An Interview with… Richard Drake, Head of Business Development
Richard Drake joined OSL in late 2014 as our new Head of Business Development. A Chartered Chemical Engineer with sixteen years’ industry experience and five years as an engineering consultant, his career has taken him to Germany, the USA and South East Asia. Since his role at OSL began, Richard has focused on our commercial development, working closely with Proposals Coordinator Sarah Weldon to offer smart solutions to a range of clients across the gas and oil sectors.
In this interview, Richard explains how OSL approaches projects, solves problems and, ultimately, delivers affordable solutions that adhere to our philosophy of Clever Thinking.
What are OSL's capabilities?
OSL has capabilities across all of the engineering disciplines – Process, Mechanical and EC&I, as well as Civil and Structural. These can be applied to either a specific specialist service, or integrated into a project that tends to be multidiscipline.
Our energy projects cover Conceptual Studies through to FEED and Detailed Design. At this point, we also have additional services that can be added, such as procurement and construction management.
What are the key factors that OSL takes into account when managing a project?
It is crucial to OSL that we take the customer’s view and workload into account when looking at managing our projects. Whilst we pride ourselves on our strong team roster as well as our long-term contracting staff, we also need to make sure to look at the customer’s specific requirements and the rationale behind the project. By understanding these needs and planning accordingly, we can adhere to the time/cost/quality triangle.
As any good engineering house will tell you, understanding the customer’s needs has to come hand in hand with the right technical expertise. Only then will the delivered product fulfil all demands.
How do OSL's engineers ensure that a quality solution is delivered on time?
The key starting point is the planning stage, which comes directly after we’ve built the proposal for the customer. The planning stage allows us to add the detail from the scope of work into the project schedule, which in turn allows us to know who we need and when during the project lifecycle. This keeps us on time whilst enabling the ability to track the project throughout.
Who would you say are the most influential people in OSL at the moment?
It would be easy to say the engineering teams and their leaders, but I think there are a lot of influential stars behind the scenes. As a growing business, our Finance Department is dealing with higher volumes of workload and an expanding staff force, which they are managing efficiently to keep everything running smoothly.
We now also have a Proposals Team, and there is a definite increase in the number of proposals we’re sending out to customers, all of which are issued on time. Additionally, our support technical teams, such as Quality and Document Control, have a great volume of work to cover, which I believe is influencing the growth of the business as we explore new markets.
The combined dedication, ingenuity and meticulousness of these highly skilled professionals means that we can supply plans and projects with unwavering confidence. That confidence is all-important in developing new business whilst maintaining existing relationships.
If you could describe OSL in three words, what would they be?
Responsive. Capable. Professional.