Western Canada’s oilfield services industry is competitive. And with 2014’s drop in the price of oil, competition between companies has only increased. Still to this day, there is far less of an appetite from drillers to use the services of many service companies, meanwhile demanding for service rates go down (of which they have).
For many companies, the game plan for the last few years has been to at the very least maintain market share. By doing so, hoping to generate any sort of worthwhile shareholder return has become increasingly difficult. Many service companies are simply breaking even.
So in such a trying time for these operators, what can be done? What tools are left at management’s disposal to separate their companies from the competition and win over business?
Those involved in Canada’s oilpatch over the years have earned accolades for entrepreneurial thinking and problem solving. So much so that leading Alberta post secondary institutions like the University of Calgary have come to market certain faculties as places where young students can learn to emulate the kind of managerial skill sets that have enabled such widespread success in the energy sector. However as any experienced business person will tell you, learning in a classroom is far different than learning in the real world.
Carving out a successful niche in the oilfield services industry, for many is the result of a constant process of trial and error when it comes to sales and marketing. OSY Rentals for example, has over the years tried a handful of different marketing strategies to communicate the same core message that serves as the bedrock how the company does business with clients.
If you happened to find yourself at last year’s Global Petroleum Show, you may have come across one booth that had a draw for a Hanson brother’s Chief’s jersey. That was OSY Rentals. A nice touch when it comes to bringing in people to discuss how the company can serve potential clients.
Before the start of each NHL season, many people join in on hockey pools as a fun way to compete among family, friends, or colleuages while also giving an added layer to the excitement of watching hockey. But for the team at OSY Rentals, they saw an opportunity to connect with current and potential clients. The thinking was to offer a OSY Rental sponsored hockey pool and give memberships for free.
At the end of the season, the winning person would be entitled to a all expenses paid trip to watch a playoff NHL game in any city and in any round of the post season. “It has grown to the point where our hockey pool is oen our key drivers for new business and retaining clients,” said OSY Rentals’ General Manager Dallas Cairns.
The latest idea the team at OSY Rentals had was to produce a sort of video blog web series to show what the oilpatch is really like to work in.
“The oil patch is kind of like the wild west and we show you just what a gong show it can be!” said Mr. Cairns. “‘Oh Sh!t Yeah’ is a web series that follows the escapades of our team as we work to build our rental equipment business and have fun along the way.”
Having fun. That is a common denominator that serves as an undercurrent for most of what the team at OSY Rentals does. And to be able to communicate to clients that a work hard play hard mentality is what OSY Rentals is all about, that for sure resonates with many oilpatch workers that share the same approach to life.