01.10.2019

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Parliamentary Review

RAM Tubulars was established in 1993 by Jim Stewart as a sole trading company called Re-Usables and Metals. The initial operation was to purchase surplus and used tubulars from the oil and gas industry and market them in alternative industries such as construction and water-well and utility drilling. The business now has a turnover of more than £14 million, with established facilities in Aberdeen, Althorpe Wharf, Stavanger in Norway and Houston in America, which have been vital in establishing strong customer relationships. Managing Director Jim Stewart elaborates on the company’s journey.

Trading in the early days of our business was brisk, and it soon became apparent that a stockyard was vital to the growth of the business, as it would provide the required backup to keep up with the growing demand from the construction industry. We therefore established a stockyard at Fordoun Airfield, about 20 miles south of Aberdeen, which provided a stepping stone in the growth of the business through its formative years.

Starting from scratch

The business grew through the late 1990s, and RAM Tubulars Scotland Ltd was eventually established in January 2000. The company was then in a better position to support more staff, and Fiona Stewart came on board as a director.

The business had become fully focused on the oil and gas surplus market, and Fiona’s experience of working within the sector provided invaluable insight.  TUBULARS SCOTLAND LTD

We were able to target major oil companies for new business and provide them with alternative uses for their tubulars.

A number of changes were made to the information sharing, and by investing in new technology we were able to establish our own online material tracking system, which provided financial, environmental and logistical information that could be utilised by large operators. This service allowed peace of mind for the safe disposal of scrap and surplus material, backed up by a full audit trail, which covered all aspects of purchasing and disposal. This proved a great success, and it is still an important tool in negotiating new business and retaining existing contracts when they come up for renewal.

The company was rapidly growing and soon required larger facilities. The office and storage facility were relocated to Dyce, which meant they were closer to the city of Aberdeen. To keep up with demand, we also established a distribution facility in Rotherham for same-day deliveries of construction and engineering tubulars to our expanding market across the Midlands and the north of England.

Business through early 2000 was good, and demand was strong. Through extensive travel and marketing in Europe and the US, the company had now built up strong trading links for exports and was able to import from these same regions to add to the growing UK business. At this time, the business started to diversify. Not only did we trade in used and surplus tubulars, but we also established trading links for certified tubulars and premium drill pipes and equipment.

Investing in the company

In 2008, we reached the stage where we felt we were in a strong enough position to purchase our own facility. Initially, we invested in a small two-acre site at Kinellar, Aberdeen. This has now expanded to over ten acres, with a further development opportunity for future growth, which has proved an essential part of the success of the business.

Over the years, large financial investments have been made to this site to provide modern facilities to keep the company at the forefront of the tubular industry. New inspection and pipe cleaning facilities have been built to provide an important in-house service. Furthermore, as we recognise the impact this can have environmentally, we have installed a modern and fully enclosed system.

We have had a few different sites south of the border over the years; however, at the end of 2016, we relocated to Althorpe Wharf near Scunthorpe, which was to be our European distribution base. This site provided us with a fantastic location with wharf-side services. It gave us the ability to receive materials from overseas directly by boat, which is an invaluable asset in speeding up the process and saving costs – savings that can be passed on to our customers.

With further growth of our management team, and to provide a meeting place for our expanding client base, we invested in new office facilities in December 2016. Westhill was chosen as the best location, and after a short search we were able to purchase and refit an existing building.

From initial start-up of a simple trading company initially employing three people, the diversification of the business to encompass a number of services for both oil and gas and the construction industry has taken the company through many changes, and we now have a workforce of 25.

To promote the growing list of new services we offer and our new plans for the future, we have recently undertaken a rebranding exercise. RAM Tubulars Scotland Ltd is now a multiservice company meeting the demands from the energy sector for new and innovative solutions for the pulled and abandoned well programmes and stock disposals.

Added to these services has been the launch of our new business, which incorporates fully certified OCTG. These quality tubulars are sourced from our existing client base and sold through a network of traders and end users for drilling and exploration projects.

This new division was established three years ago and is important as we try to diversify from our main core business while utilising our existing assets to their full capacity. Recently, we have had the opportunity of working with a number of steel mills for new products and see this as further diversification that works alongside our commitment to existing business.

A recent new source of business has been our expansion into the Middle East, and we fully expect to be able to offer a full list of services to this important market from our existing stocks.

Trading is now established throughout Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia. This has meant a large commitment to international trade, which will be vital for the growth of the business and will enable us to attract new customers. Our future plans are to build on our success by providing full-time employment for many more as the business continues to diversify and grow.

Full article can be found at: https://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/organisations/ram-tubulars-scotland-ltd

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