The Economy of the Middle East has changed greatly in the past thirty years. The oil industry significantly impacts the entire region, both through the great wealth and improvements in the standard of living that it generates and through the movement of skilled labour. Composed of many countries, most in the region have undertaken efforts to diversify their economies in recent years.
However, it is a reality that the economic downturn resulting from the fall in oil prices is having a significant negative impact worldwide, but more so in the Middle East. The marketplace appears set to continue to be oversupplied in the coming years and refining margins will remain under considerable pressure for the medium and longer term, because of overcapacity of supply and relatively slow demand growth. According to Mirko Rubeis, a principal for the Middle East at ‘The Boston Consulting Group’, the increased exposure to an oversupplied refining sector requires regional players to improve their ability to compete more aggressively in the market – scale, supply advantage and location may not be the only attributes sufficient to ensure satisfactory returns anymore (see: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/opportunities-and-challenges-for-the-downstream-oil-sector-in-the-middle-east).
There is therefore an opportunity for Middle Eastern companies to focus more on Process Management. The current reality is that, due perhaps to the healthy historic margins involved, Middle Eastern companies have not had to focus on efficient and effective business process management. Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard shared his vision regarding the opportunities for oil and gas in the region, in the years ahead, suggesting key factors for performance progress within the oilfield services industry: technology innovation, reliability, efficiency and integration (see: http://www.slb.com/news/inside_news/2014/2014_1114_adipec.aspx).
The above stress the challenges that exist for companies in the coming years. But this also creates an opportunity. The opportunity to upskill key members of the organisation to improve business processes. To bring the skills ‘in house’ and use the committed experts, with the company knowledge, to make fundamental process improvements. Not just for today, but for tomorrow and the future. It is a fact that 31% of the world’s bought-in consultancy for companies is in this area (process design, control, improvement). These are major areas of work for the best Management consultants (e.g. McKinsey & Co; Deloitte; PwC; Boston Consulting Group; etc.) but this is rather a lost opportunity – rather than buying in a small number of ‘experts’ it is better to train your existing staff in process improvement techniques and have these embedded into your company at every level, not just for today but for the future.
This seminar (Business Process Management: How to Thrive During the Economic Downturn) provides clarity regards how to manage and redesign Business Processes during an Economic Downturn, through the application of world-class Business Process management. It covers top level management issues such as developing a focused Business Process strategy that is congruent with the company’s business and marketing strategies. To this is added understanding and practice of key Business Process techniques to enable delivery of the strategy. Business Processes are the core source of organisation ‘transformation’ and therefore a key area of competitive advantage; the purpose of this course is to explain and appreciate what it is fundamentally about and provide clear direction regards how to improve during an Economic Downturn.
In business ‘what’ we want to achieve is usually very transparent – profitability, effectiveness, efficiency, etc. How to go about realising these goals, in a changing global marketplace, is the challenge.