Kenneth Watkins, Expeditor at Neptune Energy

Kenneth Watkins, Expeditor at Neptune Energy

‘A real petrol head’

Kenneth, how did you come into contact with Selectum?

I have worked for Selectum before, from 2015 to 2019 at Total and another time in 2020, just before corona. For my current position as Expeditor at Neptune Energy, Selectum contacted me again. Since september 1st 2022 I work at Neptune.

Can you tell us what your position as Expeditor entails?

There are many oil & gas platforms in the North Sea that need maintaining. That means lots of work- and purchase orders, all kind of materials and equipment have to be stocked. After the buyers have done their part, my job is to manage the orders. I make sure the materials and equipment meet the project requirements and I report all relevant activities in the Material Management System. I also inform everyone collaborating on the project about the status of orders and I coordinate the delivery of the necessary documents, all according to specifications and priorities. Finally, I maintain good relations with suppliers, buyers and members of the project team.

For this position you must be technically savvy, a well-organized planner and you have to get on well with people. It’s a complex job, because you simultaneously deal with clearing back logs (due to corona), ongoing projects and, in between, priority 1 work orders, which you have to prioritize immediately. I inform everyone involved and take it from there.

This job can be done in a hybrid way. That means I’m in the office about one or two days a week and the rest of the days I work from home.

How are your experiences working with Selectum?

Good. Currently I am working at Neptune Energy on a project basis, for as long as they need me. There is a possibility that it could become a long-term/permanent employment.

What part of your job do you enjoy most? And why?

When I manage to get things delivered on time. My extended work experience helps me in that, I’m a Jack of all trades. I used to work in the Dutch military defense, in logistics, briefly in Insurances, and gradually in the Telecom sector. One day, I had the opportunity to become a buyer. In many purchasing positions at smaller companies, you also do your own expediting. That is how I got accustomed to the field of Expediting.

Around the year 2000, I ended up in the Oil & Gas industry. By then I had quite a lot of experience as Expeditor/Purchaser on my hands.
This position suits me very well, because you have to be in control. As soon as a maintenance project has been set out, you have to make sure that all materials and equipment have been ordered and that all involved parties stick to the deadlines. I can communicate well, have a way with words and somehow things always work out.

What part of engineering interests you the most?

The Oil & Gas industry appeals to me a lot. I’m a real petrol head, you could say I’ve got petrol running through my veins. Moreover, I think Oil & Gas is the real deal in terms of engineering. Everything is big, impressive, this industry has got real balls. I am very curious about the technical aspects and always ask everyone’s ears off how things are put together, how something is designed.
Working offshore will always remain a fascination for me. Also for other people, for that matter. Just mention your field of work at any social event and it will raise eyebrows!

What are the challenges for you in your job?

It can be difficult for me that I cannot change the world situation. When the world was ‘shut down’ because of corona, supplies have slowed down everywhere. World production has to be restarted to full capacity and this process has a long aftermath. I’m still notified about delays on a weekly basis, suppliers often say they cannot guarantee anything. All in all, it has become a lot harder to get everything done on time.
But still, it usually does work out.

What developments do you see in your field of work?

Neptune Energy is a company built for energy transition. Everything is geared towards making the Oil & Gas industry greener. Transport has to be greener, the company has to operate green and the output of oil and gas production has to be more efficient, with less production loss.
At Neptune Energy, they are working hard on new forms of energy. This transition and innovation are something that is going to benefit three, four generations down the line. Our generations can still – if they had to – get well ahead with fossil fuels. The more sustainable production of fuels is certainly a good development, although it should have happened much earlier.

If you were boss of the world, what would you change?

I can be very clear about that. Turn your weapons into agricultural tools!

Would you recommend Selectum to others in your network?

Yes, definitely. Selectum has a listening ear whenever you need something and they actually follow up. They are not afraid to go the extra mile for you. For example, Selectum helped me out with a mortgage application, when the bank was not moving forward with the process.

What’s on your calendar for tomorrow?

I am picking up where I left off; looking at what the buyers created and building on that. I am also still working on a back log from months ago, a huge catch-up because the Expediting focus was out of sight. Due to delivery issues during the pandemic, thousands of order entries were delayed and I am catching up bit by bit.

Any famous last words from you?

‘Everything is Mickey Mouse’. That’s my daily take on things and helps me to maintain my mental health. Life is too short to be serious all the time.

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