Energy Services Breakfast 2015 focuses on opportunities for your business

On June 18th, Access Prosperity had the pleasure of attending an informative morning session focused on improving business in the current economic downturn. The powerhouse panel was comprised of three Oil Service Industry experts, the common theme being: an economic downturn provides its own opportunities.

Opportunity #1:  Streamline your business, but not in the way you think.

Patrick Wigmore (Regional Oilfield Services Leader, MNP) spoke about taking the opportunity to examine your business and improve practices during slow times. Surprisingly, Mr. Wigmore didn’t focus on layoffs and salary cuts when talking about streamlining operations.  Instead, Wigmore counselled business owners to connect with staff; listening to their opinions and ideas. Why? Because the people on the front lines may be the best resource when it comes to identifying and eliminating inefficient business practices.

Opportunity #2: Develop your workforce

Jim Evans (President, Control Technology Inc.) consistently drove home the point that employees are a business’ #1 asset, stressing that slow times are an opportunity to provide training and nurture relationships. Evans urged business owners to resist layoffs in order to avoid staffing problems when the economy improves (keeping workers when there is no work will, of course, require preparation in the good times).  While you conserve your valuable work force, now is also the time to invest in training programs; business owners should think of each employee’s professional advancement as a win for the company.

Opportunity #3:  Rise above the competition

Scott Treadwell (Director, TD Securities Equity Research Group) focused on the importance of running a solid business regardless of market pressures; if you focus on good business practices, the downturn can be a chance to reap the benefits of customer loyalty. Make sure your customers are satisfied by being better than your competitors, and by keeping up communications with customers even in a downturn (when they may have no work to offer you).

(Interestingly, Treadwell also stressed the importance of building relationships with employees, listening to their ideas and avoiding salary cuts.)

While opportunities during the downturn exist, the speakers also stressed preparing for lean times when the economy recovers, and expecting the cycle of boom and bust to accelerate for the oil service industry (rather than sticking to its traditional 5-7 year cycle).