By Dan Munro, Owner and Managing Director at PJ Valves
This year we received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade, in recognition of our overseas growth and export strategy. We have been acknowledged and commended for our work in creating an international business. But that is just the start – we feel we still have a long way to go.
When it comes to international trade, many may dip a toe in the water, but if you jump in with both feet how do you ensure you swim rather than sink?
Here’s our guide to surviving in uncharted waters…
Carefully navigate your way
Our ambition to increase our overseas reach came about due to our strong relationship with our customers. The majority of our clients are international – they wanted to lean on our knowledge and skills to help them prosper in an international market. But even so, before diving in we took time toanalyse these markets, especially in the US where we worked extensively with clients to understandthe opportunities and barriers of entering these new territories. Indeed, our main success to date has been the US where we have seen tremendous growth in our team and client base.
Make use of local knowledge
As we have travelled we have learnt a great deal along the way. In Singapore, we have immersed ourselves in the structured business culture where long hours and commitment to the industryshines through. From working with partners in the US, passion and chemistry with clients is a largepart of the business, which has furthered our understanding as to what being a supplier is all about.Such an array of approaches has allowed us to understand our markets more, whilst blossoming as acompany ourselves. But it’s not all been a one-way street – we have made savings for our clients, inplaces they may not have looked before.
Staying the course…
The continuous fluctuation of the oil price has led many companies to cut their workforce and rein ingrowth. At PJV we decided to commit to the wider oil market with the belief that we could increaseour support to clients in this harsh environment. We understand the pressures our customers faceon a global scale and have adapted our pricing models to reflect current market conditions.
Making the most of your investment
Investing in manufacturing facilities in India and Italy and expanding our global teams has allowed usto provide a more tailored product and service. Owning our own factories means we can offercompetitive prices and have control over the design process – delivering a more streamlined andvalue-adding service by collaborating with our customers every step of the way. This has bolsteredour international growth dramatically and allowed us to create technical advantages for ourcustomers.In fact, it is this commitment to investing in our factories, alongside our global outlook that havebeen significant factors in winning this accolade.
So having taken the plunge where do we go from here?
We want to continue to expand our teams, focusing on quality, especially in North America and AsiaPacific and look to develop new locations near to our customers. Our aim is to ensure we recruit andretain the best talent, and keep learning from these international markets, which will allow us toflourish even more as a business.Winning the Queen’s Award gives us even more motivation to keep pushing in these internationalmarkets and to become even better in places where we are already established. So, we’ve learnedthat even if the water doesn’t look quite right, you might want to try it out after all....
A partnership between pipes and valves; where did it all begin for PJ Piping (PJP)? We launched in 2016 as an offshoot of our parent company, PJ Valves (PJV). Located in Houston, TX, we specialise in pipe fittings, flanges and other piping components to the oil and gas, petrochemical and desalination sectors.
With the oil and gas industry not as prosperous as it once was, many manufacturers and suppliers have had to re-evaluate their vision. Instead of cut backs PJV decided to expand and diversify its product range. What would customers want? They required valves and piping so why not offer both? This maximised the supply chain value for clients and created a successful new area of business in a harsh economic climate.
In just a year we have more than doubled our team. All our staff have experience in working within the supply chain and understand the challenges operators and contractors face. We collaborate and consult with our customers. It is a supplier and manufacturer relationship not just a one-off deal.
This collaborative approach – one built on partnership – has increased our work within the offshore oil and gas industry in particular. It’s a rarity in the current economic environment and something we are proud of. Our offshore technical expertise and quick delivery time has allowed PJP to be a healthy competitor. Continued activity in downstream projects has also supported our growth as PJP has been supplying piping for petrochemical plants and oil refineries. But with success always comes a challenge.
Not just a challenge for PJP, but for the oil and gas industry as a whole. It has been increasingly difficult to keep up with the movement within the sector, which has a direct effect on the supply chain in regards to the shift of personnel. Old relationships become new ones, and we have to prove ourselves all over again. But we have learnt to adapt and work alongside our clients - we are aware of the pressures they face.
