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Hatch is able to make the complex simple, all while delivering unprecedented value for the world’s toughest engineering challenges.
The eyes of the world are on Cape Town as it approaches Day Zero—July 9, 2018—the day the drought-plagued city of four million residents will begin water rationing. While conservation efforts have helped the city stretch its supply past what was expected to be the initial rationing point in April, one town intends to keep its safe drinking water running indefinitely.
The Stellenbosch emergency water augmentation project requires drilling a series of 15 to 20 boreholes, supporting existing ones, and building a minimum of eight containerized water treatment plants, all to make the town’s water supply independent from Cape Town by mid-2018.
This sector has been invigorated by a focus on drought mitigation. Tight timelines mean creative solutions.
This, in essence, sums up how Hatch works: by thinking globally and acting locally.
A world leader in the engineering, procurement, and construction space, the Toronto-based firm prides itself on relentless innovation and “the pursuit of a better world through positive change.” Hatch routinely garners high praise for its corporate leadership, safety, and project management, and is a rare find among engineering heavy hitters—an employee-owned, truly independent firm.
That freedom enables Hatch to indulge its passion for integrity, quality, and sustainability; meanwhile, its technical and business expertise puts the organization at the helm of some of the world’s most important capital projects.
Hatch is an innovator. Its employees aren’t just engineers—they are innovative solutions providers that tackle the toughest, most complex issues in the world.
Reaching Around the World
In 1958, metallurgist Gerald G. Hatch, Ph.D opened a six-person engineering and consulting firm, that, according to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, enabled him to “pursue a dream of building an engineering-based organization that could contribute to the research and development, marketing, operating, and financial aspects of industry projects.”
Today, Hatch employs over 9,000 people in 150 countries and provides engineering, construction, and consulting services to the mining, energy, and infrastructure market sectors.
“Our exceptional, diverse teams combine vast engineering and business knowledge, working in partnership with our clients to develop market strategies, manage and optimize production, develop new game-changing technologies, and design and deliver complex capital projects,” the company website states.
A central focus for the firm is profoundly human: a dedication to environmental protection, economic prosperity, social justice, and cultural vibrancy.
Hatch looks for long-term relationships with its clients to help them resolve their technical and project problems and helps them grow and sustain.
Driving positive change is at the heart of every Hatch endeavor. Such changes begin with engaging the local communities from a vantage point of mutual respect and understanding, and with a consistent Hatch commitment to leaving the community in a better position when the project is completed.
Take, for example, an innovative approach to sampling water from mine pits. When mining companies work in areas near bodies of water, they must test the water to manage its chemistry and ecology. Mine pit lakes are extremely dangerous; workers typically take a boat into the water and collect samples by hand, risking exposure to hazardous materials or rock slides, as well as hypothermia and the potential for drowning.
A leader in mine modernization, Hatch developed a water sampling system that employs a patent-pending device mounted on a drone to take water samples at depth, without risking lives.
Working with Goldcorp Canada Ltd., Kinross, National Oilwell Varco, and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Hatch leveraged its expertise in technology development, mine waste management, environmental services, and metals processing to create a process that isn’t just safer, reproducible, and accurate, but also significantly more efficient. A testing routine that once took days can be now completed in a matter of hours. To sweeten the accomplishment even more, Hatch estimates savings of CAD$20,000 to CAD$40,000 compared to the cost of boat-based water data sampling.
From creating a 30-year master plan to developing and maintaining critical infrastructure at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to building a state-of-the-art combined-cycle power plant in South Korea that can ramp up or down with only an hour’s notice while maintaining 98 percent reliability, or to developing an unmatched system for smelting performance in Australia that delivers near-perfect oxygen efficiency while cutting fuel consumption and speeding up throughput, Hatch applies bold imagination to every project it undertakes, and to every partnership it builds.
Strategic Alliances for Success
Every project Hatch undertakes is essentially unique, whether as a result of geography (mining in the Arctic or building a steam power plant in Abu Dhabi), materials management and logistics (connecting supplies to projects in remote areas), or developing new technological approaches (monitoring water flow to accurately assess flood risk at a power generation site). Innovative procurement and supply chain management is key to the success of virtually everything Hatch does.
