The background and the challenge
Seadrill is a leading offshore deepwater drilling company whose focus is making oil and gas available in a safe and cost effective manner.
The company operates a versatile fleet of more than fifty drilling units for operations in shallow to ultra-deep water areas, in both harsh and benign environments.
Seadrill has 6,650 skilled employees with 50 different nationalities, who operate in 15 countries on five continents. ATPI Marine & Energy won the global travel management account for Seadrill in January 2011.
With a long history in the energy and shipping sectors, ATPI Marine & Energy understands the industry has specific travel requirements which include flexibility, special baggage allowances and complex one-way travel.
Its multinational buying power for marine travel, offshore and corporate fares gives it access to over six million airfares globally and its 24/7 out-of-hours emergency service offers clients peace of mind when things don’t run according to plan.
Before appointing ATPI Marine & Energy, Seadrill used many different suppliers based in various countries to manage its travel services. But having to deal with different time zones and cultures was challenging.
The solution and the result
ATPI Marine & Energy's proposal was that Seadrill work with a single TMC, using local ATPI Marine & Energy offices linked through a common global platform. ATPI Marine & Energy’s service would consolidate spend, gain an understanding of travel patterns, and provide access to a range of management information systems (MIS).
This data would in turn enable ATPI Marine & Energy to negotiate special rates with its preferred suppliers. On winning the account, ATPI Marine & Energy appointed an implementation manager to look at cultural differences and the variety of data being used in the relevant countries, before consolidating it for MIS reporting.
Seadrill needed to convey ATPI Marine & Energy’s plans to its teams on the ground: the people responsible for dealing daily with the complexities of offshore travel. Most importantly, ATPI Marine & Energy wanted to reassure them that it was the right choice for its business locally as well as globally. Senior managers from ATPI Marine & Energy undertook a series of visits to Seadrill offices in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.
They were mindful of the differences in approach to travel management in each country. For example, Singapore is the regional head office where travel for shore-based personnel is a large component of the business. On the other hand Malaysia and Indonesia, which have an offshore focus – with crew travelling to and from rigs in Malaysian waters, require ‘in-country’ services for the contracts undertaken there. In Indonesia in-country servicing is critical to being awarded national contracts, a common scenario in the developing world.
One of the key benefits of ATPI Marine & Energy's service is its flexibility, providing clients with what they want and need for their particular business.
During exploratory visits to Seadrill offices, ATPI Marine & Energy therefore took into account how existing suppliers were performing and sometimes adopted them as partners where their service was meeting Seadrill objectives. An example is in Bangkok, where Seadrill still has the support it needs locally but combined with the corporate back-up of a global company.
ATPI Marine & Energy also highlighted that in Vietnam one of the rigs still had dealings with a travel agent in Houston. The 12 hour time difference inevitably delayed travel requests, which was impractical for an offshore business where fast response is fundamental. Now the team is happy dealing with a local ATPI Marine & Energy office in the same time zone, giving continuity of service.