COP26: EIC's Supply Chain Case Study Series - BMT (Day 6)

COP26: EIC's Supply Chain Case Study Series - BMT (Day 6)

06 Nov 2021

The EIC's Supply Chain Case Study Series will highlight key EIC Survive and Thrive Insight Report case studies all throughout COP26, highlighting the success stories of the energy sector in decarbonisation and innovative new energy transition technologies.

On Day 6 we look at BMT discussing how (Regional) knowledge is power.

How is BMT thriving?

By pooling knowledge across all its areas of expertise into a matrix organisation with a regional focus through customer-, market- and mission-focused teams BMT has been able to reach new clients with joined up specialisms, the organisation taking on a variety of new projects across Europe and Australia. Although in its early days, early signs suggest that the structural sea change is starting to pay dividends on a financial and cultural level.

The challenge

The global energy mix is constantly changing. As countries and regions look to exploit the renewable potential of their geographies – be it hydrogen in Australia or offshore wind in the UK – companies in kind are having to adapt in order to maintain a relevant offering to the new-age energy sector. Market volatility has been exposed by COVID-19 and resultant oil price drops, while new players are entering the industry with disruptive technologies that are transforming old ways of doing business.

For BMT, a leading international design, engineering, science and risk management consultancy active in oil and gas, defence and security, ports, risk management and maritime transport, sea and coastal sectors with 36 offices around the world, transitioning to a sustainability-driven footing was vital to its long-term viability. However, entering a renewable energy market presents challenges to the likes of BMT which have been associated with oil and gas for a long time. The organisation had to prove it was serious about sustainability in project tenders, all the while keeping on top of fast-moving industry trends and navigating difficulties in the recruitment of seasoned oil and gas, mining and defence professionals, still vital to its business.

The solution

BMT’s chief executive Sarah Kenny has been instrumental in creating and executing a vision to overcome these challenges, adopting a strategy of renewal and growth. At the heart of this is a new business model based on a regional structure with centralised portfolios, a setup which has enabled efficiencies to be made and expertise to be shared more readily across the organisation, a three by two matrix.

The process involved merging and consolidating previously disparate future business teams into centralised hubs, activity which has brought multidisciplined expertise together under one roof. COVID-19 both hindered and expedited the transition BMT were already on, however as the organisation had a history of working well in remote teams, the shift to home-working and virtual communication help to break down the barriers created by prior needs to travel. Teams are interacting and collaborating, gaining a greater understanding of each other’s competencies, and exploring opportunities for collaboration to help win projects and deliver better outcomes for clients.

Furthermore, key functions such as HR, finance and marketing, sales and business development have been identified to be the focus for improved efficiencies in process. These are known as blue chips, with senior managers deployed to oversee these areas and drive continuous improvement using an agile and lean perspective way of working amongst the internal teams called the “scrum” team approach. A key task has been to retrain and adapt sales roles to regional scopes across multiple products and specialisms. Helping to support staff through the change of course are specialist transformational change leaders.

While the transformation is still in its infancy, initial outputs and results have been extremely positive. Employees are adapting to the changes and embracing new opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, and new doors are being opened as a result. BMT’s project pipeline is now clearer, , while operational efficiency and productivity processes are improved thanks to standardised process control and implementation of a strategic review process of all opportunities in pursuit at various stages of the progress through the sales pipeline.

Several contracts have been secured via the new regional framework. In the UK, BMT’s Australian business expertise had proved vital in securing a fisheries project for a consortium of Scottish seafood companies, a project financed awarded funding by the UK Seafood Innovation Fund. The work will see BMT deploy its AquaDEEP BMT Deep, digital platform solutions to help farmers deal with lice infestation, a major issue facing aquaculture in Scotland. Another European project, this time with the European Space Agency, involves BMT carrying out a feasibility assessment of ways to improve safe and secure decommissioning of oil and gas and renewable energy assets via the use of space-based satellite data.

In Australia, InterContinental Energy contracted BMT to undertake the marine environmental impact assessment in support of the proposed large-scale renewable energy supply project, the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), in Western Australia. BMT has worked closely with InterContinental Energy as the project has evolved from a renewable energy export project via a high voltage direct cable (HVDC) to a downstream processing facility utilising seawater and renewable power to produce green hydrogen and ammonia as stored/exported renewable energy. BMT’s technical expertise in hydrodynamic and plume dispersion modelling, habitat mapping and field data collection will continue to support the environmental impact assessment for the AREH project. This prestigious project will provide BMT with experience in this relatively new industry, building on our capabilities across the Australian environment team and the broader BMT community.

About BMT

Formed in 1985 following the merger of the British Ship Research Association and the National Maritime Institute, BMT is a leading international design and security, engineering, science and risk management consultancy with a reputation for engineering excellence. From initial concept through to design, construction, operation and eventual decommissioning security arrangements of these projects, the organisation supports customers at every stage of the project lifecycle. Active in the defence and security, oil and gas, energy and renewable energy, ports, risk management and maritime transport, sea and coastal sectors, BMT has around 1,400 professionals located in 36 offices in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.

Read the full EIC Survive and Thrive Insight Report here.

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