All projects are one-off events. As such, suppliers are stratified in layers. Layer one consists of known-quantity suppliers.
Layer one is comprised of global level suppliers who have the know-how and the OEM and can tackle the complex, technical, and tricky procurement side of materials.
For the top tier, strategic alliance agreements are thoughtfully put in place. Key firms provide market intelligence, share market movements and trends with us: pricing trends, lead times, shop loading, that kind of info. They can help through early engagement with some of the technical innovations to help Hatch solve the problem for the client.
The next tier of suppliers exists at the regional level. Buying from suppliers that are not closely located near the project costs time and money in transportation, and tax and duty fees. As such, the supply chain team works closely with local suppliers with knowledge of the region where the work takes place.
Creating partnerships at the local, community level is also critical to the success of every endeavor. From transportation assistance to security, local relationships can often be the lifeblood of a project.
As far as efficiency and productivity goes, strategic alliances save time and help the project stay on track.
Once strategic alliance agreements are in place, Hatch can work with negotiated terms and conditions, so other members and teams don’t need to spend time project after project, negotiating with the same supplier again and again on the same liability or terms of payment. It saves a lot of hours, and the project can go faster.
Creating Value Through Procurement
At present, John Chen, the company’s Global Director of Procurement and Contract Management, is spearheading a transformation of the procurement functions at Hatch from purely transactional to strategic, a shift designed to benefit both the company and its clients. Unsurprisingly, Chen’s approach is perfectly in tune with the Hatch manifesto, which promises, in part, to ensure cost-effective, efficient delivery with the goal of operating with unconditional honesty.
His vision is to build a procurement project supply chain operation recognized and preferred by the company’s clients, the industry, the employees, and the suppliers.
To achieve that goal, Hatch performs a multi-step analysis of the supply chain for each project they undertake. The chain is considered first from a governance and procedural viewpoint, then from the perspective of tools, technologies, and systems, followed by the stakeholders’ perspectives, and then from a strategic capabilities standpoint.
Strategic sourcing, category management, high value, low-cost sourcing, value-added, local, sustainable procurement, risk management and strategic supply management: these are the facts, the perceptions, and trends, and these are the internal challenges and opportunities.
Procurement became a critical value-add for Hatch, its clientele, and the people who invest their energy into the success of those firms. Consider one percent savings on $3 billion, for example: it’s $30 million. How many jobs can you create with that savings? How many families can you save because you don’t have to lay off your people?
Hatch takes on engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) projects and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects. The key difference between the two similar acronyms is simple: EPC projects are owned by Hatch, and they assume all associated costs and risks for the project.
For EPCM, Hatch performs management services for the entire project on behalf of the client they are serving. The company looks at contract agreements on the part of the client, and the client pays the supplier directly. Every dollar that Hatch saves directly contributes to the client’s bottom line. Any efficiency improvement Hatch makes means fewer work hours, increased productivity, and cost savings for the client.
Hatch is not satisfied just with building an extremely effective supply chain organization within the company. It wants to impact the procurement industry and show the world how to create value from a business center that has been traditionally seen as a purely transactional endeavor and basic necessity.
That’s thinking and working the Hatch way: moving mountains to create a better world and living every commitment with integrity.
Speaking of commitment, in addition to helping the municipality of Stellenbosch secure water independence from Cape Town, Hatch is working to refine Stellenbosch’s Drought Response Plan. The plan, which Stellenbosch has worked to develop over the past three years, will cover the town and Stellenbosch University, one of the oldest continuously-operating universities in Sub-Saharan Africa, and one of the oldest universities in the country.
Our organization is passionately committed to the pursuit of a better world through positive change. We embrace your visions as our own and partner with you to develop better ideas that are smarter, more efficient, and innovative. Our global network of 9,000 professionals work on the world’s toughest challenges. Our corporate roots extend back more than a hundred years, and our experience spans over 150 countries around the world in the metals, energy, infrastructure, digital, and investments market sectors.
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