Supplying excellence: how supply chain management works with the field

supply chain management

At Trinidad, we’re lucky to have a wide range of talented employees with an even wider range of skillsets. Some are expert drillers, some are experts in sales negotiations, some are all about technology – you get the picture.

Of course, with these different roles come different perspectives. Our crews’ needs sometimes look very different from the needs of the office. So where’s the common ground and how do we make sure the field perspective is being considered in corporate decision making?

We spoke with Rick Pingel, Director, Global Supply Chain, to find out how supply chain management supports our crews in the field. Rick and his team work with the operations group to control costs and improve Trinidad’s competitive advantage.

Our supply chain team strives to provide efficiencies and cost savings yet never compromising safety or quality. They’re focused on making sure our operations have the best possible products for the best possible price. When our crews need something, Rick’s the guy who makes it happen.

Supply chain management’s impact on the field

Rick’s team evaluates suppliers and vendors to see if it’s possible to find a different product with the same quality, for a better value – all while not disrupting service levels. Clearly, Rick’s team’s ability to pull this off has a huge impact on those working in the field.

“Services levels are critical and by and large trump cost,” Rick notes. “As an example, if I save $100 on a valve but the rig is waiting for that valve for six hours, there was obviously a cost and not a saving to the business – and we cannot have that.”

No matter what, making sure Trinidad’s crews can do their jobs safely and efficiently is the top priority.

Working together

At the end of the day, everyone at Trinidad shares one big goal. “We want to keep drilling. We want to drill as efficiently as possible and as cost-effectively as possible,” Rick explains.

The relationship between the crews and corporate has evolved over the years – adjustments are always being made in order to create the best possible work environment.

“I think as long as we don’t disappoint them, our relationship will continue to improve,” Rick says. “All the way from the Vice Presidents to the General Managers of Operations, the field supervisors, the rig managers and the hands on the rigs – they’re all my largest customers. Whatever I can do to continue to improve that relationship, I absolutely will.”

Continuing to develop his team’s relationship with the field workers is a major part of Rick’s job – he wants the crews to know that he refuses to risk their safety by cutting costs. No bargain is worth our crews’ wellbeing.

Finding smart solutions

All of corporate’s decisions have a huge impact on the people in the field – which is why keeping lines of communication open is so crucial.

Rick says, “Before we make a change, try a new production or a new cost-saving initiative, we work closely with the field to test the product, review it with the users, discuss it with the suppliers, and make sure that we’ve got rock-solid agreements in place so as not to disrupt the business ever.”

Listening to the crews in the field is one of the best ways to keep everyone happy and stay on budget. After all, our field workers’ level of experience and expertise is one of Trinidad’s biggest assets.

A few of the process improvements Rick and his team have implemented that are driving results include:

  • We have traditionally gone to multiple suppliers for the same products. We now go to a select few as the economies of scale (increased volume) through few suppliers has resulted in considerably better pricing.
  • Through the development and roll out of our global supply chain dashboard we can now see, in almost real-time, what we are paying for items and have the ability to compare and benchmark to determine the best pricing.

“Our hats go off to the operations group for planning and forecasting improvements,” says Rick. “The whole team has pulled together and made this a success.”

Keeping promises

When it comes to building the relationship between corporate and the field, Rick has no time for empty promises.

“Anybody could come into a corporate role and promise the world to anybody,” says Rick. “Coming into Trinidad about a year and a half ago, my goal was to demonstrate to the field that we won’t let them down and we’re not going to be solely focused on the dollars.”

“I have immense respect for the folks in the field,” Rick adds. “We have to continue to earn their trust and respect, and there couldn’t be anything more important than that.”


Want to know more about the relationship between the office and the field? Some employees have experience both – here’s what it’s like to change roles at Trinidad!

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