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Hartley Taylor: digitalizing our customers' activities

12/07/2019 - Careers

Initially an entrepreneur in the non-destructive testing field, Hartley today has a successful career at Vallourec in Dubai.
Hartley Taylor

What does your work involve?

I am currently Director of Services for MEA (Middle East and Asia). My missions are mainly of two kinds:

  • Business Development: prior to tender launch, I travel to meet my customers and assess their service requirements and meet/audit local service companies to assess their capacity and competitiveness to support my service offer.
  • Contract Execution: my team and I do everything necessary to deliver what we've promised, offering the highest possible performance levels to our clients for the duration of the service contract
These two types of missions are integral aspects of my work. My main objective? To bring value, not cost, and reduce our customers' TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) related to our products from mill to well. I'm currently involved in Vallourec.smart: as an example, I recently presented all the Vallourec.smart solutions in the Middle East and South-East Asia. I've had very positive feedback from all our Indonesian and Thai clients.

To what extent are you involved in the Vallourec.smart project?

Vallourec.smart was born less than a year ago and we can already see the results. The idea quickly became a tangible solution.

It plays a key role in the digitalization of our range of services. We recently received a very large and complex tender from one of our major customers in the Middle East, which included four different operating companies: two offshore, two onshore with many service needs including a VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) requirement. With Vallourec.smart, we can offer this solution including smart order management based on forecasted drilling needs, a specially designed stockyard and service center, a wide range of inspection services and just in time delivery to various onshore rigs and offshore supply base.

To meet our customers' requirements, we have also created 'Smartengo Inventory', an online customer accessed application making it possible to trace the tube throughout its life cycle. We can show the customer where the tube is at any moment and access detailed data about the tube. This system can also produce a variety of reports, tailor made to customer's needs.
Smart

With Vallourec.smart, we can offer this solution including smart order management based on forecasted drilling needs, a specially designed stockyard and service center, a wide range of inspection services and just in time delivery to various onshore rigs and offshore supply base.

Hartley Taylor Director of Services for MEA

What are the main challenges of your current job?

To achieve optimal performance, I need to be extremely organized and plan multiple projects in detail at the same time whilst hitting those submission deadlines. In addition to this, I work in many different countries and I don't have a lot of time to reply to tenders. People tend to underestimate the complexity involved in creating a range of services tailored to each customer's needs. I also need to have an in-depth knowledge of our products, process and procedures, take decisions quickly and to think outside the box.

I face many challenges, but the advantage is that I've been working in the oil and gas sector for thirty-three years and despite this I'm still learning something new every day!
New

I've been working in the oil and gas sector for thirty-three years and despite this I'm still learning something new every day!

Hartley Taylor Director of Services for MEA

How did you come to work for Vallourec? Tell us about your background.

My whole career has been spent in the oil and gas industry! I studied at the Engineering and Marine Training Authority in Aberdeen. After gaining my diploma, I worked for ten years as an Inspection Engineer specializing in non-destructive testing of drill string products and running OCTG products offshore all over the world.

A colleague and I then set up our own independent non-destructive testing business to compete with the companies we were working for at the time. We were very successful and won many contracts. This helped me to develop from a professional viewpoint: I created numerous procedures and gained valuable managerial skills.

Thirteen years ago, I sold my share in this business and began my career at Vallourec. I joined the Aberdeen office, where I worked in the VAM Field Service division for a year. I then became a Project Manager, working on the development of added value services on overseas projects. I subsequently moved to Stavanger, in Norway, where I opened our service center Vallourec Norge and spent three years growing the business. Eight years ago I moved to Paris and started working at the Boulogne-Billancourt headquarters as Supply Chain Manager for Vallourec Global Solutions. I traveled a great deal during this period, meeting and working with very talented colleagues to whom I am very grateful.

Then, six years ago, I moved to Dubai, where I still am today.

What do you like about working at Vallourec?

When I had my own company, what I really missed was the international exposure as my own company was very regionalized. I can only thank Vallourec for this amazing opportunity to work on high profile projects and be a key decision maker in them.

Who are you outside of work?

I love music and sport: I can play a few instruments such as guitar, piano and drums for example. I'm Scottish, so I also enjoy playing golf (we invented it!) and enjoy formula 1 and football.

Before I joined Vallourec, I was also a part-time Firefighter and was eventually was promoted to OIC (Officer in Charge) at incidents which I was very proud of. It was a real emotional rollercoaster and I learned a lot from it including leadership, commitment and how to take decisions under pressure. I still use these skills today!
Hartley Taylor as firefighter

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Last year, when I was working in the United States, I met a man who is considered something of an authority on the supply chain. He gave me two valuable pieces of advice:
  • By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
  • Plan for the worst, hope for the best and prepare to be surprised.
I still apply this advice on a daily basis!