Jim Craig – CEO, Ampelmann – Netherlands
The CEO of Ampelmann explains how the company is promoting safety and innovation for offshore projects and how Ampelmann is poised to become a synonym for “walk to work.”
What are Ampelmann’s top priorites?
Safety is the organzation’s primary concern because oil, gas, and energy companies use our systems to get their employees to their offshore sites. Accessing any offshore structure can raise safety issues due to vessel movement, and Ampelmann has developed a motion compensation solution for this challenge that can be quickly deployed and is flexible in its utilization.
Many companies begin using the Amplemann system in one part of the world and then adapt our systems in their other projects around the world, showing that we have achieved one of our top priorities – esthablishing our walk to work system as a reliable and trusted industry technology. Within this context, Ampelmann has managed to grow over the last four years as a result of strong industry acceptance of our products and services.
As an innovative company, Amepelmann also consistently stresses the importance of creation and development of new and improved products. A final priority priority is to manage the company’s growth in an organzized way that promotes quality, given our rapid market expansion since our creation. In order to continue growing, we have put in place a structure and a system of processes to ensure sustainability.
How do you create awareness about your technology?
Our business development team meets with potential customers to promote awareness of the Ampelmann system, and we foster in-depth relationships with key clients. Often we start working with a client in one part of the world then we are asked to provide similar services in their other locations throughout the world. We have built a reputation in the industry for trustworthiness, safety and reliability because of the consistency we have helping our clients around the globe since our inception.
What new technologies are you investing in?
We funnel a great amount of our profits into research and development. We have developed our core A and E type systems which are in use throughout the world, and we recently developed the L type, which is a smaller system for offshore wind and oil and gas projects in such regions as the Gulf of Mexico and South East Asia. Ampelmann improves its systems continuously to give our customers added benefits, such as crane systems for heavier transports and platforms made for LNG transfers.
How is Ampelmann adjusting to current market conditions?
Our industry recently went through a 15-year boom with high oil prices where we saw supply chain costs rise at double digit rates. With current market challenges bringing down oil prices, it is necessary for the supply chain and operators to readjust and to introduce efficiencies. Although some projects have been delayed and cancelled due to the lower oil price, Ampelmann is even better positioned for stready growth thanks to this push for efficiency. Our walk to work systems not only promote safe business practices, they also increase the speed with which employees can access offshore structures and cut costs on such transport-related expenses as helicopter shuttling trips. A lower oil price also means that industry players are aiming to increase the amount of hours that crews are on offshore structures, a demand that Ampelmann systems are perfectly suited to meet.
Ampelmann has facilities in Holland, Singapore, Brunei, Brazil, Qatar, and now the US. How do these global offices enhance your offering, and which office appears to have the highest potential for future growth?
Our aim at Ampelmann is to consistently provide safe and easy to use operations for our customers wheerever they are. Our company motto states that our access systems make work offshore “as easy as crossing the street.” Thanks to our offices spread throughout the globe, we are able to better maintain all our systems and help our clients with their operational requests in an efficient manner.
We see tremendous opportunities to grow throughout the world in our core oil, gas and wind segments. Whether through helping clients execute operations more efficiently or ensuring a new project or shutdown is delivered on time and on budget, Ampelmann can play an important role in improving safety and cost effective operations..
How important are offshore winds projects to Ampelmann’s continued growth?
As a newer and less developed segment than offshore oil and gas, offshore wind companies are often willing to try new technologies. These customers recognize the value in having their employees on their offshore wind farm construction sites quickly and in a safer manner to increase productivity. As the price of maintaining offshore wind farms is extremely expensive, it is no surprise that companies involved in such products invest in productivity. Wind farm construction both in and outside the North Sea region will increasing substantiallly in the coming years, and Ampelmann can add substantial value to companies looking to increase production, especially in regions where weather might play a huge factor. We have seen strong growth in the use of our systems on offshore wind farms, and Ampelmann is proud to be a part of this revolutionary development in the energy sector.
The company was started in 2008 in association with Delft University of Technology. How does this association with a leading university help attract talent?
You cannot underestimate the importance of having young talented researchers and engineers around you! We appeal to many individuals who attend TU Delft because of the fast, innovative, and productive learning environment we offer. As a growing global company, Ampelmann provides not only an exciting career but also opportunities to move and grow within our organization. In an industry where there is a growing demand for young motivated workers, we are proud that we are able to attract a great amount of fresh graduates looking for a challenge.
How does Ampelmann promote innovation?
Promoting innovation is something done throughout the organzation by all our employees. For example, many of our young engineers offer suggestions on added benefits of our products, while at the executive level, we have regular meetings to discuss projects and customer feedback to find every more efficient and innovative solutions for our clients.
Where do you hope to see Ampelmann in five years?
With experience both on the service provider and operator side of the table, I keenly understand the importance and value in making the customer’s job easier. In five years time, Ampelmann will be a synonym for walk to work because of the quality of our product and our strong track record. Our organisation will continue to deliver efficiency, safety, trust, reliability, and innovation and will have succeeded in making offshore access as easy as crossing the street for all offshore operators.