The UKCS upstream supply chain collaboration survey 2019

From strategy to action – overcoming barriers to change

This year we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of our annual UK upstream supply chain collaboration survey in partnership with OGUK, the leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

The five year story

Since the first UKCS report was published in 2015, there has been significant progress in the industry. Today’s total oil and gas production is 20 per cent higher than it was five years ago, production efficiency has improved and operating unit costs have stabilised at a more sustainable level.

Thanks to our combined efforts with OGUK, this report continues to provide organisations with key insights and actions to help identify best practices and adjust behaviours to improve their performance.

What is driving collaboration?

The overall Collaboration Index for 2019 is 7.0, down from 7.1 in 2018. Mixed collaboration success results suggest that collaboration is not improving as much as expected and suppliers are being seen as less engaged and less willing to collaborate by the operator community during the year.

After five years, cost reduction remains top of the list for collaboration, with knowledge sharing and learning being the second driver. 67 per cent of respondents say they reduced costs by business transformation methods compared with 30 per cent using traditional methods.

The three key pillars for successful collaboration are strong industry commitment to improve collaboration by shifting mind-sets and business culture, a collaboration strategy that includes leadership and workforce incentives and streamlined contract and procurement processes between operators and suppliers.

To discover more, download The UKCS upstream supply chain collaboration survey 2019 report.

Principal reasons for collaboration in the UKCS

While cost reduction remains the main reason for companies to collaborate, there has been a noticeable shift over the last five years towards collaboration being driven by willingness to share knowledge and learning. The proportion of respondents who say in 2019 that they collaborate to reduce costs has dropped to 26 per cent from 33 per cent in 2018.

Principal reasons for successful collaboration in the UKCS

Behavioural factors (trusted relationships and ensuring mutual benefits of supply chain collaboration) are still the main drivers of successful efforts to collaborate – accounting for a combined 55 per cent of the reasons in 2019.

The top three barriers to transformational change

Outdated business structures, high levels of bureaucracy and complex processes continue to act as main barriers to collaboration.

Collaboration Index

The industry-wide Collaboration Index score is 7.0 in 2019, a slight decrease from 7.1 in 2018.

Where have we seen successful collaboration in the industry?

The report also brings effective collaboration to life by featuring three case studies covering different stages of projects involving seven companies.

One such case study sums up efforts needed for effective collaboration: ‘Collaboration between companies across different positions in the industry, with different cost structures, resource basis and fundamentally different business models is not intuitive. It must be deliberately built-up and nourished. The participants become partners in performance, working together with linked outcome-based incentive-mechanisms. They collectively own improvement steps in the project opportunity funnels; and are guided by a management steering panel to develop and sustain an aligned, inclusive, performance culture.’ (Shell)

Collaboration has been recognised as critical to improving business performance across the UKCS. Yet many barriers and challenges still exist.

Our framework for action addresses the six key building blocks leaders require to develop and implement a successful strategy for collaboration at all levels of the organisation.

Download the report to discover more or contact us if you would like to discuss how to transform your relationships with your business partners for better performance.

About the report

The report is based on the results of a confidential electronic survey conducted with industry in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) from July to September 2019. This year there was a record 63 per cent increase in complete responses and 31 per cent growth in the number of Index feedback pieces.

As with previous years, there are three main parts to the report: Collaboration Review, Collaboration Index and Framework for Action.

Based on in-depth analysis, the Collaboration Review provides key actions focused around three strategic themes organisations can implement to increase successful collaboration.


Graham Hollis

Office Senior Partner

+44 (0)12 2484 7710

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Nick Clark

Director, Consulting

+44 (0)20 7007 8085

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Netti Farkas Mills

Senior Insight Manager

+44 (0)20 7303 8927

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