Date PublishedMarch 26, 2015
CompanyPlains Fabrication
Article AuthorChester Nagy
Article TypeMarch 2015 Issue
CategoryArticles, Oil & Gas
Tags, , , , ,
HUB SEARCHPlainsFabrication
PULSE Interactive


There is an entire symbiotic system in your business that can flourish or flounder depending upon your company’s ability to collaborate and share information.

collaborationI know what collaboration means to Plains Fabrication, and according to the dictionary, it is the action of working with someone to produce or create something. I believe in terms of manufacturing, you couldn’t find a more accurate definition. When I read articles about teams and leadership, the idea of collaboration is almost always focused on the internal workings of a company. This is logical, as most managers would naturally have an inward focus. They most likely leave the external work to the purchasing group or the sales group. Anyone who has been involved in true project management knows collaboration takes place both internally and externally in your company. Most business leaders understand that as well, but external problems inevitably are far more disruptive than they should be, because we forget to focus sufficiently on the concept that our team must collaborate with customers, vendors, and service providers. There is an entire symbiotic system in your business that can flourish or flounder depending upon your company’s ability to collaborate and share information. The more your supply network works in harmony the better the productivity. The better the productivity the lower the cost. It is through open relationships and working closely with your customers, vendors, and even your competition you will see the greatest results. The old adage of the “dog-eat-dog” world of business no longer holds true in my experience. I believe the success of our Albertan and Canadian companies depends upon collaboration. We need to work together, to learn from each other, and to share as many “best practices” as we can. In this global market, we are competing with state-owned entities and foreign companies that operate in environments where safety, environmental regulation, and cost of labour are often minimal. If we don’t learn from each other and find ways of working together to support our inherent strengths and weaknesses, we will struggle to compete and lose market share.

The more your supply network works
in harmony, the better the productivity.

The Way Forward

fabricationI have learned a great deal from companies that are willing to share. Our current plant operations and layout were heavily influenced by companies that allowed us access in terms of touring plants and in speaking with the business owners and employees within those plants. It is something I pass on now by helping companies through sharing information as well as giving plant tours to any company willing to come and see our operation. The underlying premise is we can tour their facility and learn from each other. Our customers are global companies, and they are responsible stewards of their own enterprises as well as major players in our local and national economies. They understand their impact on our industry, and they also recognize they have a part to play in helping the local economy. It is up to us to present the best option possible to those customers. Many companies have recognized this and have participated in initiatives to help build a model for working together. I have been involved with a group of companies in the energy supply network that have shown leadership and come together to work towards solutions to common problems.

It is work like this that sets most companies in Alberta apart. Rather than masking issues, we get together and work on solutions. It has been a great process, and we are privileged to be involved with it. I believe in today’s business environment, increasing market share comes from making informed decisions and being open to change. Staying ahead of the curve will require more than just a few individual leaders from one company. It will require a group of companies changing and adapting together. It will require a collaborative system in which Albertan and Canadian companies seek to protect each others’ interests and look to grow together. It is true there may have been a time when a company could operate in a vacuum and find success, but that was before the global economy took hold. We must face the fact that our society wants safe, environmentally responsible, and community minded companies. Not all of our competitors have to operate within that mandate. Our costs are inherently higher because of those imposed standards. If we want to operate unilaterally and allow those constraints to guide us, we cannot compete long term.

CollaborationIf we work together as a community and build relationships with our customers whom all have the same standards to uphold and recognize our value proposition, we can be successful. If your company continues to operate using antiquated business methods, then you should be prepared for what may ensue. If you want to do business in the new era, success awaits you. First, you have to come to the table and join the conversation.

Chester Nagy







Originally published in the 

March 2015 issue of Oilfield PULSE