James Mann Traits
The following elements, in my opinion, are key to bringing growth and success to a business. I am a degree qualified Mechanical Engineer with a strong background in Design for Excellence which is a philosophy of ensuring a product design is optimised for manufacture, build, test, operation and service. I have led many differing types of developments globally often in response to local requirements.
Leader and Mentor – I have provided strong leadership in my previous roles, giving clear direction when required and ensuring an open environment for communication and celebration of our successes and also in the areas for improvement. I have built up trust and respect within my previous organisations and ensure that everyone is involved. I have an open door policy to allow those who feel their voice is not being heard to express themselves. I have also provided mentorship to those who both seek it but also to those who may not realise their true potential. In this I take pride in one of my old PM’s now being the MD of a subsea service organisation, after bringing his career back on track after being demoted due to performance issues.
Business Strategy for growth – I have an open mind to the challenges I have faced and built strategies to address those organisational challenges. At Aker the margin available was limited due to the high cost of the product and a market that had a low sell price from more established suppliers. By putting in Frame agreements for machining and welding and focussing on cost reductions we were able to reduce the sell price and increase the margin allowing a more competitive product for clients looking for exploration wellheads. In addition, the market was not aware of our product line. I used the opportunity of a new set of products to drive a marketing initiative to get the message to a wider portfolio of operators that Aker supplied Subsea Wellheads, these initiatives included supporting the development team to submit the new product for the ONS awards in 2010 for which the product was shortlisted. Although the team did not win the award it certainly raised the profile. In addition we generated marketing collateral on our products and their benefits and took this to a wide range of large international Operators (Total, Petronas, Petrobras, Chevron, Pemex, Shell) and also local smaller operators (Tullow, Rockhopper, JSC Zarubezhneft, Origin Energy) through Akers Regional Product Owners, this in addition to providing a wider range of services to which were previously not supplied, e.g. direct off shore support for running equipment, providing technical support for our products at DWOPs, Hazip through bringing on experienced off shore technicians into the product organisation; allowed us to start to bring in additional revenue from areas that were not historically open to the Subsea wellheads business. This resulted in a 4 fold increase in revenue between 2010 and 2012. Lastly I have also provided due diligence (technical) as part of the M&A process when NCR acquired a competitor in 2005. I have also provided a potential new Acquisition opportunity with Aker, although this to date has not progressed. The ability to look for opportunities to grow a business (products and or services) and to look at new areas for growth in not so obvious markets, are key.
Results orientated – I have a strong commercial trait and always looking at ways to grow revenue and reduce operational, product and service costs to allow for greater flexibility in a competitive market. I have also pushed the team to be clear on their contractual requirements and look for opportunities to increase project revenues and reduce margin erosion based on clients’ changes via increased VO profiles and strict change management. At Aker my initiatives allowed for a 40% reduction on product cost. In bringing in new revenue opportunities via new products and services from a wider range of operators has increased revenue 4 fold over the period 2010 to 2012. In establishing and growing the business a clear understanding of the cost base and overheads to achieve results are key to ensuring continued investment within the business for growth.
Innovation – I have always looked for innovation in product, process and service. From a background of product development I have continued to ensure new products are covered by appropriate IP to allow for protection but also to serve as a potential revenue stream via licensing or sale of IP. Sell price structuring is another area where I have used potential tax breaks on R&D to allow for further reduction in sell price costs to have a more competitive position. New ideas for breaking into new markets continue to bring rewards in terms of new revenue streams such as proving subsea wellheads to the exploration market, which was a new market for Aker due to the focus on EPC. I believe I can bring a wide range of skills to any business and further develop their organisation into a strong results orientated leader in the market and I relish the opportunity to further my career with companies that share my approach.