With digital transformation on everyone’s lips and new technologies launching faster than ever, Jamie Bennett, CEO of OPEX Group, sits down for a Q&A on what it really takes to make an impact in the oil and gas industry:
What are important but often overlooked success factors for companies offering new tech?
Vision, purpose and passion. Sometimes you have to be bold enough to believe you can make a difference to an industry, that you can make it just that bit better and share that belief passionately across your team.
Businesses experience make-or-break moments and those that survive do so because of their commitment to a vision and a sense of belief in where they are going and what they are doing.
Are there any common pitfalls to overcome?
Realistically – and in most cases – it takes much longer than expected to ‘create the market’ for a new technology, product or service.
I’m the CEO of OPEX Group, a business that uses predictive technologies and data science to help oil and gas operating companies reduce production losses, cut maintenance costs and improve safety.
We first developed our X-PAS™ predictive analysis service back in 2015. Although predictive analytics were widely used in other industries, the oil and gas industry was still using conventional methods and we saw an opportunity to offer something more effective. Even though the service is now operating across 10 UKCS operators and our customer base continues to grow, it’s taken serious perseverance to create the market and establish the new norm.
Where can companies turn for help and support in this space?
It’s encouraging to see that there’s a lot more help and support available today. Organisations like the Oil & Gas Technology Centre are helping to broker the needs of oil and gas operators and the capabilities of the supply chain.
Scottish Enterprise has offered a wealth of support to the businesses that I have been involved in over the years. Everything from helping to fine tune our messaging right through to internationalisation. They are currently advising OPEX Group on the design and layout of our new high-tech workplace which we will be moving to in the summer.
One of the most effective ways to fast track your progress is to seek support from non-executives or mentors who may have been through a similar journey before. Their experience and advice can hopefully help you avoid some of the pitfalls along the way.