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Performance improvement specialists report major growth

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Aberdeen-Headquartered performance improvement business Exceed has reported major year-on-year growth since the company was established in 2005, recording £1.5million turnover for 2008/09.
Founder and owner Ian Mills, who has nearly 25 years’ experience in the oil & gas industry, including senior drilling roles at Shell and BP, has also expanded the team to 14 people, with plans for further diversification and growth in future.
Exceed has a strong track record in working with extraction industries such as oil & gas and mining. While six staff are based in Aberdeen, performance coaches operate in Europe, Africa and North America and have delivered major cost benefits and improved operational efficiency for clients including BP, Talisman and De Beers.
Targets for the year ahead include securing additional performance improvement projects in the oil & gas sector in deepwater locations such as Brazil and West Africa, as well as the burgeoning industries in China and the Far East and, closer to home, Norway and the UKCS.
Mr Mills said: “I started Exceed when I saw a gap in the market to use the experience I had built up on the client side. Most performance improvement companies offer traditional management consulting. I believed there was an opportunity to raise the game and offer an integrated approach with a team whose backgrounds combined traditional consulting with oil field expertise and military leadership. As a result, we have developed a unique, service that gives clients the best of both worlds and delivers clear, quantifiable benefits.”
“We aim to set ourselves apart from competitors by delivering a 5:1 return on investment for our clients. We also carry out detailed project planning in advance, tailor our approach to the exact needs of each project, and when appropriate, place a coach on location with the client’s team. We always set out with a clearly defined exit strategy, focused on delivering results and long-term, sustainable improvements within the client organisation.’’
“With the price of oil where it is, now is the time to focus on waste and cost reduction and to be as lean and efficient as possible. The industry is faced with more complex technology and less experienced people in more challenging conditions so our role in coaching performance and increasing efficiency is more important than ever. External factors such as the amount of oil in place or the price of oil are out of our control, but the work we do directly impacts the timing of production and the cost of extraction.
In response to client demand for sourcing and deploying technical expertise globally, Exceed has introduced a new recruitment service delivering people solutions to the Energy sector.
In a further bid to diversify, Mr Mills has enlisted Pat Browne, a former Performance Improvement leader at Aberdeenshire Council, whose approach to LEAN Kaizen resulted in the European Excellence Award for delivering continuous improvement in the Public Sector.
When Exceed was established, Mr Mills also formed the Exceed Trust, a charitable venture where 10% of company profits every year are devoted to helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds, by providing educational opportunities to make a lasting difference in their future.
Sara Budge, Director of Company Growth, Innovation & Commercialisation at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We work closely with companies such as Exceed that have clear high-growth potential and the ability to compete globally. They set out with a clear strategic vision from the outset. We have given them targeted support to drive and complement the company’s strategic development, further develop the skills and calibre of the team and deliver e-marketing. We look forward to working with them in the future to further diversify and internationalise.”

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