Supporting a prominent marine construction company to explore new industry sectors and grow their client base.
Red7Marine is the UK’s leading provider of jack-up barges and marine equipment to the marine construction industry. The Red7Marine team carries out construction projects in what can often be highly challenging and dynamic situations or environments. Red7Marine has its own consultancy division, and is able to work with clients through the planning process of a project to identify risks and find economical solutions.
In 2016-17, the company made a strategic decision to expand and take on bigger projects, employing more staff and moving to bigger premises. Knowing that rapid business development would be the key to their successful expansion, they engaged Saline to help them find additional client opportunities and to support their business development team.
As Red7Marine’s CEO, Nick Offord, explains:
“Our industry and our world are relatively small, so supporting each other with industry information is helpful to all. This only works when there is empathy, honesty and respect between the parties. I have known and worked with the Saline team for some 4 years, and these values of trust and integrity are evident in all that they do.”
Targeting New Areas for Growth
From the start, Saline was invited to attend Red7Marine’s high-level strategy meetings, where the group discussed potential target clients and industry areas.
As Sophie Willcock, Red7’s Business Development Manager told us:
“We operate in a niche industry. The projects that we take on have to fit with our specific capabilities and expertise. Identifying the right client opportunities can often be a challenge – sometimes we’ll spend months doing research and due diligence on a project, only to discover that the programme and scope of work just isn’t suitable for us. Saline has the experience, networks and industry knowledge that can help quickly identify which projects will suit us and which won’t, and they also have a crucial eye for detail.”
One of the projects that Saline helped Red7Marine to win was with Red Funnel ferries, for the construction of a new layby berth on the Isle of Wight in 2019 that would accommodate its new 1000t freight ferry. The contract was worth over £2m, and Red7Marine provided equipment, crew and engineering support to the project to ensure its successful delivery – you can read more about the project in this case study.
Saline’s partnership with Red7Marine didn’t just stop at business development and sales support; they were also instrumental in helping to establish a staff mentoring programme for the company, with the goal of embedding staff wellbeing and long-term mental health support in the firm’s DNA.
Nick Offord explains:
“Saline share our passion and commitment to setting a good company culture, and to the development of young people through training. This was born out as together we developed Red7Marine’s YOUR7MENTOR programme, where Nikki took a pivotal position as a senior mentor to several of our trainees.”
Carly Wells – one of the UK’s first female barge masters – was a young trainee who benefited from the programme, as she tells us:
“Nikki started mentoring me when I was a trainee jack-up barge master with Red7Marine; we had weekly check-ins, and she gave me a space to talk through any challenges or problems. This was so valuable, to be able to focus on my mental wellbeing and get help in troubleshooting issues in what can be at times a pretty challenging job and environment. Nikki went above and beyond to help in any way she could. We continue to stay in touch, and I know I can call her up for support or a chat at any time.”
Focusing on the Future
As Red7Marine continues to expand its operations, the company has made a decisive investment in its future growth plans: in 2021, they purchased a 1000t capacity jack-up barge, which has greatly increased their capability to take on larger and more ambitious civil construction projects. This key new piece of equipment is the largest in their fleet, and its purchase will enable them to extend their client reach and explore new markets and projects.
To help them achieve their goals, Saline is providing strategic support by connecting them to the most relevant, best-fit companies, opening up new opportunities, and ensuring that the Red7Marine name and their newly enhanced capabilities gain prominence in these sectors. Thanks to this, Red7Marine is developing a stronger project pipeline, which will help them to achieve a more rapid return on their investment.
An enduring partnership
With their broad industry knowledge and multi-sector experience, Saline have become valuable long-term partners for Red7Marine. Sophie tells us: “Working with Saline has saved us a lot of time. They are strategic in their approach to challenges, and they help to keep us efficient and focused.”
Saline are now feeding into one of the company’s key aims for the future: to become a major presence in the near-shore renewables market.
As Nick Offord explains:
“Saline recently helped Red7Marine to win a renewables project with a Greek company in their network. This was of great value to us, and shows how broad and diverse Saline’s knowledge of clients is across the industry. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with them in the future, and it’s great to see their own ambition for growth coming to fruition.”