|The Strategy Of Tools|
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[This article is re-posted from the original at Oilfield PULSE]
The Strategy Of Tools
Formed in January 2011 from the predecessor companies Ess-Ell Tools, Integrated Production Services, and Paintearth Energy Service, Evolution Oil Tools was conceived by majority Owner, Vern Hult. Hult had a vision of taking the process of mere product development, putting together the design and engineering behind the designs of the predecessors’ products, enhancing them further, then increasing offerings in the form of advanced product solutions.
After Hult approached Wold about this vision, Wold knew this was something he wanted to be a part of. Bringing together the rest of the management team, Evolution was ready to grow because of the experience, people, and culture that were set in place.
Now, just four years later, the company is making a mark not just on the Canadian and U.S. markets but globally as well.
Culture First, Production Second
Why has Evolution been able to make such an impressive mark in this small amount of time? Quite simply, “It’s our ‘culture first’ mentality,” Wold states. With incredibly low staff turnover, a core group of strong managers retained from the predecessor companies, and an openness to change, Evolution creates a culture that looks to build upon its people’s talent, not just their current knowledge.
“One thing I am very proud of is that we have a very low staff turnover. The true story of a company happens when people are happy to work there. I understand that when people are offered positions at other companies, as some of ours have, and choose to stay, this speaks to our company,” says Wold.
“It’s so important to make sure the company is where people want to work and…that everyone is working this way together, even during times of stress. This group’s strength is that exact thing.”
Part of what allows Evolution to be this place for its team is how the company is open to changing and improving their products based on the actual market. With that, it all starts with the business development reps (BDRs). “[Our design and engineering team] rely on the BDRs to listen to our existing customers and new ones they’re reaching out to and understand what the market is asking for.”
From there, Wold, along with the design team, research the plausibility of the requests, and if it’s in line with what they’re doing, they look to create it. “Our design team relies on straight feedback from the market. Then they just go to work designing it,” he says.
However, what’s unique about their team is they don’t just understand what the market needs. They take it another step further and find ways to be more cost effective with their designs as well. It’s not just about the design, but the design affordability, particularly with their down hole tools.
Innovation Starts With Talent
What enhances this understanding of cost effective solutions is the team they’ve pulled together.
This team of engineers and designers is unique as they all come from different backgrounds and experience. While Evolution does look for individuals who have a very particular and unique skill set, such as Bernard (Bernie) Lumori and his extensive background in flow control, they also use individuals who have the mindset to look at a system and think differently about it. In particular, when Emery Stoesser was first brought on, he didn’t have extensive background in down hole tools. However, because of his willingness to learn and grow, he is now actually leading the charge in their down hole tool designs, advancing products, and bringing better solutions to the table.
Emery Stosser As Wold puts in, “[Emery’s] mind automatically now goes to how that tool would work, how it would be designed. He just naturally has become a down hole tool designer even though before Evolution, his education was obviously a technologist, but not to the down hole tool side of things. His experience now is having him be a lead hand in this department!”
For Evolution, it’s really about having a team of people who are willing to look at their base products and ask, “What can be advanced that’s still out there?”
By asking this, Evolution has been able to offer forward thinking product solutions, such as their:
In listening to the market, Evolution is also currently developing thermal applications for SAGD focused companies, which allows for more innovation and product solutions to work effectively with the unique needs of SAGD drilling.
New Market Growth
With these new solutions, Evolution has realized it’s not just about the designing and engineering. It then comes down to the proper marketing of these solutions and, fortunately, one of their down hole designers, Geoff Brennan, showed an excitement and a true talent for technical marketing. While originally joining the company to help design down hole solutions, he was soon developing customer prints, which led to technical data prints, which then led to effective marketing brochures. Through this ability, he quickly became Evolution's Technical Marketing Coordinator, and shares the new solutions both in traditional marketing items, but, more importantly for the global market and reach, online through blogs and social media. He’s been able to take the design and bring it to life for the end users by demonstrating how Evolution has found a solution to their issues.
Evolution’s solutions and technologies], people are now contacting us through articles on LinkedIn, through search engine optimization, through our social media.”
In fact, what Evolution is noticing is because of their market reach, from Canada to the U.S. to right across the globe, Wold notes that, “We’re fortunate enough and diversified enough to have the global footprint, allowing us to find out which country and region there’s activity in.”
This reach allows them to enhance their product solutions in their three main areas of development – new completion tools, well work overs/abandonment/ recompletions, and enhance/improve production – allowing for innovation right across the global industry. Without the reach of technical marketing and the talents of the design team, Evolution would not be able to stand out and continue to excel.
This reach also allows them to hear the concerns of the oil and gas industry worldwide and see the common concerns from one country to the next. Once there’s this consistency in feedback, Evolution is able to transform the industry based on real-time concerns and requests.
As Evolution continues to grow and enhance the industry through their designs and product solutions, they’re really looking to shift their brand. No longer are they looking to be a company focused solely on providing lots of product to service companies. Rather, they are now becoming a product solutions company. Meaning that, from a technology standpoint, they are a solution provider and offer these solutions to the end user.
While they look to continue doing big runs and selling big volumes of product, the difference now is while they do this, they focus on thinking outside of the box and listening to what customers’ needs are and then allow the design team to grow their talents as they find solutions. Doing this, Evolution continues to create the cash flow required to advance the research and development portion of their business.
“We are taking the need that’s in the industry, and that will continue to be in the industry as designs and markets change, and build solutions around these needs,” says Wold. “We are keeping our ‘eye on the ball’ as we continue to grow this company as a group.”
Truly, it is amazing what the Evolution team does in seeing the true value in listening and responding to their clients’ issues. This is a new way of looking at oil and gas clients. No longer is it about simply providing products. For Evolution, it’s become about so much more. It’s become about solutions through products.
We want to be seen as a solution provider not just a ‘me too’ product provider. It’s our design team who really comes to the market’s aid and designs real solutions to their needs.”
And this is just how Hult envisioned the company.
Originally published in the April issue of Oilfield PULSE