An example of our unique approach was our work on an offshore platform in Mexico, where we assisted a major contractor in solving a problem for a US$454 million contract. For the project to be successful a specific requirement had to be met. A corrosion test on the piping material was required to certify its compliance with current standards. This was so technically challenging that other subcontractors were unable to overcome this obstacle. Using our team of experts, we were able to supply the operator with the data, proving the specification standard had been achieved. All this was carried out before PJP was awarded any contract with this project. The result? A project prevented from delay and expense. Not bad for the new kids on the block.
Well, not exactly… PJV has been manufacturing and supplying valves to energy projects globally since 1976. Our experience means that we can afford to take long term views and invest in the development of our products. With PJP, we look to a future where the PJ Group can continue to expand globally. Together, we look forward to the next year and many more to come....
PJ Valves are proud to feature in the EIC’s survive and thrive report. Our efforts to fight against the extended period of low oil prices have been noted for export, innovation and optimisation.
The EIC Survive and Thrive initiative was borne out of CEO Stuart Broadley’s efforts to meet with as many EIC member companies as possible during his first few months in post.
Within his first 120 days he had met with 120 EIC members. These organisations’ determination to ‘stay in the game’, and even to prosper and grow, in spite of, and increasingly because of the challenging markets was truly inspiring.
From these early meetings, it became apparent that there were common factors that led to their success. The EIC realised that if these strategies and best practices were identified and shared with the wider industry they could help UK businesses to flourish, even during the downturn.
In-depth interviews during February and March 2017 were organised with 26 EIC member companies, a representative sample of companies ranging from small UK-only SMEs to Tier 1 EPC companies with thousands of workers spread across the globe - and representing all segments of the energy industry: oil and gas, power, nuclear and renewables....
Award recognises company’s international trade achievements
Hertford, UK, 25 April 2017: PJ Valves (PJV), the specialist manufacturer and supplier of valves for the global energy industry, has been selected to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade, in recognition of its overseas growth and export strategy.
Announced annually in April to coincide with HM the Queen’s birthday, the prestigious awards honour outstanding achievements in international trade, innovation and sustainable development by UK companies. Hertford-headquartered PJV’s innovative approach to valve supply and its exceptional US growth against the backdrop of the oil downturn were key factors in its award win. PJV will accept the award at a Royal reception hosted at Buckingham Palace by HM the Queen later this year.
Dan Munro, group managing director at PJV, says:
“We’re tremendously proud to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. This highly regarded honour not only recognises the hard work of our global teams, but reinforces our customer first strategy. Identifying new markets and really committing to these has been key to our success – supporting our growth throughout the oil industry downturn.”
PJV has offices in Hertford, UK, Houston, USA and Singapore alongside manufacturing facilities in India and Italy. The company operates globally with 85 per cent of its international trade with North America and Asia Pacific.
Download the full press release here
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Notes to editors
PJ Valves is the specialist manufacturer and supplier of valves to the global energy industry. Since its foundation in 1976, the company has been focused on understanding project specifications and development to deliver the right solutions, at the right price, at the right time. The company is headquartered in Hertford, UK with offices in the United States and Singapore.
EIC interview Dan Munro
Following a period of expansion and growth for PJV the EIC caught up with Dan Munro, Group Managing Director to find out more. Dan was able to provide insight into how PJV are helping customers to save money on projects when they need it most.
The article also discusses PJV’s expansion into the Singapore market where we have won several major awards and the expansion of manufacturing capability in Italy and India. However, possibly the most exciting new development for PJV is the addition of PJ Piping to Group allowing the business to offer a complete Pipe, Valves & Fittings (PVF) offering to our customers. Read the interview below.
One-to-one with Dan Munro, Group Managing Director of PJ Valves Group.
PJ Valves (PJV) manufactures and supplies specialist valves for oil and gas projects and applications globally. Its product range meets complex specifications for major international end users.
The industry is now coming to terms with lower for longer oil prices. What products and services are PJ Valves offering to maximise efficiencies and enhance production?
The prolonged downturn has meant operators have had to reduce project costs to attract investment. End users have called on every part of the supply chain to support this process by reducing their prices. A major challenge for project teams is sourcing and buying cost-effective valves without compromising on quality. At PJV we have approached this challenge by working closely with project teams to understand their requirements in detail. We then work with our raw material suppliers to develop low cost solutions. For example, PJV recently saved a customer USD $1.5m on an FPSO project by challenging the project specifications leading to a change of valve choice. Another area where PJV can enhance operational efficiencies is documentation – building our documentation around our customers’ needs. This can be a big time saver – for client project teams.
