Around the World in 80 Trades: Add Energy

Around the World in 80 Trades: Add Energy

Add Energy Asset and Integrity Management combines engineering, consultancy and software solutions to aid performance, integrity and safety within the oil and gas sector. The company works internationally and has analysed over 900 assets in 27 countries worldwide.

Founded in 2004 as an oil services company, with clients including Shell and Rolls Royce, the company was sold to Add Energy in 2009, which included a staff level of 16 and an annual turnover of just over £1m.

Since 2009, Add Energy Asset and Integrity Management has emerged stronger from the oil and gas downturn that the industry faced and continues to face, with annual revenue of £3.3m and doubling its workforce.

The company has now been exporting for 12 Years, and currently trades in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.

Afia Shah from Add Energy told BQ: “Add Energy has internally developed many software products to deliver effective and timely solutions for clients across asset integrity, safety and performance.

“Our software solutions are incorporated almost every project that we deliver, therefore is a prominent aspect within the business plan as a whole.

“We decided to support the overseas because wanted to transfer our knowledge from the North Sea market. We believe that when we deal with the overseas markets, there is a certain willingness to learn and improve upon practices and procedures.”

Exporting was a natural part of business for Add Energy, so they started exporting as soon as the business began. Shah continued: “Our trade has always been at least 80% of business being overseas, and so exporting was only a natural fit to us.

“The easiest part about exporting is the confidence in our services. Most of our new clients overseas come from previous client referrals, and so this makes the process of exporting abroad relatively seamless.

“We also believe that building relations with clients once we have made the initial contact and open the door to communication, is certainly the easiest part about building a relationship with the client. Our services have been welcomed from various cultures globally as they have a common interest – a keenness to improve and develop business.”

Even for a company that is experienced in international business, there have been challenges along the way, but Shah explained that most challenges can be overcome with the right preparation in place. He said: “The most challenging aspect is constantly dealing with new legal requirements, tax laws, and the vast amounts of red tape involved in selling in overseas markets. There is also a risk of non-payment in developing countries, which has largely been mitigated through export guaranteed systems.

“Naturally, this is something that we have been prepared for, especially when dealing with companies on a global level, with varying cultural requirements. We have overcome this by using language to create a common understanding of our business standards.”

Add energy’s advice to other companies is to remember that while exporting is worthwhile, it is important to make sure that exporting is right for the company, Shah said: “Don’t expect quick results, and make sure you invest appropriately in order to get maximum impact - remember, it is a marathon and not a sprint!”