Pumps & Systems staff spoke with Mike Pulley, National Sales Manager for Bartlett Bearing Company, Inc., about how the workforce is changing and what he expects to see from oil and gas in 2018.

Are changes in the workforce affecting your company?

I think brain drain is a concern for every company in our industry. As a result of the mass exodus of baby boomers departing the workforce into retirement there is a vacuum of ‘tribal’ knowledge that is in jeopardy of exiting with them. Attracting younger employees combined with a continually scheduled ongoing training program (in house as well as external) and maintaining a centralized location of easy to find data is a must to have any chance to not only grow but to preserve current business. Industrial distribution especially with a focus on pumps, motors and gearboxes is not always the sexiest industry to recruit potential millennial employees to and a lot is done through industry associations, word of mouth, educational/school outreach or even headhunters. The important thing for Bartlett Bearing Co. is that when we do look to hire younger employees for any position we tend to seek individuals capable of growth and possess the ability and desire for upward mobility. Our goal is to always have someone in the bullpen.

What should we expect from the oil and gas industry in 2018?

Outside of some natural disasters causing interruptions in the U.S. oil and gas market, 2017 has been very good in comparison to the previous couple of years. I expect 2018 to be the same with a chance of humble growth in the new year.

What keeps you up at night?

Future uncertainty and market volatility related to global pricing, politics and competition often prevent a good night's sleep.

To read more Q&As from industry leaders, click here.