You’ve recently opened offices in Singapore and before that in Houston. Why have you chosen to expand into these markets and what have been the challenges of doing so?
Our strategy is a global territory model, which means our teams work in close geographical proximity to our customers and provide in time zone support. Our customers benefit from our global project knowledge, which can make a big difference to both the cost of our valves (as we leverage economies of scale) and the performance of valve supply, which we customise for specific project needs.
You’ve worked with massive operators, perhaps most recently with Maersk Oil on the Culzean project. What advice can you give to other EIC members on working with such big companies?
We’ve found that our global territory model and building relationships with project teams are key to success on large projects. It’s no longer enough just to offer a good price or smooth project delivery – operators need and expect very robust technical and commercial support, particularly during early project stages. As the project moves through various approval stages there are often many stakeholders and moving parts. We work closely with different project stakeholders to respond quickly to – and sometimes even predict – changing product or service needs.
What do the next 12 months have in store for PJ Valves?
We’ve recently launched our PJ Piping division in Houston supplying a range of specialist pipe fittings, flanges and other piping components. The PJ Group now offers the market an integrated pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) supplier process and we’re looking forward to building that business across the Americas and further afield. Customers have so far voted with their orders – it has been a very strong start to the business as we use the same project-led technical approach for piping. A key focus is building relationships and offices in other key locations, such as the Middle East, where our approach to manufacturing and supplying valves can provide significant cost benefits to EPCs and operators. We are also continuing to invest in new factory facilities – our latest investment in Pune, India, compliments our long standing manufacturing experience in northern Italy. We are looking at the medium-and-long-term and see solid benefits in investing now.
What would surprise other EIC members to learn about PJ Valves? In July 2016 PJ Valves celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Forty years ago on 6th July 1976 – the company consisted of two people working out of a small office near London. Today the group employs approximately 100 people in five global locations. We have developed from a small basic stockist to owning global manufacturing facilities producing valves in complex NORSOK materials. That’s quite a journey. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the ethos of the company. We are experts in our field and the entire organisation is focused on satisfying customer and project needs.
About the EIC:
The EIC is the leading Trade Association providing dedicated services to help members understand, identify and pursue business opportunities globally.Established in 1943, the EIC is a not-for-profit organisation with a membership of over 650 UK-registered companies who deliver goods and services to the energy industries worldwide. The Energy Industries Council publishes a series of informative online news, e-bulletins and in-depth magazines to keep members connected with the world of energy. Including up-to-the-minute news and regional market insights, to expert comment and relevant features, the EIC delivers powerful knowledge direct, while providing members with a media platform to market themselves.
PJ Valves have secured a number of contract awards to manufacture valve packages for a North Sea project currently being constructed in Singapore. This project involves three new platforms and an FSO.
PJV delivers a week early
The first of these packages, which includes manual and actuated ball valves, gate, globe and check valves up to 1500lb – with NORSOK seals, special painting to NACE level III, stringent NDT requirements and additional gas testing, has now been delivered to our customer. PJV has delivered the valves a week early - to specification, painted, tested and with project documentation in place.
Key to our success
PJ Valves Italian operations have been integral in managing manufacture to ensure delivery was maintained for our client in Singapore. As a result of this performance our customer has issued a further order on PJV’s Singapore office for the valves on the FSO section of the project.
PJ Valves APAC Managing Director James Moir said:
“We are delighted to be able to support our valued customer base in Singapore with good delivery performance. PJ Valves strong global interface in key regions combined with our knowledge of project specifications makes us an ideal partner for project valve manufacture on this project and others. We look forward to similar delivery successes for other clients with valves under manufacture, and I would encourage anyone with outstanding scope on the project to engage with us as they are likely to benefit from our experience.”...
PJ Valves (PJV), the specialist manufacturer and supplier of valves to the global energy industry, has been awarded more than £1 million worth of contracts to supply over 1,000 valves to Maersk Oil’s Culzean field in the UK North Sea. PJV will manufacture forged cast gate globe and check valves in super duplex and super alloys for the well head, living and central processing platforms.
The company will also supply wafer check valves to prevent fluid backflow on these facilities. PJV was awarded the contract because of its extensive North Sea experience and specialist Italian manufacturing capabilities, which meet the project’s high standards for quality.
