The oil and gas industry: where environmental regulations are constantly changing, price per barrel waxes and wanes, and yet new infrastructure seems to always be in demand. To say the least, working in the energy sector is a challenging balancing act full of uncertainty and occasional bouts of frustration.
However, there’s no reason to go it alone. In fact, it pays (literally and figuratively) to find and retain a core group of professionals you can rely on for construction and emergency response support, including an EHS consultant.
Open availability for entire projects
Since pipeline project lifecycles can take upwards of seven years to complete, once you bring your choice consultant on board, you can expect them to keep availability open specifically for your project as well as any future ventures.
Besides having fewer staff requirements to fill, when you have the same group working through an entire project lifecycle, you can comfortably move from one phase of the project to the next. No more releasing multiple RFPs for various stages of your project. No more (re)explaining the goals of your project. No more going over the same safety training for a different group of people.
After working together for a while, you and your consultants will be in sync regarding your business needs. They’ll have a deep understanding of your work standards, long-term business goals, and how you prefer to formulate and execute action plans. With such deep knowledge about your company, a go-to EHS consultant will be able to develop creative, customized solutions efficiently.
By not having to get a new consultant up to speed on your business, you’re already saving money. However, partnering with the same EHS consultant project after project can result in even more potential cost savings.
The key to realizing your full cost-saving potential is to consider your consultant’s needs as well as your own — don’t just negotiate for lower rates. For example, offering your regular consultants long-term work can make your budget stretch further. Like oil and gas professional Joe Kramer said in a 2011 article, “The steadier the work, the lower the unit cost, so finding ways to keep contractors engaged will help both businesses succeed.”
Time is precious, especially when you have a strict construction schedule and budgets that are tighter than ever. As such, any opportunity to save even just a few minutes should be a no-brainer.
Take selecting consultants for a project, for example. You already know what has to get done, but you need to find the right group to do it swiftly. A go-to EHS consultant might not fill all your staffing needs, but joining forces right away is a guaranteed start to putting together an all-star team.
It’s also worth noting that after working with the same consultant repeatedly, your admin staff will already have (or know where to get) their contact information, rate sheets, and training certifications. The result? Hours of work saved on the administrative side.
Built-in subcontractor network
Major projects highlight skills gaps on any team. However, sometimes even your preferred contractors don’t have the skills, resources, or qualifications to complete some tasks.
When you’ve been working with an established consultant for a long time, you don’t have to worry about filling staffing gaps. You can trust them to reach out to their network of reliable subcontractors and fill in the blanks on their own, leaving you plenty of time to focus on your project ROI.
Strong business relationships are critical for long-term success in any industry. And when you work with the same group of people, sometimes for months or years at a time, you’ll forge those valuable relationships. Nothing forms professional bonds quicker than celebrating triumphs and trudging through rough patches of projects together.
The relationships you form with consultants can easily span your entire career, which also gives you access to an extended network and a source of trusted advice.
Speaking of trust, establishing mutual trust with any consultant takes time (and probably a couple of projects), but it’s well worth it. After you’re confident in an EHS consultant, you can expect them to meet or exceed your expectations on a consistent basis. Plus, you’ll know your consultant’s employees will show up to the worksite on time, ask questions when they need to, and possess the right level of expertise for your project. No surprises!
No one wants emergencies to arise, but when they do, you will be thankful to have a great EHS consultant on lock. They’ll answer the phone and be there on the double. A consultant you’ve worked with for a while is probably familiar with your emergency response plans too, which will make implementing your action plan a much smoother process.
When you find your go-to EHS consultant, you can expect to receive the highest level of service and never feel like “just a number.” People on their staff will automatically become trusted advisors, professional peers you enjoy being around, and partners through the trials and tribulations that can arise during pipeline construction projects and emergency response activities.
We treat every pipeline construction and emergency response project as an opportunity to overdeliver. From project conceptualization through completion, our team will be there to deliver safe and cost-effective project support so you can focus on what matters most.
Ready to get your next environmental project started? Get in touch with our environmental experts today.