Transitioning from the Traditional: The Development into the Modern Operator

Transitioning from the Traditional: The Development into the Modern Operator

Over the last year, I have witnessed a greater percentage of firms looking to hire individuals into an operations role who have a commercially minded and entrepreneurial mindset.

Traditionally, operators had been hired on the basis that they were able to logistically carry cargo from origin to destination. As systems have improved, hiring patterns have altered with a greater desire to hire based on the ability of individuals to think more critically.

The trend has been particularly prominent within the oil and LNG sectors, whereby candidates that have been hired are often able to extract the most value from a deal by combining operational knowledge and commercial acumen. This work personality type tends to seek and encourage efficiencies within processes and supply chains making the work less resource heavy over time.

These individuals are proactive and are able to work both autonomously and as part of a team. They are thus able to add significant value to the trading book and the company through operational excellence and robust execution of contracts. Fundamentally, the operators are the commercial team’s first line of defence following the inception of a deal.

A crucial part of being a strong operator is understanding the market and its position – where is the market, how is your trader viewing the market, what can impact the market. Operators need to make constant decisions. Understanding the wider context of their logistical decisions helps to guide the operator to find the most value, within the safety and contractual restrictions.

Generally, the operations team consists of the following: administrative operators who are more process oriented, a technical expert, and a commercially minded member to set the optimization strategy. The operations teams must ensure that they understand the market strategy thoroughly, in addition to the cost-benefit for each decision that has been made. Each desk must have a balanced mixture of the aforementioned to ensure that the team runs as effectively as possible.

A commercial operator should utilise a common sense approach coupled with a keen, questioning mind. Those who are able to utilise out-of-the-box thinking and ingenuity to come up with innovative ideas to optimise strategy, and keep up with the evolving nature of the oil and LNG industries, will be the most sought after.

by Stuart MacSweenview my profile

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