re contributing to the work of the company and well on their way to becoming a valued member as they climb the ladder.

We’ll stop here, because it’s important to learn the ropes before moving into management positions. There’s big benefit to learning the ins and outs of a company. if you can do that at an entry level position, you’ll be well on your way toward leveraging that into more responsibility, more input, and eventually a greater salary.

Everybody wins!

4 Ways to Commit to Offshore Drilling Rig Safety

According to the Wall Street Journal, “government and industry officials continue to wrestle with a problem investigators say was at the heart of the 2010 Gulf oil spill: human error.”

There are a lot of differences when you’re drilling into the earth below the surface of the ocean as opposed to setting up your drilling rig in the South American jungle, the northern Canadian prairies, or the brutal high arctic.

The main difference we’re going to focus on here is the isolation. Drilling teams could be stationed 25 km’s from the shoreline, but it could be 250 km’s and the same environment would completely surround the hard-working men and women who commit to that lifestyle.

Isolation, hard work, and extreme conditions are the perfect recipe for unfortunate offshore incidents. Here’s five ways to avoid those accidents.

1. Work Life Balance

Kind of a reversal of this post’s introduction, but since the biggest cause of injury is human error, it stands to reason that focus and concentration are keys to offshore drilling rig safety (not to mention drilling rig safety of all types).

How do we ensure we’re focused on the job? We take care of ourselves when we’re not on the job. Particularly when it comes to offshore drilling, an occupation that requires long shifts and intensive work, a healthy work life balance based on quality time with family and loved ones will go a long way toward refreshed, inspired work.

2. Patience

We’re obviously big fans of the front lines in the drilling industry. But the ambition that made a career working on an offshore drilling rig possible is also the attitude that can lead to mistakes.

Accidents don’t always have to make international headlines either. It might be quicker to pick up something heavy in order to move it – equipment, an attachment, you get the idea – but these impatient practices can lead to chronic injuries to the back, shoulders, knees, hips – the list goes on.

3. Behavioural Diligence

Diamond Offshore Drilling works with a program called the Diligent Observation Decisive Intervention process (DODI), an implement “built on the principle that targeting undesired behaviors for correction and encouraging desired behaviors will help us protect our most valuable assets: our people, our environment, and our equipment.”

Programs and safety measures such as DODI put the responsibility for safety not only in the hands of individual workers, but on the colleagues and teammates of those workers. Most of us consider ourselves invincible – it’s why we get careless and end up getting hurt.

It’s easy to miss a potential accident happening to you, but it’s tough to miss to see a potential accident happening to someone else.

4. Handsfree Operation

Hand injuries account for half of all injuries that occur on offshore drilling rigs. Safety is a priority on the water, and it starts with hand safety. This is why we designed our Scorpion Pipe Handler to operate completely handsfree. It’s human nature to get the job done quickly and easily, and when that blue collar mentality mixes with years of hands-on experience, it’s easy to see accidents happening as operators reach in to machines to make adjustments.

We’re not going to eliminate accidents entirely until we remove human beings from the front lines of offshore drilling rigs. However, we can implement new methods and technologies to prohibit the conditions necessary for accidents.

We all want to go home safely each night, but if we have to spend multiple nights on the water working for the offshore drilling sector, then we’d better be doing everything in our power to keep that job safe.

On Brexit & the True Cost of Safety Advancements in the Oil & Gas Industry

A lot of drilling, forestry, and construction companies all over the world are wondering how Britain’s Brexit vote will affect the way business unfolds in the oil and gas industry. While it’s true Brexit represents significant threats to the energy sector and financial markets all over the world, the true measure of the damage will take time to sort out.

At Viking we’re big believers in worrying about what you can control. Unless you were an active voter in the Brexit referendum, chances are you have little control over the European Union other than an ability to contribute to the economy in some form.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to be mindful of your company’s procedures, mission statement, and approach to business on a global scale.

There might be fluctuation here in North America, but that experience likely pales in comparison to the situation being faced in the UK. People working in the energy sector on the other side of the pond are in the midst of a brand new type of upheaval – hopefully North America can offer support.

How Brexit Relates to Job Safety

The implications of the Brexit vote got us thinking – we’re not politicians, and far be it from us to comment on the right course of action for an entire continent.

But we are excellent observers, and while we can control our own companies and how we do business, Brexit proves that even the best of intentions can have negative side effects.

The drilling industry has never been safer, but it’s not like people working in the oil and gas industry before the turn of the century were actively looking for ways to hurt themselves on the job site. It’s like my Dad says all the time, “Corporations all want you to go home safe these days. Do they think I didn’t want to go home safe 45 years ago when I was working by myself with my welding truck?”

