Sup­ply in De­mand

Alberta Oil - - CAREERS IN ENERGY -

The eco­nom­ics of the en­ergy in­dus­try have shifted from new con­struc­tion to op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance. That’s bad news for pro­ject man­agers, but leaves sup­ply chain man­agers in a more se­cure spot. For­tu­nately for pro­ject man­agers, the skills are trans­fer­able be­tween the two. Key skills in­clude cost-cut­ting, such as slash­ing wait times by im­prov­ing lo­gis­tics and ma­te­rial man­age­ment; and man­ag­ing the risk of non­avail­abil­ity of goods and ser­vices at cru­cial points in a pro­ject. This is where hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced pro­ject man­agers can make a big dif­fer­ence in the sup­ply chain. Kevin Lawrence, a re­cently laid-off vet­eran pro­ject man­ager, says of sup­ply chain and pro­ject man­age­ment, “I see them be­ing very sim­i­lar, par­tic­u­larly in the oil and gas main­te­nance and turn-around por­tion of the busi­ness. Ma­te­ri­als and ser­vices are very of­ten the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the pro­ject man­ager. Al­though sup­ply man­age­ment is con­sid­ered long-term and pro­ject man­age­ment is short, the goals are the same.”

Marc He­bert, a for­mer pro­ject man­ager, who moved into the patch as an in­dus­trial main­te­nance man­ager for oil ser­vices firm Te­naris, agrees. “Any­thing I have touched in my PM man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­pe­ri­ence has been steeped in risk man­age­ment of the sup­ply chain,” he says. “Sup­ply chain man­age­ment and pro­ject man­age­ment skills are very trans­fer­able, which was why I was able to slide into the PM role that I had with ease.” He­bert says that man­agers of projects, sup­ply chains or main­te­nance are al­ways look­ing for im­prove­ment. “If you have a re­cur­ring is­sue you look for the root cause and im­ple­ment the best so­lu­tion. The re­sults are bet­ter qual­ity, pro­duc­tiv­ity and safety.” Lawrence’s ad­vice for any­one in the pro­fes­sion is to get a pro­ject man­age­ment cer­tifi­cate. Be­fore the slump it didn’t mat­ter, ex­pe­ri­ence was enough, he says.

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