Business View Caribbean interviews Michael Mohammed, Operations Manager of BSI Services, as part of Best practices in Trinidad Business.
BSI Services establishing a quality foothold in Trinidad market
BSI Services (Trinidad) is the Caribbean-based portion of a specialty construction company that’s based in Mountain View, Wyo. and serves clients around the world.
The global entity provides project management for piping, mechanical and civil installations for new construction, renovations and turnarounds, as well as safety, supervisory and engineering training, vessel fabrication, repair and other specialty services. BSI also specializes in safety training and works to OSHA standards 1910 and 1926. Toward that end, it provides safety management teams, compliance officers, inspections, incident investigations with root cause analysis, custom-designed safety programs and rescue and response teams, including high angle and confined space.
Quality is certified to the ISO 9001-2008 standard and work meets ASME standards for fabrication and repair of pressure vessels. Onsite quality assurance and control inspection teams ensure compliance with applicable codes and standards.
The company’s mission statement summarizes the across-the-board commitment to excellence.
We provide quality services for industry worldwide. We fulfill the needs of our clients by creating an environment that promotes pride in workmanship, organizational efficiency and a genuine desire to exceed client expectations. We are committed to total client satisfaction and team member success. By establishing long-term relationships that promote unity, trust, growth and financial stability, we continually strive to enhance the quality of life for client, team members and suppliers.
Worldwide Construction SpecialistsGains toward that ideal are made by a company-wide mandate to communicate with clients to ensure they’re provided what they need, partner with clients, suppliers and team members, maintain a safe, clean and well-organized work environment, promote team member involvement, open communication and opportunity for personal growth and advancement and maintain financial stability by adding value to services and reducing unnecessary costs.
The mandates align with a corporate philosophy that expects honesty, values integrity, encourages creativity and promotes self-reliance. The culture of teamwork and perpetual improvement yields the highest-quality, on-time service in the industry and perpetuates the belief that by seeking excellence, success becomes a long-term journey and not a short-term destination.
The Trinidad-based operation has undergone some transition since the early days. It was branched off as a wholly-owned limited liability subsidiary in 2001.
“The company started to do more project management, and in 2006 we got ISO 9001-certified and at that point we went into more fabrication,” said Michael Mohammed, operations manager of the Trinidad facility. “It really started off as more of a safety supply business, then into safety management training, project management and services and then into welding and fabrication.”
The local workforce consists of around 40 employees, and the company’s two-acre headquarters campus includes a both a maintenance and a fabrication ship, in addition to a 10,000 square-foot administrative building. Services are offered primarily on the island of Trinidad, though work has been done on an infrequent basis outside the country on other nearby islands in the region.
Most of the revenue comes from turnaround projects, Mohammed said, which necessitates an occasional ramp-up in staff numbers to as high as 300 or 400 workers. The majority of work comes from clients involved in the oil and gas industry – primarily Atlantic LNG, BPTT, Wood Group PSN – and largely involves onshore and offshore maintenance services.
“What sets us apart is the affiliation with a U.S. company,” Mohammed said. “We had close to 30 ex-pats in Trinidad (during a specific project management stint for Atlantic Energy) over that period that were full time in Trinidad, managing and doing a lot of coaching and mentoring to the local staff. So a lot of the guys know, are fully aware of and have worked alongside the BSI staff.”
Worldwide Construction SpecialistsMohammed’s colleague, HSSE Manager Larry Gocool, agreed that the alliance helps a great deal.
“We have the availability of the latest technology programs for cost-tracking, scheduling, as opposed to the local competitors that we have down here,” he said. “We even send some of our employees to the U.S. and we put them in OSHA schools and give them a lot of training. That’s what actually defers BSI from the rest of the local competitors.”
The Trinidad operation maintains an organizational structure for each project that mandates inclusion of three ex-pats on board to help local staff with management, which has traditionally yielded particularly high marks on safety, quality and productivity. As for particular challenges in the market that those in the U.S. or other places might not face, a skilled labor force is clearly the top item.
That gap, however, is bridged by BSI’s provision of applicable training before workers get to the job sites. That helps overcome the skills deficit created by the lack of available trade schools in the country. The absence of those schools means workers traditionally come into the industry on a lower level and are forced to learn on the job as trade helpers until they progress.
“We take the employees ahead of time and we provide that training for them,” Gocool said. “For the last turnaround that we had to do at Atlantic LNG, we were doing fabrication-type training and welding training at our office to bring them up to speed. Once they were qualified by BSI, we knew they would be able to rep the company and bring that skilled labor that we are looking for.”
Plans for creation of a specific training division within the company are under way, Gocool said, which would involve BSI offering its training services to other contractors in the region to get workers up to speed on OSHA courses and other mandatory issues. In fact, the company is seeking a relationship with Houston-based NSL America – a 50-person company that works worldwide to improve safety in lifting and mechanical handling operations and related subjects – to assist with implementation of the training initiative.
Further out, the agenda includes items related to further establishing itself on many fronts.
“There is a lot of work out there,” Mohammed said. “BP has wells that they are drilling offshore, and these are high-pressure wells. There’s a great opportunity for us. We have a lot of contracts in the U.S. as well, so we will be using the Trinidad facility to assist with fabricating pressure vessels and exporting pressure vessels.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: BSI Services (Trinidad) Ltd.
WHAT: Specialty construction company providing project management for piping, mechanical and civil installations for new construction, renovations and turnarounds, along with safety, supervisory and engineering training, vessel fabrication, repair and other specialty services
WHERE: Port of Spain, Trinidad