Manuel Flores Buendía
Country Manager Mexico
Taylors International Services
View from the Top

A Vital Ingredient for Operational Success

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:49

An oil rig requires many essential ingredients to remain operational. Electricity and trained personnel are two of the most obvious but a third is often overlooked: Food. It is a simple issue: No food, no rig.

“Without a good supply of food for platform workers, there is no oil rig,” says Manuel Flores, Country Manager of oil rig catering firm Taylors Mexico. He says adequate nutrition plays a pivotal role in the success of any oil operation and companies need to go above and beyond when providing it. “In 2016 we maintained our quality and completed our commitments 100 percent of the time,” he says. This despite operators tightening their belts as they slash budgets.

Yet, companies such as Taylors were not immune to the low oil prices and ensuing drilling slowdown that plagued Mexico’s oil and gas industry during last year and 2015. “The year 2016 was characterized by adjustment, survival and preparation,” says Flores.

Despite the difficulties, in October 2016, Taylors won a critical contract extension to cater for various active PEMEX rigs. With business from the NOC increasing from 50 percent to make up 85 percent of Taylors’ client portfolio, PEMEX’s success is integral to Taylors. Flores is optimistic about the company’s future as a service provider for the transitioning enterprise. “If PEMEX bases its decisions on performance quality and contract fulfillment, there is not a doubt in my mind that Taylors will continue working with it,” he says.

Taylors is the Mexican unit of global life support services company Taylors International Services, Inc, which was founded in 1996 and is active in the land and offshore oil and gas industry. The Lafayette-based firm also does work in the defense arena and for the government.

Flores puts the company’s success down to its focus on offering the highest quality customer care, a core aspect of the Taylors philosophy. As well as constantly being attentive to clients, Taylors continually improves its service by gathering feedback through surveys. “We survey at three levels: presidents of companies, our contractors and the rig
workers,” Flores says. “The responses allow the company to tailor each service on a case-by-case basis, an added value
demonstrating our flexibility to match the client’s needs.” 183

With taste preferences, budget restrictions and even religious factors to take into account, Taylors’ customized menus are not easy to put together. “Satisfying everyone at viable costs is a complex operation that requires excellent management,” Flores says, defining the challenge as an attempt to reflect the taste of 200 people on one piece of paper. This becomes even more taxing when funds are scarce and companies are looking to cut costs at every turn. “To satisfy their demands for lower costs, negotiation is key as much with our clients as with our suppliers,” he says.

The strong relationships Taylors maintains throughout the supply chain ensure competitive pricing is achieved without compromising quality. “Our complete honesty about ingredients achieves the same end,” Flores says. On top of preserving competitive pricing, Taylors’ alliances in the oil and gas industry could bring about new contracts in 2017.

The brand is on a solid footing with US company Fieldwood, which won the Pokoch and Ichalkil blocks in Round 1.2. Since the blocks are located just off the coast of Ciudad del Carmen, where Taylors’ Mexican headquarters are located, Flores hopes the launch of Fieldwood’s operations generates new business for his firm.

Indeed the new players entering Mexico’s oil and gas market are a source of potential clients for Taylors Mexico and the company’s service advantages are not limited to nutritious food at low costs. “When a company understands what it means to have happy employees, efficiency and productivity increases,” Flores says. Satisfied workers carry out a better job and Flores sees his end clients’ happiness as a top priority. “Employees work to a higher standard because they are looked after and they see that they are valued by the company,” he says. A motivated and healthy workforce is critical in an industry that is demanding more efficiency at lower costs.