You travel through the country meeting with your customers. Why is doing business in person so important in this age of teleconferencing and email?
The value of face to face communication is the opportunity to know your customer and your customer to know you. Your customer wants to know who and what; we want to provide that. How can your customer trust you if they dont know you?
When you spend big money on oilfield tubulars and equipment, you want to know the professional you are working with is honest and reliable. Character has to match in dialogue, body language, and habits. You don't get to observe all that from the Internet nor teleconferencing. Have you ever ordered something you thought would come in a box and you receive it wrapped in paper? We want our customers to know they can trust Genesis Oilfield Pipe & Supply, Inc. We're not going to show a picture of one thing and send you something different.
The recent downturn in the industry has put many companies into survival mode. What opportunities exist for a company looking to take advantage of this downturn?
At Genesis, we see this as a time of opportunity. The current low market value of inventory and services mean companies can purchase inventory and drill wells at lower cost and take the time to negotiate contracts that will benefit them in the long-term.
How is this slump different from the one Lafayette experienced in the 1980s?
The downturn is larger and more high-tech. We have larger oilfields and faster / better drilling methods. Which means we're more efficient. We can drill a well up to 10,000 ft in 10-15 days in comparison to 1 year in the 80s. But with that efficiency comes risk -- we don't have as much fat to cut off if we need to slim down.
You're a religious kind of man. How do you keep your faith strong when times get tough like they are now?
In some ways this downturn feels like the 40-days flood, washing away the great oilfield economy we had. I just hope that we'll see a rainbow at the end of this story in terms of better management and finding a way to keep our foreign competitors from having so much effect on our prices at home. You might remember that the first good sign in that story was the dove with the olive branch. For now, we're looking forward to our the first sign of recovery, which we think will be around $40 a barrel. Then exploration companies will get excited about drilling again.