Oilfield equipment – Cyber sales

Surplus oilfield equipment represents a hidden asset. Inventory managers are using the Internet to buy and sell equipment.

Oilfield equipment is stored and stacked in as many parts of the world as there are oilfield sites, and there are as many dealers of new and used inventory. Cyberspace is offering an expedient means of disposal.

Oil and gas companies increasingly are looking to the Internet as the venue to buy or sell new and Used Oilfield Equipment, while various third parties are playing the role of a petroleum business-to-business version of EBay Inc. by acting as auction houses, brokers or transaction clearinghouses. Meanwhile, many oil service companies are in the process of developing their own World Wide Web commerce strategies.

Virtually everybody that we know is talking about the need to put together an e-commerce or e-business strategy. I think that folks are still scratching their heads and trying to figure out what that means.

So much of the attention has been focused on the buy side, which is everything from electronic data interchange (EDI) links to electronic catalogs. I can’t point to a single example yet where a company in the industry has a comprehensive e-business strategy.

In the true spirit of entrepreneurialism, various third-party web sites are emerging that link equipment buyers and sellers. Some sites serve various industries while others are oil and gas specific. All the sites provide centralized databases enabling customers to buy or sell equipment without leaving their desks.

You have to spend time getting your machine polished and together. The Internet seems to be like riding a wave. It’s a very volatile thing. You have your ups and downs, and you’re continually adapting your marketing strategies to respond to the customer.

Everybody, especially in the oil industry, is looking to be more efficient, and this is the perfect tool. Our primary goal is to get the end user, the distributor and the manufacturer in a better line

There are many perceptions that someone is going to see something on the Internet and immediately draw out the cash, It’s not that easy. To sell anything in any culture, you have to sell confidence first, before you sell your material.

That confidence-building criterion implies that a local presence is necessary to ensure the customer that the item is going to work.

When a manufacturer sells an item overseas, he has service facilities to enhance the end-users’ confidence-when he buys a `once-off item such as surplus on the Internet, he doesn’t know what he is getting into.

We’re talking about reallocating assets. That could be casing, it could be tubing, it could even be a refinery, production facility or multimillion-dollar block of equipment.

Most people prefer to just pick up the phone. We think it’s going to change to more online sales in the next three to five years, but right now personal contact is still the most popular method for potential buyers to make first contact with sellers.

Sellers can choose between auction or fixed price formats to sell their surplus goods.

Petroleum companies typically spend a lot of time and money managing excess inventory and idle assets but are unable to maximize the sales revenue on these goods because they work with a limited group of liquidators, jobbers and auctioneers.

Third-party web sites expand the pool of potential buyers, resulting in competitive, market prices and faster transactions.

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