Craig International pioneered the concept of outsourced procurement for the oil and gas industry and have led the way in digital procurement for a number of years. Founded as part of a family business in Aberdeen, the company has prospered by providing exceptional service through innovative cloud-based technology, growing organically on a foundation of local expertise and global reach. Today, CI acts as procurement partner for many of the world’s leading energy companies.
Wherever in the world the business operates, Craig International aims to recruit, train and retain the best local talent. The result is detailed local knowledge, which combines with exceptional global buying power to deliver significant efficiencies for clients through digital solutions. The approach also benefits local communities, and contributes to a workforce of all cultures, languages and creeds.
Three key centres – in the Middle East, Africa and the Americas – have seen significant and rapid growth over the last couple of years, despite challenges including the global COVID-19 pandemic.
CI established offices in Dubai and Qatar in 2015, at a time when outsourced professional procurement was a fairly new idea for the Middle Eastern market. By gaining the trust of leading operators – plus a good deal of positive word-of-mouth – the team has now won the local purchasing community round to the concept. In the six years since setting up in the Middle East, CI have won more than ten significant and essentially open-ended contracts with NOCs and service companies in Qatar, Dubai and Oman. They’re also actively supporting customers in neighbouring countries including Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
By contrast, CI’s presence in the US has seen a more gradual, organic build. A Houston, TX office opened back in 2005 to serve one single major operator active in Angola, and initial turnover was a relatively modest $4m.
Expansion really began in 2013, with a move to new premises, and a second North American office opening in Calgary the following year. By 2020, annual turnover had increased to $70 million, with a staff of 21 across the US and Canadian offices.
A great strength for Craig International in the North American market is the ability to support clients during periods of rapid change, particularly where personnel numbers are reduced. CI can fill the gap, taking over the complete vendor management function on the behalf of a client organisation using digital capabilities that provide really value.
CI’s African operations are based in Cape Town, where the local office is headed up by Steven Craig, the fourth generation of his family to sit on the CI board. The African story is one of opportunity and diversification, with ongoing contracts across the continent, and growth through support for green energy projects, including major solar and wind farm facilities.
Ongoing exploration in southern Africa promises more opportunity to come, while CI is collaborating with Scottish companies developing renewables in the region.
In South Africa, CI is recruiting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and giving them the opportunity to shine. This commitment has been recognised by the SA Government, who recently recertified the company at Level One (the highest level) in the BBBEE integration programme.
CI have led the way in digital procurement for over ten years offering measurable efficiencies in supply chain management.
The eBuy purchasing platform, for example, gives customers instant global access to a managed procurement system on or offshore. The system enables a seamless end-to-end purchasing journey enabling customers to expedite orders through to delivery and even sell surplus stock, realising capital tied up in unwanted equipment or supplies, while cutting down on waste.
Smartbuyer, provides access to a dedicated procurement team, 24/7. It’s one way in which CI can offer an extension to a client’s own internal department, while offering exceptional expertise and economies of scale.
While our digital innovation puts the power of advanced procurement into the cloud for use around the world, CI insist there’s no substitute for old-fashioned, fully-grounded local knowledge. That’s why offices like those in the Middle East, Africa and North America will continue to thrive, providing essential hands-on support to local industries.
CI attribute their regional success largely to hiring and training the right people, as well as understanding and respecting the culture and expectations of local supply chains and stakeholders. Combined with the company’s technological and systems efficiencies, that amounts to a genuinely international mindset that is hard to beat.
For any further information on Craig International’s services or to find out how they could help your procurement activities visit www.criag-international.com
Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE.