Following a marketing revamp and the relaunch of its 25-year-old brand, Clock Spring has signalled its intention to launch a new product in the next six months. President and CEO Matt Boucher says the manufacturer of composite sleeves for pipeline repair planned to launch its first product since 2008 during this calendar year.
Mr Boucher, who has a background in business transformations, says a lot of hard work behind the scenes went into Clock Spring’s relaunch, which included a revamped executive team to carry out its new vision and a marketing-communications’ refresh. He says that Clock Spring’s focus in 2017 would be to build skills, capabilities, and partner with customers to enhance safety, maintain and protect capital investments, and preserve the environment.
The new executive
The executive appointments included the promotion of Andrew Patrick, who has been with the company for 20 years, to the position of Executive Vice President of Global Sales, where he will be responsible for leading customer engagement programs and helping them enhance value with innovative composite solutions. Buddy Powers, Ivan Zavala, and David Teeter were also appointed to newly created leadership roles.
Mr Powers, who has been with Clock Spring for 15 years and recently returned after a two-year leadership position with Stress Engineering, was named Vice President, Product Management and Technical Services. Mr Zavala has become Clock Spring’s Senior Director, Manufacturing and Quality, while Mr Teeter will take up the position of Manager, Health, Safety and Environmental.
“Andrew, Buddy, Ivan, and David are key leaders in the Clock Spring transformation. Their collective expertise in customer service, product development, quality control, safety and environmental stewardship makes them invaluable as we work to focus the business on innovation, stewardship, and growth,” says Mr Boucher.
“We have spent so much time going out and engaging with our customers and really trying to understand why they like us, what they don’t like about us, and trying to bring that together as a message that we can tell the world. In the last six months we’ve created a whole new product-development function within the company that didn’t exist before; our last significant product introduction was back in 2008, so it’s been a long time,” he explains.
“In the next six months you’ll see us roll out a series of new or improved products. Initially we’re focusing on products that are applicable to the pipeline-construction space: casing spacers, pipe supports, and things that we think can be of great benefit when building, replacing, or repairing a pipeline.
Joining the company
Mr Boucher, who also sits on the Board of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, says that since joining the Clock Spring in June 2016 he had developed a new appreciation for the important part pipelines play in everyday life. He hopes the changes at the company, and the fresh new look, will take it to the next level. When I joined the company last June I saw a company with this great history, unbelievable technology, that might have just got a little complacent. However, Clock Spring has a great story to tell and a great service to provide for the industry.
“Pipelines are so important to everyday life: without pipelines we don’t have power plants, electricity, gas – we can’t power our cars. No matter what anyone says, they are still the safest and most economical way to transport resources.
“It’s getting heat and electricity to people’s homes, it’s getting PE to facilities so they can make IV tubes that ware going to be used in hospitals. We’re just making a composite repair but without it, especially on a 50-year-old pipe, maybe you don’t get that blood transfusion,” he says.
“The fact that Clock Spring can play a very small role in positively effecting everybody’s life is why we do this. It might be a little bit idealistic but it’s how I feel, and why we do what we do.”
A vision for the future
Mr Boucher is aware that the industry is changing, that there are new technologies on the market that are set to increase competition in the pipelines industry. In particular, he points to wind, solar and other renewable energy sources and the newest players in the energy market.
Reflecting on the challenging of competing in a new energy market, he says “It’s going to be a very delicate balance as the world moves towards clean energy sources. Pipelines will still play a big role. Maybe we won’t move as much energy but we’ll still need to make polyethylene.
“We think that it is a very important thing to talk about and we want the people who are rightly concerned about the environment to know that we care too. We’re not in this to pollute. We’re in this to save the environment and make people’s lives better.”
As Mr Boucher speaks about the future of the pipelines industry, he also reflects on its past, the important role is has played in making our modern world.
“It’s amazing what the energy industry has done, and I know we all get a bad rap, but I think we can start to tell a story that is much more inspiring and much more real to what we really are. Nobody is for dirty water, nobody is for dirty air, nobody’s for global warming, and everybody is against those things even the energy industry.”
Mr Boucher is not only interested in the story of the energy industry as a whole, but the story of pipelines specifically. One if his aims for the future of Clock Spring is to bring contractors into the conversation, to ensure that pipeline installations are completed to the highest possible standard. The result of accurate installation is safer pipelines and a safer environment for all; this certainly reflects Mr Boucher’s values and his vision for the company.
He says “If you look at the eco system of the pipeline industry, you’ve got product manufacturers like us [Clock Spring], then you’ve got the pipeline owners, and in-between the manufacturers and the owners you’ve got the contractors who are actually handling the installations. One of the things that Clock Spring is making a concerted effort to include contractors and installers in the overall story.
“We could do the installations ourselves, but we don’t ever want to be in that business. Instead, we want to support contractors and installers so that they have the tools they need to complete their job.”
This article was featured in the June edition of Pipelines International. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile device, click here.
For more information visit the Clock Spring website.
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