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How Core Values Drive Success in Midstream Pipeline Construction

Midstream pipeline construction projects are massive undertakings that can stretch for hundreds of miles.  These projects can take years to complete and they can cost millions of dollars per mile to build.  Needless to say, these projects can’t be built by fly-by-night contractors.

To have success in this industry, midstream pipeline construction companies must develop a reputation that sets them apart from other companies.  One of the best ways for them to do this is through developing and cultivating a set of core values.

Core values that help drive success in the midstream pipeline construction industry must always include:

  • Safety
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Reliability
  • Stewardship
  • Loyalty
  • Teamwork
  • Quality
  • Family

Safety in Midstream Pipeline Construction

The oil and gas pipeline industry has become extremely safe over the years.  This didn’t happen by accident.  The reason the industry is so safe is that pipeline construction companies and government agencies have worked together to make it safe.

blankOne of the ways they’ve done this is through the act of prioritizing safety on a day-to-day basis.  Employees are trained to make use of the latest safety standards and practices and they’re given the tools they need to safely complete their jobs.  On top of this, government agencies such as OSHA, FERC, the PHMSA, and the EPA all work together with midstream pipeline companies to ensure that they’re aware of the best safety practices for each job.

For example, OSHA runs large studies to determine the best workplace practices while FERC and the PHMSA analyze industry data to determine the safest methods for transporting oil and natural gas by pipeline.  Additionally, the EPA and local DEPs monitor the environment to alert midstream companies of any environmental challenges before work even begins.

Companies with a safety-first mentality benefit greatly from this oversight and will often exceed the safety requirements that each of these agencies demands.

A company that is focused on safety will often employ a zero-tolerance safety rule.  This zero-tolerance rule ensures that workers who can’t or won’t follow safety protocols do not stay employed for very long.  Leadership helps to enforce this rule from the top down and employees at all levels are encouraged to speak up if they see an unsafe situation about to unfold.  All of these factors combine to help save lives, time, and money.

Honesty in Planning and Fulfilling Pipeline Jobs

It’s difficult to stay in business for very long in this industry without honesty.  Successful midstream pipeline companies will always try to cultivate an atmosphere that is transparent, truthful, and honest.  This all starts with proper planning and forecasting.  After all, how can a company submit an honest timetable to their shareholders if they can’t accurately predict when the project will be complete?

Once the job begins, honesty becomes even more important.  Honest companies know that their workforce must be sincere and ethical or the quality and safety of the work they do could be compromised.  This atmosphere of sincerity and honesty helps the pipeline construction company to develop relationships and to maintain them with ease.

Integrity to Client Needs

Successful midstream pipeline construction companies must have a high level of integrity as well.  But what’s the difference between integrity and honesty?  Isn’t honesty enough?  The difference comes in the way the company acts both on and off the job.  An honest company might admit its mistakes and shortcomings but a company of high integrity won’t make these mistakes in the first place.

The moral and ethical principles of a company of high integrity ensure that a company will go the extra mile to create a safe and profitable pipeline.  A company that doesn’t focus on a high level of integrity will focus more on its own profitability and legal obligations.  This kind of company might do acceptable work, but they’ll never achieve a high level of success in the pipeline construction industry or any other industry for that matter.

Reliability in All Facets of Pipeline Construction

Honesty and integrity are nothing without reliability.  Shareholders need to know that when they hire a midstream pipeline construction company to do a job, they can count on the job to be done.  As stated in Sparklight Business, “reliability in business improves efficiency, customer satisfaction, and general workplace satisfaction”.

This reliability needs to be built into all facets of the job.  Excavators need to know that the tree cutters will have their jobs done before they come to excavate, pipeline fabricators need to know that the excavators will have their jobs done before they come to install the pipes, and so forth.  If one component of the project becomes unreliable, it can have a domino effect that affects the reliability of all other members of the construction crew.

Stewardship of the Land in their Care

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, a midstream pipeline project often runs for many miles and stretches over vast distances of land.  This puts it into contact with many different properties.  Some of these properties are personal properties, some are commercial tracts of land, and some are owned by the government.  Regardless of who owns the land, the company working on it should be a good steward of that land.

A good company will treat the land they work on as if it’s their own backyard.  They’ll work the land safely and efficiently and they’ll leave the site better than it was before they began their work.  This helps foster a good relationship between the pipeline company and the community that it moves its product through and helps make all future projects easier to secure.

Loyalty to Clients, Employees, and Communities

Successful midstream pipeline construction companies must display loyalty to not only their clients but to the communities that they work in as well as the employees who work for them.  Companies who do display this loyalty benefit greatly through increased employee retention rates, better relationships with the communities they work with, and increased business opportunities.

The best way a company can display loyalty to their business partners is by providing the highest quality of service to them.  This means completing the job in the safest, most efficient, and least costly manner.  They’ll do this while simultaneously remaining loyal to their employees by providing them with a safe and rewarding work environment.

They’ll also remain loyal to the communities they work in by being good stewards of their land.  As you can see, values go hand in hand and you can’t offer loyalty without providing all of the core values we’ve discussed thus far.

Teamwork Inside and Outside of their Company

Teamwork is another core value that helps midstream pipeline construction companies become and remain successful.  This teamwork isn’t just limited to the direct employees of the construction company either.  Pipeline construction projects are large in scale and rely on teamwork between many different people, businesses, and organizations.

For starters, the company must work with the government to plan a safe and effective pipeline route.  Once this is complete, the company must work with local communities, businesses, and private landowners to earn the right to use their land.

After this, the company must work with many different contractors and government agencies to do the work needed to complete the project.  When all is said and done, they’ll then need to work with the government to complete their safety inspections and gain approval to begin operations.

Quality of Workmanship and Finished Product

blankIf a company cannot provide quality work, then it should not even attempt to take on a midstream pipeline construction project.  While a project needs to be completed on time and on budget, this isn’t what will be remembered by customers and communities.  What will be remembered is the quality of the work that was done.

Work that is not done to a high standard will not withstand the test of time.  Poor quality work will need a lot of maintenance and a lot of repairs.  In the long run, a high-quality project that takes more money and time to build will always end up being less costly to operate and maintain.  Because of this, quality must be one of the top considerations with each contract.

Family Needs and a Family Culture

Midstream pipeline construction companies frequently need to mobilize their crews for months at a time.  Putting a high value on family emphasizes the need to be considerate to the needs of the families that are involved in these mobilizations.  Pipeline companies will create lodging, relocation, and travel policies that support the family needs of their employees.

blankPeople who have never been involved with the pipeline industry may not know this, but a pipeline project is often a very personal one.  For a project to take place, communities must open up their doors and let companies work on their land.  This doesn’t end after the project is complete either.  A midstream pipeline company may have maintenance crews, repair crews, and inspection teams on their properties for years to come.

Because of this, it’s important to treat these communities like family.  Companies that foster this sense of family within their organizations are in a much better position to do this and these are the companies that communities love to work with.

In Summary

To be successful in the midstream pipeline construction industry, a company must have a defining set of core values that help to guide them.  These values should always include safety, honesty, integrity, reliability, stewardship, loyalty, teamwork, quality, and family.  Without these core values, a company will not be able to thrive or even survive for very long.

Hanging H is proud to nurture our core values among our leadership and employees.  Without this emphasis on core values, we wouldn’t be the company that we are today.  If you would like to work for a company that lives and breathes ethical core values, reach out to us. We are always looking for employees that thrive on the same core values as we do.

March 15, 2019

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