A special offering

Since the business was established during 1999, Specialised Management Services (SMS) has enjoyed great success as a trusted offshore service and support company to the oil and gas industry. Within two years of its incorporation the business had out-grown its original facility and moved to larger premises as well as doubling the company’s number of employees. An important milestone for the business came in 2003, when SMS was officially acquired by Alderley, an independent systems integrator based in Wickwar, South Gloucestershire. “The acquisition was a strategic move on the part of Alderley to complement its existing services to the oil and gas industry as well as to add a hydraulic element to its business,” explains SMS Managing Director, Dave Howlett. “In 2006 SMS was contracted to supply a topside hydraulic power unit (HPU) for the Shell Starling Field in the central North Sea by Aker. This was really a turning point in the evolution of the business and from these small beginnings we have grown into a globally esteemed supplier of topside products and associated services for the oil and gas sector.”
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The success that SMS has enjoyed over the years has continued unabated and the business is presently preparing to relocate to a new £3 million headquarters named Starling House. “Located in the Beacon Park Enterprise Zone in Gorleston, SMS’s purpose-built Starling House facility will boast 16,000 square feet of workspace featuring two bays for pressure and operational testing and a workshop with an overhead lifting crane and a 12,000 square foot office space, situated on a 100,000 square foot site,” Dave reveals. “Our current facility has served us well over the years, but we have outgrown it and it is time to move on. The new facility will enable us to work in a much more efficient and intelligent way and also allow us to increase our product portfolio with products that our current facility doesn’t allow us to develop. We’ve also acquired 50 per cent additional land which will allow us to expand in future years.”

Today SMS specialises in the design, manufacture, commissioning and servicing through to end of life decommissioning of hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical control systems including 24/7 maintenance support contracts, component sales and hose manufacturing and maintenance contracts. The company operates within the oil and gas sector, where it services major operating companies on a global basis. Although the oil and gas market remains in a depressed state, SMS retains a strong order book extending into 2016 and continues to monitor possible future opportunities.

“Over the years SMS has become an industry leader in the supply of production systems that are designed to operate on offshore platforms for 20-plus years and it has earned a reputation for system quality and maintainability that is required to ensure life cycle costs are kept to a minimum. From this SMS has brought the same level of design detail, system quality and maintainability to the Intervention Market in the form of our Intervention HPUs and through sustainable growth SMS has become a leader in this competitive market place,” Dave elaborates. “Clearly the market is suffering at present and no-one can tell how long it will take to recover. Regardless of this the market has potentially changed forever and no longer can companies take business for granted. SMS has continued to grow in this climate, but the main challenge is to work with our customers and suppliers to find cost efficiencies without impacting on overall quality and delivery. SMS has done a tremendous amount of work over the last 12 months and will continue to look for ways of working more effectively well into the future.”
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To ensure that the business is able to weather the volatilities of the oil and gas market and best serve the needs of its clients, SMS continuously work to refine its products and production practices. “At SMS, we’ve done a thorough review of how we operate as a business and looked at ways we can improve by listening to the needs of our clients and communicating effectively with them, working smarter and more efficiently whilst driving effective supply chain initiatives and product standardisation. These factors keep us competitive and one step ahead of the competition during these hard times,” Dave says. “There are a lot of bad news stories in the industry right now, however we are bucking the trend rather well and this is testament to the team at SMS and the close working relationships we have forged with our clients over the past few years. We’ve got a healthy order book into next year and have secured a number of contracts in the past few weeks, and we have a number of exciting opportunities in the pipeline.”

During the final months of 2015 and into the New Year, SMS will seek to continue to grow, while consolidating its position from its new headquarters. As a market leader in the provision of offshore service and support services, SMS has earned a reputation for excellence that it hopes will allow it to continue to deal with clients old and new well into the future. “Over the next 12 months SMS will continue to engage with the marketplace in a positive manner to ensure existing projects are delivered on-time and aim to increase overall market share. SMS will work with our parent company Alderley plc to further develop our international footprint,” Dave concludes. “As we continue to grow from our new purpose built facilities in the UK, we will seek to expand our product range. This will ensure that our customers can rely on a company with the project management expertise that SMS has for an expanded product portfolio which in-turn reduces complex supplier interfaces and overall project risk. In the coming years SMS will strategically expand global operations to ensure continued growth and the ability to compete in the world’s largest markets.”

Specialised Management Services

Services: Offshore service and support