Case Study: Laing O’Rourke

Blackwoods’ Inventory Solutions was instrumental in helping global engineering firm Laing O’Rourke deliver gas processing facilities across regional Queensland.

In a remote location, such as a gas processing facility being constructed in outback Queensland, it is so much harder to get tools and equipment that workers need at short notice. Constructors work to tight deadlines, and they need to meet these deadlines to make the facility work, control cost and make the client happy.

At Laing O’Rourke’s Condabri site, 350km northwest of Brisbane, for example, it meant providing much-needed goods and services under the most challenging of conditions.

For work sites such as this, Blackwoods deploys its comprehensive Inventory Solutions on-site store management service, bringing its own staff, technology, storage/operation facilities, and its proven project stock list.

“We offer the Blackwoods business based on their site, said Chris Maloney, Site Facilitator, Blackwoods. “They’re not dealing with a Blackwoods business that is 400km away. They are dealing with people, face-to-face who understand your business, with the Blackwoods expertise, the Blackwoods products, and it just helps them being able to talk directly with us.

Grant Nolan, Material Coordinator, Laing O’Rourke agrees: “Having these guys based out here is a huge advantage. Previous projects I’ve been on in remote locations it’s been quite hard, one of the big factors is getting tools on time, and the correct tools.

“Dealing with these guys for the last two years, knowing they’re there, their knowledge of tools and materials and safety gear, is a massive advantage for myself and the company.”

With Blackwoods’ Inventory Solutions, what customers use the most is always on site, 24/7. In addition, Blackwoods provides a dedicated regular freight service, so at regular intervals a truck delivers to each site, whether it is one carton or five pallets, and site management has peace of mind that a reliable delivery will always be there when and where they need it.

“Blackwoods for us on this project has been a really good partnership,” said Lija Walton, Project Logistics Manager, Laing O’Rourke. “We have been working closely together on changing our stock profile as we go through the project, there’s been no issues with Blackwoods when we asked them to get different items in and take different items out.

“Sometimes on sites we have some unplanned items that are urgently required for which we haven’t foreseen a need, and they have been very helpful getting them out of their distribution centre for us.

“They also turn around quotes really quickly, because they’re based on site they understand how urgent things are for us, and they’re really willing to work with us to make sure that the product is here when we need it.

“On the few occasions that we need it, they go over and beyond, I can recall one occasion when we needed a certain tool and one of the guys actually drove three hours to pick up one tool for us to be able to complete the job in a timely manner.”

Part of the team

Having the Blackwoods team on site, living there, working there, the same as everyone else, strengthens the relationship between the customer and Blackwoods.

“We can see what they’re doing, when they’re doing it, how they’re doing it, we can offer alternatives they may not have thought about,” Chris Maloney said.

“Even more importantly, as safety is always a first priority on a work site, we are a part of Laing O’Rourke’s daily pre-start checks, their daily stretches, and in terms of products, we provide a wide range of quality safety gear that meets Australian standards. Where regulated we also provide products tested and tagged, so the customer knows that the product we’re supplying them is approved for use and will keep their workers safe.”

Complete service

Part of Blackwoods’ onsite solution is to take away everything at the end. The team comes in, packs everything away, conduct the stocktake, take the buildings away, and leave the site ready for rehabilitation.”

Grant Nolan sums it up: “Dealing with these guys for the last two years, knowing they’re there, their knowledge of tools and materials and safety gear, is a massive advantage for myself and the company.

“To summarise Blackwoods on site for us, it’s extremely beneficial and efficient, in terms of time, having the right items around, and in terms of cost savings.

“Blackwoods will always be there to help us out. They’ve proven that in the past, and so we’ll definitely be using them in the future.”

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