SMS 2021 Review and Vision For 2022

By Dave Howlett, Managing Director at SMS

15 December 2021

Dave Howlett, Managing Director, SMS shares a few thoughts on the successes of 2021 and his vision for 2022.

2021 has been a tremendously exciting year for SMS.  First, we’ve communicated our shift in positioning to our clients.

For years SMS has been known as a leading provider of hydraulic control systems to the UK and European oil and gas industry.  But as the sector focuses on efficiency and adopts low carbon technologies, we must adapt.

As we go into 2022, I would like SMS to build on its positioning as the hydraulic and electrical experts where we are known:

  1. As the industry benchmark with best-in-class solutions and always first for technical advances
  2. For our breadth of capability – hydraulic and electrical with a range of applications – and touchpoints across all industries with the safety credentials to match
  3. As the experts – proven in the toughest oil and gas environments, which are the gold standard for inspections and maintenance

Whilst we continue to expand in the oil and gas industry, we are exploring new market opportunities by diversifying further into growth areas such as Marine and the global FPSO market, energy storage, new technologies such as hydrogen and CCUS, as well as new sectors such as industrial and pharmaceutical. 

Second, we’ve invested in the next generation of talent with our ongoing apprenticeship programme and new starters joining the team.  We’ve also invested heavily into training and people development with project management APM (Association for Project Management), HNCs (Higher National Certificates) and ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) and our in-house developed Elevate leadership courses.

This has been important in a year when COVID has caused some bumps in the road and an unstable market.  Despite COVID, we have pulled together, driven out cost, delivered on time to industry standard.

Third, we’ve delivered several firsts this year. 

We completed several projects including our first project in the vibrant energy market of Qatar where we worked on a chemical injection unit, an essential process system that delivers a highly accurate dose of chemicals to support hydrocarbon production in this globally important market.

We delivered the market’s first fully-certified IECEx intervention and workover control system (IWOCS).  We have also rolled out Maintenance Manager to clients in the North Sea, an innovative digital solution to support the ongoing integrity and management of safety critical and often complex assets such as hydraulic and hazardous area systems including hazardous area, flexible hose and small-bore tubing campaigns. This is a big step towards our digital vision and the industry’s digitalised, and more efficient, future.  

Together in collaboration with wider Alderley teams we’ve delivered the first metering skids and, importantly, we’re developing further opportunities in adjacent market segments such as FPSOs and in the nuclear industry, which is experiencing a real renaissance.

Low-cost manufacturing locations will be a focus next year to ensure that we remain competitive and support local content requirements for specific targeted projects. 

This is all underpinned by local teams working closely with our key clients across all industries with a keen focus on delivering the right solutions with the speed, flexibility, integrity, and service that has been the benchmark set by SMS over several decades.

For these reasons we’re looking forward to 2022 with great anticipation.  We hope that you will follow us on this journey.

If you would like to learn more about SMS and its work across industry sectors, you can visit the website here.  Dave can be contacted on: