Entrepreneur joins international supply chain | Opportunities | Small Business Connect

Oliver Romer of NOV has grown his business thanks to a Shell contract.

Being a Shell supplier is not just about delivering the goods. Just ask Oliver Romer, director of National Oilwell Varcos, who has benefited from becoming part of the Shell supply chain.

“Every day brings about new challenges in this very fast and high risk industry.

Logistic support is crucial to ensure products get to customer on time and at the right place,” says Romer.

His Cape Town-based business was awarded a contract to supply Shell with rigging equipment which is delivered to the corporation’s various oil and gas plants.

As a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) compliant service provider, Romer is now growing his business thanks to his supplier contract with Shell.

He says the contract has helped him grow his business such that he now also carries out field inspections for the energy company.

The deal has also helped to establish the business’s position as a “leading performer” in the industry, enabling Romer to acquire business interests overseas.

Because of the high risks associated with the oil and gas industry, his company had to pass Shell’s various auditing processes.

Some of these processes are aimed at assessing the business’s ability to operate without impacting negatively on the environment.

Romer has good advice for aspirant suppliers: “To be a noteworthy supplier in the oil and gas industry you need to follow and maintain a very high standard of performance, adhere to strict work ethics and have a long-term business plan in place. You also have to continuously work on health, safety and security environment policies within your company and you must be accredited by relevant industry bodies.”

Those looking to do business in the oil and gas sector can benefit from Shell’s Supplier Diversity Programme which allows qualifying businesses to apply to do business with the company.

On becoming a supplier, a business is expected to make a social contribution, such as employing local skilled workers.

The programme is run across a number of countries and is aimed at boosting the local economy through increasing the procurement of services from local suppliers.

Local suppliers selected for the two year-long programme also have the chance to be listed on the oil-producer’s international procurement database.

Shell SA’s senior procurement manager Annelien Herringer says the company invests millions of rand in procuring from local small businesses.

Business owners that enter their company’s on the programme’s online registration process must be able to provide their company’s registration certificates, shareholding certificates, financial statements, as well as tax clearance and BEE certificates.