Advancements in safety measures have created a new niche for OEM’s (like us) to offer something valuable to the market.

  • The chance to achieve greater than ever levels of productivity
  • The ability to attract intelligent new recruits
  • The opportunity to work with sophisticated technology

It all sounds like a win-win, no-brainer development, right?

Well, as with the Brexit vote, be careful what you wish for.

Drilling Deeper into a New World

With the developments in safety features over the years, the reality is that for something shiny and new to work, normally that means something else in the industry must be pushed aside to make room.

In a lot of cases, that something else is people.

We’ve all spent time on a project with that guy – the person who takes safety for granted, who’s stuck in the past, and who operates as though he or she is invincible. We’ve all also seen the dangerous consequences of those attitudes.

It’s simple: eliminate those attitudes, eliminate danger in the workplace, right? Well, again, just like Brexit, the expulsion of those attitudes requires the expulsion of people. Easier said than done. Men and women working in the industry developed unique habits and became entrenched in their traditions for a reason. No matter where you’re at in your career, your methods are going to be outdated at some point, too.

Working in a safer environment is good for everyone, right? Well, not so for people who are laid off, released, fired, let go – whatever you want to call it – because they’re failed to adapt with the times.

Safety requires patience. The oil and gas industry hasn’t always been synonymous with patience. Dated values need to find a way to progress with the advancements of tomorrow, but perhaps those leading the charge into a brighter, safer future ought to be aware of the potential damage that future is bringing with it.

It’s easy to rid ourselves of outdated methods, but voting someone off the island because they’re entrenched in their ways could end up being a huge loss.

Besides, we’d surely live to regret it if we made a rash decision.

3 Rules to Work By that Fly in the Face of Drilling Industry Challenges

The global economy is kind of like an elementary school playground at recess. Small groups of people huddle together to share their time, knowledge, and marbles. Ok, it’s 2016, maybe they’re not sharing marbles, but whether they’re sharing snacks, toys, or innovative techniques, it’s easy to compare this dynamic with that on a global scale.

For years nations all over the world have adopted trade agreements like NAFTA to facilitate international cooperation on the basis of mutually dependant goals while barricading trade with non-participating groups. 

Some trade agreements withstand the test of time and the politicizing of goods and services. Some agreements evaporate faster than a country can be shaken down for its lunch money.

New trade patterns are just one of the challenges the drilling industry and the oil and gas sector are faced with in today’s turbulent economy. What works one day might not work the next as corporations are forced to come to grips with fluctuating oil prices.

The other major challenges?

Read more about the oil industry’s challenges.

Drilling industry challenges aren’t a new development by any stretch, but the only way to succumb to these challenges is to let them control us. Well, we’ve got good news: you’re in charge.

Here’s three ways to keep working productively while the economy sorts itself out.

1. Work for Improvement, Not Wealth

The last thing on earth you should ignore during an economic downturn is your finances, right?

No, that’s crazy, what are you talking about?

Yes, you should worry about your finances, but there’s a lot of things at stake here if that worry threatens to take over. The quickest way to either drive yourself crazy or drive your company out of business is to focus exclusively on all the money you’re not making. Face it, the days of grossly overspending just to speed up the work are over. You’re not going to make as much money during this stretch, so stop worrying about the extra time you’re putting in and do the best you can to create the best work possible.

Time is often equated with money which makes our industry rush to get things done. Well, this is a great time to focus on making your product better rather than maximizing your return.

2. Invest in Growth

On second thought, while you’re not worrying about your finances, divert some of those finances into potential new growth. There are so many different ways to grow your company outside of selling your products or services.

  • Attend a conference
  • Boost your social media presence
  • Buy a new machine capable of new work
  • Combine forces with a related industry or company
  • Train yourself or your staff in new methods or new technology

Or, you can simply grow your team and do more work. This certainly flies in the face of the drilling industry’s challenges, and while we don’t want you to run your company into the ground, for some it’s beneficial to delegate responsibilities.

3. Borrow Perspective

One of the most important ways in which we’ve mitigated the impact of the economy’s struggles is by simply putting ourselves into our customers’ shoes. Just like strolling around a playground, the drilling industry is filled with hard-working men and women who are left to the whims of their environment. It can be frustrating, depressing, and downright scary.

The more you talk with others in your field, the more you’ll understand their specific challenges.

Why is that important?

Because the more you understand, the better equipped you’ll be to help out; and probably at a bargain, too.

Look, in all honesty, it’s impossible not to worry about your income, your company’s earnings or, ultimately, the roof over your head.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.