Workforce Logistics – The new sharing economy

Whether we are in New York, London or any other big city, sharing-economy companies such as Uber and Airbnb are now the norm.  These transportation and accommodation suppliers have demonstrated new options for less expensive supply and readily available inventory globally.

The resource sector has also embraced the “sharing” model likely out of need and cost control. Most progressive Oil & Gas & Resource companies employ best in class processes and performance tools such as Kaizen or Six Sigma to expose the waste and inefficiency.  This need to right size and improve cost processes is even more critical during this period of oil price volatility in the industry.

Therefore, we have now seen a large strategic shift in development for supply of services and goods in both onshore and offshore operations.   This entails the sharing of assets such as helicopters to charter airplanes or even shuttles among companies.  Such a classic example is the Bp Alaska and ConocoPhillips operations sharing of B737-700 services.  The mixed workforces share the jets to rotate to/from the various camps and job sites in Northern Alaska.

A similar model is growing in accommodations such as the growing offshore rigs or barges configured as floating hotels with all facilities including helipad, docking and medical resources.   Onshore, more camps or lodges cater to multiple companies seeking accommodations and services in the new “open camps” model.

Aviation Workforce Logistics is also changing with the sharing of heavy helicopters out of major markets such as Aberdeen, UK.  Similarly, out of Calgary, Canada, more aviation companies are sharing the typical workhorse Dash 8-300 to B1900 with multiple companies on specialty charter FIFO operations.

The bottom line is that companies must improve their operating-model basics by bolstering levels of efficiency and execution of service delivery models, pursuing sourcing and procurement savings to get the lowest prices from suppliers, eliminating waste and continuing to flatten organizational designs.

Not every company will survive the transition or new norm.   Suppliers and/or operators who do not conform may likely be “gobbled up” or even go bankrupt. Regardless of timing, this post-boom environment will make 2016 a year of cutting costs, streamlining operations, increasing M&A activity, restructuring, and focusing on geographies where break-even points are low enough to sustain profitability.