At BVG Associates (BVGA) we are well known for our business strategy advice to the wind industry, covering areas such as corporate transitions, supply chain analysis, and international industry development.
We also bring that strategic approach into the operational phase , where we advise our clients on a variety of key issues facing the industry today, such as through life management, organisational structures, transitioning to larger portfolios, level of in-housing, etc.
A crucial part of strategy advice is finding a common language with your client. The words and assumptions with which you frame the business challenges and associated advice are an essential cornerstone of that trusted relationship between consultant and client.
For collaborations in the operational phase, we are increasingly leveraging the concepts developed in the ISO 55001 standard for Asset Management (previously PAS 55). The standard outlines six core areas:
- Performance, and
We carefully select the pertinent parts from each to suit the specifics of a project, narrowing down on the key concepts that are relevant to what a client is trying to achieve.
Practical application of strategic thinking
Our client was revising its long-term strategy for its operations and maintenance (O&M) activities in offshore wind (OSW). It was seeking to pursue a self-operator model, with its portfolio on course to treble in capacity in the next seven years.
BVGA was engaged to review and validate findings on recent and future O&M market trends, and the impact these have on the client’s revised strategy. Our client wanted to examine the data, skills and technology solutions that will be crucial to successfully implementing its ambitions for a proactive O&M mindset, such as preventative maintenance and through-life management of asset integrity and reliability.
We approached the work in two phases:
- An outward looking review of the market, and
- An inward looking review of the client, its corporate structure, and its methods of operation.
Looking outward at the wider offshore wind (OSW) context, we considered other large offshore wind developers/owners, offshore wind contractors, potential O&M disruptors and O&M in other industries where reliability and maintainability are critical. Starting with the six core parts of ISO 55001, we created a matrix of cross-functional areas so that we could present a strategic analysis of the industry using a framework that used ISO 55001 at its core but which was directed at addressing our client’s specific objectives. These will of course be different for every project, but in this example they were:
- In-housing vs Outsourcing – breaking down the key areas of O&M, establishing the attractiveness of each to in-housing, based on our client’s O&M philosophy and relationships with key parts of the supply chain.
- Centralising and standardising – presenting the opportunities and risks of centralising what was a relatively devolved portfolio, referring to wider industry experience and aligning with our client’s internal structures.
- Cross-functional collaboration – assessing the internal structures within the client’s corporation, highlighting where functional barriers were hindering progress on their wider O&M agenda.
- Supplier relationships – comparing with wider industry trends, and assessing the impact of changing supply chain dynamics, we identified areas within their supplier base where the current relationship assumptions needed to be re-assessed to provide our client with greater resilience as they expanded their portfolio globally.
- Approach to risk – related to the supplier relationship assessment, we recommended specific areas in which a change to their traditional treatment of risk could provide significant operational improvements.
- Supply chain disruption – we assessed our client’s resilience to disruptive change within the supply chain, highlighting areas where an over-reliance on specific operational methods or on specific supplier relationships contributed to potential future weaknesses.
- Technology and innovation – we reviewed the impact that their internal innovation department was having, if it was achieving the right balance of internal vs external collaboration, and whether its primary areas of focus were aligned with our client’s future operational ambitions.
The result of the project was a detailed analysis of our client’s strengths and development areas as they start implementing their growth strategy through the rest of the decade. We presented this to their board, recommending a set of key actions that would future-proof their resilience to both planned and unplanned changes in the industry and within their supply chain.