Aker Solutions’ drilling equipment businesses have offered lifecycle services to customers for several years, on equipment and systems ranging from mud pumps to top drives.
However, these service departments were always run independently of each other, despite often dealing with the same customers and the same rigs.
Now, the company has taken major steps to strengthen and simplify the structure, in order to offer faster and better service to customers. Knut Mjåland has been given the mandate to build a global service and upgrade organisation within Aker Solutions’ drilling systems and equipment business.
“Our common goal is to achieve a seamless service offering by becoming a one-stop shop on a global basis. We have always had good products and services in our portfolio, but our efforts have not always been co-ordinated in the optimal way. However, fuelled by the enthusiasm and determination of our people, we are now well on our way to building that truly seamless offering on a global scale.”
Four global strategic hubs have been established - in Brazil (Rio das Ostras), US (Houston), Europe (Kristiansand) and the Far East (Singapore), to cover all issues for South America, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and Asia-Pacific.
Service engineers will continue to roam the world and help customers wherever their needs are, but the process of getting in contact with the correct person or persons at Aker Solutions will be much easier in the future.
In each region the customer only has to dial one number for all drilling lifecycle services, whether an issue is related to drilling risers or roughnecks. Each hub shall be staffed with a group of industry experts in their respective field.
This model is currently being launched in the different regions, and expected to be in full operation from the New Year. Over the next 18-24 months, the full effect of this change is to be experienced.
Major investments have already been done in order to boost Aker Solutions’ client offering. In Brazil, the facilities shared by Aker Solutions’ subsea, drilling riser and drilling systems businesses have gone through a significant upgrade over the past 12 months.
A brand new five-storey building has been added to the already vast industrial site. Inside, the building is well-equipped with the latest in technology for training sessions and client meetings. The most notable addition is perhaps the brand new dome-shaped 3D drilling equipment simulator (DES), which has been set up on the ground floor of the building. A second simulator slot is already prepared, in order to handle future expansion.
Using Aker Solutions’ 3D simulation technology, much of which is developed by wholly-owned subsidiary First Interactive, Aker Solutions can offer customers a variety of training sessions on site in Rio das Ostras, which removes the need to fly to an actual rig. The combination of lower cost and a safer test environment is a compelling reason for clients to come to the new drilling hub in Brazil.
Similar offerings are also available in the other major hubs in Europe, the US and Asia.
In addition to uniform service rates and a global spare parts strategy, we are also looking to add features that will improve the accessibility of our offering to clients.
One such instrument for customer collaboration currently in development is a customer portal for drilling system clients, building on the success of Aker Solutions’ subsea portal.
Per Harald Kongelf, executive vice president in Aker Solutions, sees very promising prospects for the initiative: “Drilling lifecycle services is one of the most interesting business opportunities in Aker Solutions. With increased resources locally and a new global structure in place, our customers will feel that our services add value and make their life easier.”