President’s Corner: Survival in the downturn

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President’s Corner: Survival in the downturn

I was recently interviewed on KPRC 950’s Texas Business Radio about surviving the downturn and was asked how we are handling this latest price reduction in commodities. Since Billy Pugh Company is so connected to the offshore oil and gas business, when it gets a cold…we sneeze.   As the commodity prices for oil and gas have dropped so has rig counts, construction and spending of all kinds. Many of our customers are struggling to stay afloat and we are struggling along with them.

We have had to cut back as well on expenditure of all kinds and re-think every dollar that we spend. In some ways it’s an opportunity to get better and leaner when the “anticipated” recovery happens….whenever that will be.

The most difficult part of this downturn was the layoff that we were forced to have. Many of the fine people had been with us for over twenty years and my fervent hope is that we can call most if not all of them back in the future. We are not only trying to reduce our operating costs but also to work with our customers and end users to see if there are ways to work together for mutual benefit.

We are also looking at new products, new ideas (such as the new 8 year refurb plan) and emphasizing potential new customers such as the tanker industry. Our business in Europe is the only sector we have that is showing increases in growth and we are fortunate to have this occurring during this downturn in our traditional business.

We also hope that our emphasis on secondary products will also pay off when this downturn eases. It should position us well.

In terms of what’s on the horizon for offshore oil and gas? That’s a tough one. Most “experts” I read about say that 2017 will see an upturn in the business. I hope that they are right. My concern though is where were the experts who predicted oil below $40.00 when it was over $100.00. If there were any, they were “very quiet”.

Our management style has always been to manage the company in preparation for the next downturn. Well now that it’s here we feel well positioned for it and hope that it won’t’ last long!

We at BPC will continue to provide the best quality safety products available; we will not compromise on quality even in these challenging times. We will continue to work with and listen to our customers and our distributors and we hope to be able to work together to make it to the other side of these difficult times.

To listen to the full interview from KPRC 950’s Texas Business Radio, click here.