Atlantic Methanol Production Company LLC (“AMPCO”) has a mission to maximize value for customers with a commitment to safe, clean, and responsible business practices. The brand is owned by Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, and SONAGAS, the National Gas Company of Equatorial Guinea.
Since 2001, they’ve run a world-scale methanol plant on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa that supplies chemical derivatives used in construction. They have a strategic focus not only on process safety, but personnel as well.
AMPCO values diversity, honesty, and social responsibility. Although methanol is a base for many materials used during COVID (like ventilators and plexiglass), the pandemic still took a toll on the company’s workforce.
The effects of COVID can be seen around the world and never is it more apparent than the physical workforce. Management must be adept at making quick adjustments. That starts with implementing the right technology.
No one is more aware of this than Commercial and Supply Chain Manager Brian Jackson. He’s responsible for Atlantic Methanol's procurement, warehouse, logistics, and contracting. Not only has his staff been greatly reduced by the pandemic, they are working from a remote location with infrastructural challenges.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has really impacted my purchasing team and greater supply chain team as a whole. We're located in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa. We’ve had to work with a much reduced staff to promote social distancing. Many of the workers didn't have internet at home and so we've been working with reduced staff for a long period of time.”
With limited resources, Brian needed to think outside of the box. He was looking for a software solution to help generate cost savings and avoidance, while automating the process to maximize output for a small team.
As Brian stated:
“AMPCO was seeking a solution to optimize its supply base, in particular looking at our MRO and general tail spend items.”
In just one month, Atlantic Methanol was up and running with Fairmarkit. It was a fairly easy and painless process, as Brian put it:
“It was a quick implementation with very limited resources required on the part of our company in terms of our procurement professionals and our IT organization.”
Fairmarkit helped Brian achieve the three goals put forth to streamline operations:
1. Supplier Optimization
The AMPCO team found Fairmarkit particularly helpful when it came to supplier optimization. It eliminates the process of tedious emails back and forth between suppliers and simplifies bidding. The Recommendation Engine enabled Brian to better identify vendors and award savings.
“The technology that Fairmarkit brings in terms of the recommendation engine for sourcing has brought results in various areas, including IT hardware, MRO supplies, and other industrial supplies.”
The team is able to pull supplier groups by category, reduce email traffic, and simplify the bid tab analysis and comparison (required when evaluating cost).
2. Cost Savings
“I found that the number one benefit of working with Fairmarkit is the cost savings it delivers.”
Commercial and Supply Chain Manager, Brian Jackson, found that Fairmarkit delivered ROI back to AMPCO in approximately six weeks. The most savings was concentrated in two areas, tail spend and category sourcing.
Atlantic Methanol went on to show strong savings in the first year with Fairmarkit. They have 6% awarded savings with 14% identified (mostly in Equatorial New Guinea).
3. Gaining Efficiencies
The main challenge for AMPCO was achieving the same level of productivity pre-COVID, with lesser staff.
Fairmarkit helped them optimize performance. They were able to maximize their small team (without adding headcount), by increasing efficiency with automated processes.
Through the Farmarkit platform, the whole process of getting competitive bids became easier for buyers. They can quickly pull in supplier groups by category to invite the correct ones, and then let Fairmarkit manage the invitation process. Not only does it tremendously reduce email traffic and workload, but it simplifies the entire bid analysis process by having all of the information in one place.
The team was also able to identify and award savings from both registered and new vendors via the recommendation engine. This worked to increase the number of suppliers submitting bids and promoted healthy competition.
“The results with Fairmarkit really have been wonderful. We have been able to optimize and even reduce our buying team and repurpose some of those individuals in areas that were needed. Without a doubt, partnering with Fairmarkit was the right decision. We view it not just as an excellent tool, but also as an expansion of our own team.”
— Brian Jackson
Commercial and Supply Chain Manager