Feature Q&A: Positioning for Growth with Phil Middleton

25 January 2024

Phil Middleton Ashtead Technology’s Head of Survey & Robotics joined the company in May 2022 to further strengthen existing capability across Ashtead Technology’s core markets and drive forward our ambitious growth strategy. Now almost two years into the role, Phil shares his thoughts on Ashtead Technology’s world-class technology portfolio & expertise and how through continued investment in our survey & robotics rental fleet and our people, we remain at the forefront of what we do to support our customers globally.

Ashtead Technology’s growth journey has been an exciting one over recent years. Discuss your time with the company so far.

It has been a whirlwind couple of years and quite the adventure. Even though I have been in the role for some time now, I continue to be blown away by the breadth and depth of capability across the business and the company’s unwavering commitment to quality and service excellence, which is interwoven into everything the company does, and stands for. Ashtead Technology is on an ambitious growth journey and it is great to be part of a business that has the expertise, talent, resources and buying power to lead the way in the industry and make a real difference to our customers.  

What are the biggest challenges in the market and how is Ashtead Technology addressing these?

The main challenges facing customers is the availably of equipment, the lack of competent and skilled personnel and supply chain constraints which all have the potential to negatively affect the timely, safe and efficient delivery of our customers’ projects.

Ashtead Technology is addressing the equipment availability shortages through ongoing investment in our subsea equipment rental fleet which has in excess of 23,000 assets. Early engagement with both customers and our suppliers is key to ensuring we have visibility of their short, medium, and longer-term requirements enabling us to plan ahead and secure the availability of equipment.

We also take a proactive approach to training our people so we have a highly competent and available workforce to support the mobilisation of mission critical equipment. Mentorship and on-the-job training are fundamental to the career development journeys of our employees. This ensures that essential expertise is nurtured within the business and passed on to the next generation of talent enabling them to excel and thrive in a fast-growing environment and deliver for our customers. Should we feel there is a competency gap, we provide our employees with practical training from the OEM so our global pool of technicians have an expert understanding of our entire fleet of subsea equipment.

This commitment to technical excellence is also evidenced by our local community involvement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) initiatives, where our broad knowledge and expertise is shared with local schools, colleges and universities.

Furthermore we provide technical awareness training to customers on equipment application, operation, maintenance and preservation to help increase user confidence and minimise any operational downtime in the field.

What’s next for Ashtead Technology in the survey and robotics field?

As a progressive and pioneering business, we continually aim to offer the broadest and most technologically advanced subsea equipment from leading manufacturers to support our customers’ projects worldwide.

Some of the recent additions to our portfolio have included unmanned surface vehicles from Maritime Robotics for oceanographic, hydrographic and environmental monitoring, Orphie camera systems from i2S for advanced underwater inspection and multibeam sonars systems from NORBIT Subsea. We have also made further investments in equipment and technology solutions from Nortek, exail, PODS, Valeport, Subnero and Datawell to support our commitment to the metocean market and meet our customers’ environmental survey requirements in this space.

As our customers’ trusted subsea technology partner, ongoing investment in our fleet is essential and we have committed to further significant capital expenditure for 2024 and beyond to ensure that our portfolio of technologies continues to meet our customers‘ current and future project challenges and supports their mission-critical operations.

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