Soon after Jeff Berube joined Shield Industries, he noticed a common complaint among people involved in procurement. “Fabrication companies are generally not transparent and have poor track records of meeting deadlines,” he says.
Located in Taber, AB, Shield Industries is a fabricator of storage tanks, prefabricated pressure piping and structural steel for over 30 years.
In the oil and gas industry, properly scheduling facility construction is crucial to on time and on budget project completion. Late equipment deliveries on the manufacturing side result in significant cost overruns due to standby charges and delayed production. It is currently estimated that only 25% of oil and gas capital projects are delivered on schedule.
“[Fabricators] tend to warn clients of production delays at the 11th hour, giving them little time to manoeuvre and adjust construction schedules resulting in increased project costs. It’s bad enough that, some of the bigger companies have expeditors specifically to try and keep the equipment manufacturers accountable to their deliveries,” Berube says.
To remediate the issue, Shield decided to build transparency directly into their process.
Using custom made production scheduling software, the company now automatically emails progress updates to the clients as their products move through the manufacturing process. This in turn helps to identify potential delays earlier, giving the customer time to adjust their construction schedule accordingly.
“Letting our clients look directly into our processes gives them peace of mind and keeps us accountable.”
Shield says the oil and gas equipment fabricators have been slow to innovate in comparison with manufacturers servicing other industries.
“At Shield, we decided to embrace the future to see how we could bring more value to our customers and differentiate ourselves from the competition by innovating and refusing the status quo.”
He said they plan on expanding on this functionality and further disrupt how the industry currently operates.