Exploring the Role of Score Danmark AS in the Offshore Industry

Skill seekers

Score Danmark AS is the Danish subsidiary of the global Score Group, a leading provider of valves, welding solutions, surface treatments, subsea assemblies, condition monitoring, engineering consultancy and repair services for the offshore industry.

With operations in more than 40 countries worldwide, the group has offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and both North and South America. The Denmark-based subsidiary is located in the city of Esbjerg and is responsible for servicing not only the local market, but also the whole of mainland Europe. It also works closely with its branch in Qatar, as well as a newly opened subsidiary in Kazakhstan. Established ten years ago with 20 personnel, the group today employs over 1400 staff and more than 250 apprentices globally.

The Score Group’s apprenticeship scheme has earned it many accolades in recent times, including the Scottish Apprenticeship of the Year 2009. Managing director of Score Danmark, Tim Percival, explains how this scheme is used as part of the company’s employment strategy: “We look for young talent that we believe have the right potential and character to become a future manager and we send them out to other countries to gain further experience outside of their normal environment. This is then supplemented by employing people from outside the company who have worked in the industry for up to 30 years as engineers or managers. This allows us to have a perfect balance between home-grown future management and critical external knowledge.”

Whilst the benefits of nurturing fresh talent are obvious, it is a system that also brings with it several challenges. The appeal of further career progression or higher salaries can eventually entice these new employees away from the company, according to Tim: “Sometimes our apprentices are poached by other companies who don’t run their own schemes. Whilst this can be frustrating, we feel that it is vital for companies to try and offer such schemes – otherwise, the talent pool will shrink significantly and this can damage the future of the industry.”

This long-term mentality is also apparent in the Score Group’s approach to its customer relationships, and it has worked with the likes of Maersk and Dong Energy for several years. Tim reveals how such long-term relationships are built: “One of the most important factors in our business strategy is the ability we have to understand the needs of those we work with. By ensuring that we know the clients’ product line inside out, we can provide them with the best possible solution to any problems.”

Whilst the services offered by the Score Group are in high demand, there are still various issues in the industry that have to be contended with. Tim elaborates: “Sometimes it can be quite difficult to persuade an engineer working for an oil company that they may not know best when it comes to a particular product. If a customer comes to us and demands an exact replacement for a broken part, we will look to find out why it broke in the first place before finding a solution that will improve the weak areas. This means our replacements will last much longer and the customer will receive better value for money.”

The wealth of specialist expertise is one of many advantages that the Score Group holds over its competitors, and it is a vital attribute to the company’s ongoing success: “We are able to call upon the support of our mother company when needed and, because of this, we have more core competences than any other valve supplier in the world. This expertise is further enhanced by the fact that we, as a group, also have a larger stock than anyone else in our industry. Having this at our disposal means that, when a client sends us an enquiry we can present them with the best possible solution, and we will refuse to sell them something that we do not deem suitable for their requirements.”

Currently, the Score Group is looking to further expand its operations with an office in Almaty, Kazakhstan and many other countries. Whilst still in its infancy, Tim hopes that this development will eventually help the company secure a foothold in what he believes is an up-and-coming region. He highlights: “Kazakhstan is a huge market with huge potential and it is something that we are looking to invest in for the long-term. By training and employing the Kazakh people we will be able to develop a support structure for the many major players with operations in the country. As with any emerging market, there are challenges that we face – corruption, for instance, is a major problem in some areas. We avoid this by targeting the reputed global companies with an official contract bidding system.”

Whist the Score Group has targeted a strategy of growth for the coming years it has by no means been an easy ride – especially amidst the backdrop of the global recession. Tim discusses some of the difficulties that the industry has been witnessing as of late: “Like many others in our field, we have suffered. Many companies have held back on some of the bigger projects and so there is a lot of work that has essentially been shelved until the economy recovers. With this being said, however, the workshop repair market is still booming and we have been very busy here with critical repair and replacement projects for our clients.“

Now that the situation for financial markets around the world is slowly beginning to improve, Tim foresees an exciting future ahead for the Score Group. He concludes: “We have handled ourselves very well throughout the recession, and we have been able to hang on to all of our best people. We refused to let go of our staff for the sake of improving our profits for the short term, and now I believe that we are in a strong position to take advantage now that the downturn seems to be nearing its end. We are also looking at other potential markets, such as Greenland, which we think will be thriving within the next decade. It is simply a case of using our skills to take advantage of the best opportunities available and, as long as we do this, then the Score Group will be a market leader for years to come.”

Score Danmark AS
Services: Valves, welding solutions and repair services