Spencer Linsell, Sales Director at PJV, says:
“We’re delighted to be working on such a historic project. This contract is validation of our global territory model whereby we build relationships with project teams in each region. Furthermore, our European manufacturing expertise in forged steel produces the highest quality of valves for frequent use in the most demanding industry applications.”
The valve package is scheduled to be delivered in 2017. Because of the success of the front-end scope, PJV has subsequently been awarded contracts for the compressor,
metering and water treatment packages. The Culzean gas field is expected to reach a peak production rate of 400 to 500 million standard cubic feet per day, providing for around 5 per cent of the UK's total gas consumption by 2020.
Download the full press release here...
PJ Valves (PJV), the specialist manufacturer and supplier of valves to the global energy industry, has launched a new piping business, PJ Piping (PJP). Located in Houston, TX, the company – operating as part of the PJ Group – will supply specialist pipe fittings, flanges and other piping components to the oil and gas, petrochemical and desalination sectors.
PJP will be led by a core team of Daniel Composto and James Short. Daniel has more than eight years’ experience in piping materials – launching and running the US operations for a global pipe supplier. James joins from PJV where he has spent 11 years working between Europe and North America managing its sales operations.
Dan Munro, managing director and owner of PJV says:
“This launch is important to our overall growth strategy. We can now offer clients a dynamic and complete solution to their valve and piping needs by integrating our two business offerings. We’re excited to harness our experience at PJV to provide operators with a solution that will save them time during the procurement process.”
PJV has launched the company in response to demand in the market for a simplified pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) supplier process. PJP will supply specialized and standard items including heavy wall pipe and exotic grades of pipe and is currently targeting repair and maintenance projects in the Americas.
Daniel Composto, managing director at PJP adds:
“We’re delighted to be launching this new business to the oil and gas, petrochemical and desalination sectors. We can offer a truly specialist service to operators and engineering and procurement contractors, and will always go the extra mile to make sure that we can provide the right solution at the right time.”
PJP is currently recruiting for roles in its projects and operations departments in Houston, TX....
In the face of a sub $50 barrel and uncertainty over improvement, deepwater oil projects and complex gas facilities worth a total of $200bn have been cancelled or put on hold worldwide in recent times.
Against this backdrop, there is the need for those developing projects to reduce capex and operating costs, despite the technical challenges of increasingly adventurous E&P locations and stringent environmental and H&S regulation.
PJV’s manufactured product offers full compliance with End User specifications. Our technical expertise, global reach, and focus on lean manufacture offer industry leading delivery times and cost advantages that means we are ideally placed to support project supply chains for Oil and Gas developments. Recent project successes and maintenance of a strong order book are testament of customer recognition in the quality of our product and associated services....
We are pleased to announce that Hugh Bisset has been appointed as the new Director of our PJV Americas office in Houston, Texas.
After being with PJ Valves for 8 years, Hugh successfully led the initial development of our office in Singapore, and now aims to further develop the support that we provide for our customers in America.
Hugh said, “I am delighted to be joining our strong team in the Lone Star state. We have an ambitious plan, in a challenging market - one that I am excited to lead.” Please feel free to contact Hugh if you have any queries - firstname.lastname@example.org...
In July, PJV celebrated the 30 year anniversary of Richard Newton, Materials Manager, joining PJ Valves.
Steven Charles, Managing Director, said of Richard’s employment “Richard joined PJV initially on 2 weeks work experience in 1985 before accepting a long term position with the company. Over that time, Richard has seen the company move office twice, grow considerably and move into manufacturing our own product.
Richard’s longevity is an amazing achievement and he has a few more years left in the tank yet – he may need an oil change though.”...
PJ Valves, APAC was set up in Singapore early 2015 to offer our product, expertise and service within the Asia Pacific region. The market is very mature and well established so to move into the market place and be successful PJV had to be able to offer something different and extra to the customers. By introducing our technical expertise, values and attitudes to the region PJV have seen significant order wins for our manufactured product through major projects, both onshore and offshore.
APAC Managing Director, James Moir said, “PJV have assisted customers in understanding stringent specifications and in doing so driven significant cost savings to clients, and as such, are delighted to have had such a strong start in the region.”...