Blacoh president Andrew Yeghnazar spoke with the Pumps & Systems staff about the state of the industry entering 2018.

What is the biggest lesson from 2017 and how can we apply that to 2018?

The Biggest lesson from 2017 – be authentic. We are being buried with stories of in-authentic lifestyles and the harmful impact it has all around us every day on the news. If you truly want to differentiate both personally and professionally be authentic and you will already have a good head start. Simple rule to live by, be honest and always tell the truth and you do not need to have a good memory or live in fear of being exposed as a fraud, it really is that simple.

2018 looks like it is going to build on the solid fundamentals we have seen in 2017. Typically things slowdown in the run up to Thanksgiving and before Christmas but I can tell you we are busier than ever and people seem to be signing off on POs all over the industrial landscape – very encouraging for the year ahead.

I am increasingly passionate about millennials and it is a subject I think industrial companies better wake up to, and if they do not they will lose. Millennials are said not to do or be many things, but here is what I do know millennials to be:, they represent nearly 50 percent of the workforce today so if you are not taking them seriously you are asleep at the wheel and will eventually crash. They are entrepreneurial and open minded and do not like waste – how can that be a bad thing? They know what they are talking about and are on track to become the best educated generation in history. They love to communicate but, you need to learn how to communicate with them effectively rather than mock how they communicate – that’s called being disrespectful and what I thought we used to teach our kids not to do – but I see people do it all the time. They need to be motivated and understand the “why” before you request the “what” that you are asking them to do. And when tey get it – they make it happen.

When it comes to retaining millennials in your organization – that is if you have been able to attract them in the first place, your onboarding process is absolutely critical and how you effectively their purpose on the team and big picture of what you/they are building is the cornerstone how you will be successful with them and they with you. Learning how to recognize your millennial staff is also important, just as understanding how their needs are different to someone who is approaching the sunset of their careers. But in the end it is not about deciding to have a team full of baby boomers or millennials – the current workplace is evolving it is not only multicultural but also multigenerational and understanding where individuals are and helping them get to where they are capable of reaching is what we as leaders need to be doing.

What can we expect from the oil and gas industry in 2018

Frac seems to be back and here to stay at least for a while. Before oil prices took the major dive that they did fracking needed oil to be over $55/barrel. But as a result of rigs and services becoming even more competitive now when oil is somewhere between $45-48/barrel fracking makes sense. So businesses that service this sector need to be prepared to respond swiftly, in this industry if you snooze you lose it’s that simple. But and it’s a big but, be careful because it is also a faucet type of business…one day it’s flowing and all of a sudden everything is shut off, just like that. Our job as leaders is to make sure we don’t get caught unawares.