Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Focusing on Growth and Sustainability of Market; NOF ENERGY iN ASSOCIATION WITH

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Focusing on Growth and Sustainability of Market; NOF ENERGY iN ASSOCIATION WITH

Article excerpt

WHILST oil and gas is our biggest market by far, we've always had a strong position in the provision of niche engineering design and analysis services to the nuclear and offshore renewables market sectors too.

So whilst, like many, we've seen a reduction in the average order size and a lengthening in the time it takes to get an oil and gas order 'over the line' due to the increased scrutiny on spend, by having a presence in these other two energy sectors we've been cushioned to some extent from the adverse effects of the recent downturn in the oil and gas market.

We as a business have a strong desire to continue to grow and we want that growth to be sustainable. To me, the sustainable piece of the growth equation comes from establishing a prominent position in a number of key areas, as opposed to being a dominant player in only one.

Our goal is to provide engineering expertise in at least three niche skill set areas, in at least three different markets, across at least three separate regions; the idea being that if one niche skill set area, market or region is down, then we can 'take up the slack' as it were in the other two skill set areas, markets or geographical regions.

It means that we need the best people who have a thirst for change and can adapt to an ever changing landscape and it means that we need to run an agile business where we can make good decisions, fast.

In my view, diversification done well mitigates your risk, it fuels your growth and it enhances your profitability. However, diversification done badly will have the opposite effect, so I'd proceed down the diversification route with a large degree of meaning and purpose, but it should be underpinned by a balanced dose of sound research and caution.

When you look to break into a new market, I guess you could take one of two approaches; one would be the 'revolutionary approach' where you develop a new product or a new service that is fundamentally different to what you've done in the past and you apply it to a brand new application area. …

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