Andrew Dann talks to Mogens Tofte Koch about the formation of DMOG and how the organisation has championed the cause of Danish oil and gas service providers for close to 15 years ‘Together we are strong!’ was the guiding principle behind the foundation of the Danish Marine & Offshore Group (DMOG), when the association was established during 2001. The association was founded by Offshore Denmark; an organisation that plans and executes joint Danish export drives with national pavilions at important international offshore exhibitions. To establish DMOG Managing Director of Offshore Denmark, Mogens Tofte Koch, worked in conjunction with key Danish companies supplying into the offshore and marine sectors of the oil and gas industry. The fundamental idea behind the establishment of DMOG was the development of industry networks and to raise the profile of its member companies both within Denmark, as well as the wider European and international markets.
Mogens has significant experience in understanding the importance of international exhibitions like Offshore Europe and others, as well as the challenges, concerns and opportunities facing the companies that attend the shows. “DMOG started when some of the exhibitors present at some of the big shows in the offshore industry thought that it might be a good idea to meet in between events to share information regarding the market, begin collaborations or simply to share knowledge and gain advantages through the synergies between them,” he explains. “Today the association is actually made of a mix of different companies such as service companies; producers of single products; and components and producers of systems – meaning complete turnkey units. We also have consultancy companies involved, but all of them together are suppliers to the offshore industry.”
Acting as Managing Director of both Offshore Denmark and DMOG, Mogens has headed the association since its inception. In the years since it was first incorporated DMOG membership has swelled from 17 founding members to 120 active members, which taking into account the association’s broad base of industry applications gives the organisation an impressive knowledge base within the offshore market. Commenting on the growth of DMOG Mogens explains: “At the time of the formation of DMOG there were no associations of this type in Denmark where companies could share views. One of the most important factors in forming the association was that during conversations at exhibitions companies who had previously thought of each other as competitors, quickly found that they had more to offer each other by way of complementary services. The association has grown naturally little by little, because we are basically a low cost association and it is largely through word of mouth that we grow. For example, when a member meets a client or company that they think may benefit from membership of the association, they will contact our secretary and we will then contact the potential member and tell them about the association and its values. Within Demark there could presently be as many as 500 potential members of the association, so there is plenty of potential for DMOG to grow.”
While DMOG is an internationally recognised association that promotes and supports Danish offshore operators, the association is proud of its position as an independent organisation despite working in collaboration with the Danish government. This means that while DMOG works with the Danish government to share information and highlight the needs of its members, it does not receive funding or grants from governing bodies, which enables DMOG to serve its members without hindrance. “We work with the Danish government because it is interested in having pavilions around the world and will actually give a grant to individual companies participating in some exhibitions – especially in areas where there is potential growth for example,” Mogens observes. “The association itself however decided from the very beginning that it would not take government grants, so that it is not in anybody’s pocket. We want to remain as an independent association with our own board of directors. We are a non-profit association and we keep the cost of membership as low as possible so that even a very small company can participate. Our members are presently made up of small, medium and very large companies and we presently offer two membership fees, which are basic and extended and these are not priced according to number of employees, they are priced at a fixed price for all.”
As an informative body operating within the oil and gas industry, DMOG is acutely aware of the issues caused throughout the market by the present low oil price. However while the depressed price of oil has undoubtedly seen a slowdown of operations in some regions, DMOG is on hand to collaborate with its members to provide invaluable support in adapting to the present needs of the market and in preparing for an increase of activity in the future. “We encourage our members to be proactive in developing ways to cope in the present market. Naturally this can involve cutting prices and of course companies should try to be more efficient in their production, however with competitive pricing and efficient technology it is still possible to make a profit in the current market and to prepare for an increase in activity,” from newbuilds to maintenance and service operations to help members meet the current need within the market.”
Looking to the future of the oil and gas market and the way DMOG will continue to support its members, Mogens concludes: “In the short term our focus is really to help our members to find new customers. In the past clients and contractors were so busy that they did not have the time to find new suppliers, but while the market is slow they have the time to evaluate new suppliers ready for the time that the market picks up again. In the longer term our focus will also be to help develop our members and enhance their knowledge through new networks. We promote co-operation in that if a member is in talks with a customer and observes a need for a product or service that another member is able to supply, we encourage them to share information. This is based on building trust, so that our members give something and offer help and in return they too will be helped by other members. It is a network association and we want to make the network stronger.”
Danish Marine and Offshore Group offshore-denmark.com
Issue 125 October 2015