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Vessel Market Analysis, Marketing, Planning & Commercial Strategies

Increasingly DMC are being required to provide backup to both vessel and barge owners, or the owners of operational assets such as diving or ROV systems in terms of analysing the market, planning for a marketing effort, and the creation commercial strategies.

There are times when it takes an outside view of a market and the place in that market for a contractor’s services in order to complete a successful marketing plan or commercial strategy. With our daily brokers view of the market for specialist offshore vessels & barges and sub-sea equipment, statistical analysis using our vessel database, and also via our network of specialist associates, we are able to spot trends, see gaps in the market and pick up on areas of over/under-supply. Often that provides the final piece of the jigsaw for a commercial manager seeking to best present his company’s services to what is becoming an increasingly fickle market. Free of corporate blinkers, an inward focus on specific vessels or equipment, or commercial imperatives (the demands of senior management or stock-holder for good-news), DMC are able to provide a wholly objective picture of a market, and from there are able to propose realistic marketing plans and commercial strategies for the consideration of clients.

A similar requirement exists with the users of contractor’s services, the Hirers and the Charterers of vessels, barges or diving or ROV systems. Here, our clients are looking for a comprehensive and objective overview of a specific market so as to create the best strategy for the procurement of such services. In this instance, DMC are able to define the exact market place, the players, and the resources that the players can offer. This enables a client to better focus their procurement effort. From here we are able to comment on the balance of the market (buyers or sellers market) and market rates, the availability and geographic location of required resources, and then suggest the best means of presenting a request for quotation to the market.

Technical and Operational Problem Solving

Offshore Oil & Gas sub-sea projects often pose complex and taxing technical and operational conundrums. We pride ourselves at DMC Ltd with an ability to innovate new solutions to new technical and operational problems.

We find more often than not, that most problems that occur have usually been previously encountered in the Industry, probably many times. It is our experience that that most operational and technical problems that our clients are faced with can be solved by recalling or researching similar problems from the past, avoiding previous mistakes, building on past successes and applying new innovation where required without any need to re-invent the wheel.

It is also our experience that although the offshore oil and gas business is by definition a frontier industry, it is also one of the most conservative when seeking new solutions to old problems. Sometimes, all that DMC Ltd provide is a new and lateral look at an old problem, and by keeping abreast of new technical developments, materials and innovations that are occurring in the industry, and applying a fresh look at a problem with no preconceptions of “how we have always done it” we can often arrive at a new slant that cures the technical problem or achieves an operational objective quicker and cheaper than previously envisaged.

Tender Preparation

DMC Ltd are increasing called on to provide advice and direction on how best to approach a project from a commercial viewpoint, both from Contractors looking to bid for contracts, and from Operators looking to put contracts out to bid.

We encounter Contractors faced with contracts that they are technically capable of, and who are keen to bid for an RFQ, but who are uncertain about the right approach, especially when faced with an unrealistic or ambiguous Invitation To Tender. By taking an objective view of the client’s requirements, researching the market that is out there to supply the client’s requirements and assessing the availability of the required resources, we are often able to better equip a Contractor to submit a well balanced and commercially viable bid. On occasion, when a high buyer’s market exits or the award to a certain contractor is a foregone conclusion, our input would dissuade a Contractor from expending a large amount of time, money and effort on a particular bid. Conversely, if a seller’s market exists, or our client is an ‘only solution’ we will advise a bullish position.

More and more however, we find ourselves providing alternative contractual solutions to a contracting Impasse whereby ‘Company’ seeks a complete turnkey solution from ‘Contractor’ who is required to assume all risks and liabilities. In the current climate of contractors having sustained heavy losses in the recent past by taking such contracting risks ‘Contractor’ is either unwilling to accept all such risks, qualifies out of such risks, or loads pricing inordinately to ensure that all possible risks are covered. The result is either no bid, a heavily qualified bid or an extremely high bid. DMC Ltd at this point is able to assist in constructing and phrasing a commercially acceptable alternative to the unacceptable ITB contract base-case.

When approaching the same task from ‘Company’s’ point of view, DMC Ltd are able to advise on how best to approach the market and to phrase an invitation to tender to obtain a good, competitive response. When working on such a brief we would endeavor to construct an ITT in such a fashion that it is simple to evaluate the responses. This would achieved by being proscriptive with the response format, but without constraining Company’s ability to be innovative with their bid. DMC Ltd have undertaken this role on behalf of ‘Company’ or the operator several times in the past.


Sale & Purchase

Vessel Sale & Purchase, and Charter Rate Evaluation
As part of our shipbroking services, DMC offer an independent valuation service covering both sale and purchase and charter rates. We provide this service to both owners looking to sell or charter out, and prospective buyers or charterers. DMC tend to use a market based approach to these valuations, and over the years have developed a system which compares adjacent market activity, and then factors in the present and forecast market conditions and the relative condition and capability of the vessel concerned.

Project Management

Project resource procurement, project set-up, management & final reporting.
Clients do not always require complete backup and we are often called on to assist with setting up the initial project management infrastructure and resource procurement, where a contractor might be treading on new ground, or is overstretched in terms of personnel availability. Similarly, DMC has assisted operators with the project set-up and monitoring from ‘Company’s’ perspective.

Resource Management

All too often we find that a project is being either critically under or over specified in terms of the vessels and equipment being contemplated to resource a project. Here we find ourselves restoring a resource balance that brings a nut cracker back into a nut-cracking project, and sends home the sledge hammer or the ‘automated nutshell disintegrity system’. This might sound like common-sense for sale, but in an industry that is so new, so diverse and so dynamic, there are often no tried and tested benchmarks to work from and an outside view is sometimes required to bring perspective to a problem.


Manuals, Procedures and Guidance on Working Practices
DMC have been engaged to produce manuals for several clients in the past. These include complete offshore operations HSQE manual systems, diving manuals, ISM/ISPS code manuals, marine operations manuals, planned maintenance systems and simple project procedures manuals. Typically our clients are of a size who may not have dedicated staff or departments that can attend to such tasks and DMC are brought in as a temporary resource. Via our network of specialist associates, DMC are able to apply specialized knowledge and expertise to this facility, and by this means we are able to bring in safety specialists, marine operations and warranty experts, ISM code specialists and safety case consultants to name but a few. Past experience has shown that the best results are produced by closely managing the design and compilation of a single manual or a complete manual system, and rather than simply commissioning a specialist to create all or part of a manual, we tend to closely manage the aims, objectives format and content of a manual so that elements integrate correctly and fully meet the client brief.