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An equipment fabricator who assures its client a flawless project execution is either inexperienced or lives in an alternate universe. While ideal, flawless project execution doesn’t happen in real life and certainly not in the oil and gas industry.

Oil and gas majors, from Shell, BP, and Chevron, to [insert your favorite client company], understands this reality. Their expectation is adherence to project specifications and delivering value. In practice, project execution is a series of coordinated efforts by different groups- engineering teams, design teams, procurement teams, project management teams, and fabrication teams. Yes, it takes a lot of teams to bring a project to fruition. Throw external vendors and third-party service providers into the mix, and you have reality. These entities, performing completely separate tasks, yet in a rather seamless fashion, is where the challenge lives.

Smart fabricators understand the nuances and plan for contingencies. Water Standard and Monarch Separators equip every employee with tools to make decisions that support the project and ultimately deliver impressive projects on tight budgets. Successful companies are proactive and uncompromisingly loyal to their established processes because they understand that completing the job right the first time is not only cost-effective, it is what differentiates the company from the crowded market.

Supply chain management is an integral component of project execution and paying attention to some basic rules of thumb can impact project schedules, avoid cost overruns, and prevent project delays.

3 Guidelines for a Smooth Procurement Process

Accuracy of Purchase Order Issuance

It is very easy for employees to gloss over the equipment details and trust that “someone” checked them. However, a purchase order for a corrugated plate interceptor (CPI) will look markedly different than a purchase order for a flotation system. I often relate this to a person walking into a store to buy a product as simple as a cell phone. Not many people I know would just take the salesperson’s word for it that the phone checks all the boxes on your list, without reviewing it yourself – and there is a reason for that. You want exactly what you are paying for. As the company buyer, procurement employees are the first line of defense to ensure that every material purchased is in fact in compliance with client specifications. So check, double check and triple check to confirm that every purchase order you issue meets required specs. That extra time up front can save a lot more time on the back end.

Consistency of Material Receipt

Back to my phone analogy, if you ever ordered a phone and a delivery truck showed up at your door with a pallet and a wooden box 4 ft tall, it wouldn’t take much to know that something is amiss. For a project buyer, material receipt is critical. For our company, there are a variety of components that are crucial for our water treatment packages and must be checked thoroughly. 316 SS and 304 SS are completely different. Blue bolts don’t mean they are Teflon-coated. The point is, you cannot trust a vendor to list every detail on a Packing List, or the Material Traceability Report (MTR). Again, taking the extra time up front to ensure the right product gets on your fabrication floor mitigates most problems down the road.

Control of Material Handling

Carbon steel and stainless steel should always be segregated to avoid contamination. Structural materials should have identification stenciled or die-stamped with heat and slab numbers; weld caps (pipe caps) should be permanently marked to show schedule number or nominal wall thickness designation. The list goes on and on. Companies have procedures for a reason, and any employee that sidesteps them to presumably work faster is no help at all. The point is, paying attention to the details makes a huge difference.

In equipment fabrication, and across the oil and gas industry as a whole, procurement managers, project buyers, expediters, and their supporting staff become an integral part of the supply chain and value chain process. If these three guidelines are followed, your procurement team can ensure that the project is executed as efficiently as possible.

Flawless? Probably not.
Excellent? Definitely!

If you have water treatment needs for your production operations, we are here to help.


About Eric Edmonds

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Eric Edmonds has been part of the Water Standard and Monarch Separators family for 7 years and currently serves as Project Buyer for both companies. Eric played an active role in obtaining and maintaining Water Standard’s ISO 9001 certification, which has had a positive influence on all of our processes including procurement. His competitive spirit also makes him effective in his role since he is always striving to develop the most efficient and effective process possible. Both the Water Standard and Monarch teams appreciate this competitive spirit, which he brings to every employee function! Fun fact about Eric: He his a HUGE New England Patriots fan and like all Patriot fans, he is starting to get bored with all the Super Bowl wins!

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