Engaging during challenging times
Chris Denton, Proserv’s Director, Supply Chain reveals how reaching out is essential when the global landscape is so changeable.
The importance of direct communication and effective collaboration for Proserv’s supply chain function is critical in today’s uncertain world.
We have experienced unprecedented challenges over recent years from devastating natural disasters and the Covid-19 global pandemic, through to ceaseless economic and trade disputes and, most recently, warfare with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The latter has compounded an already testing situation exacerbating inflationary pressures, spiking material costs and commodity price instability, while undermining energy security and vital supply chains across the continents.
Recently, the strength of the US dollar against multiple currencies including a weak British pound has been a challenge for us at Proserv, while, locally in the UK, we have also had to contend with industrial disputes causing supply chain bottlenecks and rendering freight and product inaccessible for extended periods.
So, when there are so many uncertainties, so many moving parts to assess, within Proserv’s supply chain function, we recognise the value of ensuring we deploy effective supplier outreach and collaboration to reinforce our business goals both on a day-to-day and at a strategic level.
From regular calls and meetings to expediting, supplier audits, workshops and specific project assistance, a high level of engagement and collaboration is vital to support both internal and external stakeholders.
Supplier Engagement Days
Proserv has taken this template further by successfully holding Supplier Engagement Days in our Abu Dhabi and Great Yarmouth locations through 2022, and we intend to continue these events across Dubai, Chennai, Houston and Stavanger in 2023.
Such meetings enable a wealth of key themes to be covered from providing a global overview and update on the business, alongside strategy and future direction, through to feedback on the external market landscape and, crucially, the core deliverables we require at Proserv and where we would value further help and support.
For instance, at our Supplier Engagement Day in Great Yarmouth, we were able to relay direct, tangible feedback from customers about the importance of delivery and how delays could have knock-on effects around costs and schedules due to unplanned downtime. If a supply chain misses its targets, then there can be disruption for clients and that will impact future opportunities.
In our current changeable times, one of the messages that we have put across at these events is the need for our suppliers (and their own suppliers) to be proactive with regard to future planning to effectively de-risk the wider supply chain so that ultimately any potential scheduling issues for the customer are alleviated and turnaround times are minimised.
Equally, we have been able to have valuable dialogue concerning quality and emphasising our necessary technical requirements when it comes to product and components. Much of our equipment is deployed in challenging environments, often subsea where there are severe temperature or pressure differentials, and so safety, reliability, durability and high quality are always paramount. It was rewarding for the suppliers to hear directly from our engineers and technicians about the background as to why and how products needed to be manufactured to certain specifications and standards.
Great feedback, great Proserv values
Already, we have received very positive responses to our Supplier Engagement Days with many external attendees highlighting Proserv’s openness and collaborative approach, as well as the opportunity to learn more about our business from processes to strategy.
But one of the recurring themes has been commendation of our Proserv values. These supplier events capture several of our core FRESH values but especially “Help, Share and Communicate”. It has been inspiring to see so much of our company’s talent and know-how come together to contribute to and drive these valuable sessions.
Supplier collaboration is allowing Proserv to navigate its way through the unpredictable operating conditions we currently face by supporting our key strategic initiatives.