Scott Domingue, president of Safety Management Systems LLC (SMS), began his career with the company in 1988. He transitioned through SMS acting as its project development supervisor, sales and marketing manager and vice president before being named president in 2010. BIC Magazine recently visited with Domingue to learn more about how SMS is setting goals to challenge its employees and what the company is doing to aid with the transfer of knowledge from one work force to the next.
Q: What are your goals for your position?
A: I want to guide SMS to a place in our industry where we are not just financially successful, but where we are making a genuine impact on the way oil and gas workers think about safety. I see the impact on the locations where we operate, but I would like that same high standard for safety to become the industry rule and not the exception.
Q: Are you looking to grow in new markets or expand in current ones?
A: We like our current footprint in North America and wouldn’t be against expansion to other regions with the right partners, but our focus right now is on expanding our service lines. Our mission is to protect lives and change cultures, and there are so many ways to do that in the oil and gas industry. We’ve been able to take some of the same techniques that made us so successful as pioneers in the safety and remote medical industry and translate them to new security and H2S services. Even within our core services we’ve been able to add value with new telemedicine tools for paramedics and education systems like our Attraction, Recruitment and Deployment (ARD) Program for developing skilled safety specialists.
Q: What is your best management tactic?
A: Setting clear goals and challenging my team. Working for an employee-owned company already provides our team a direct incentive to achieve, but making sure they have a tangible, measurable goal is a great way to keep them all moving toward the same thing. And we don’t set our goals lightly. Every one is a challenge. Sometimes they think I’m a little crazy because the mark will be set so high, but we all know the only way to find out if we can make it there is to try. They haven’t let me down yet.
Q: How do you plan to address changes in the work force in the coming year?
A: Well, we are already seeing the signs of an aging work force as the baby boomer generation is blowing past retirement age. While many companies focus on the costs associated with an older team, we see it as an opportunity. These individuals are a fount of knowledge, and frankly, our customers have come to expect the quality of service they provide.
Our ARD Program was designed to take young knowledgeable individuals with the right intangibles, and bring them up to speed on the safety industry. Once they have a base level understanding, they are paired with one of our more experienced employees so they can be mentored. In their time together, the younger employees don’t just learn the physical requirements of the position. They are taught the expectations of the position as well so they can carry on that same standard of quality from one generation to the next.
Q: What is your biggest lesson learned?
A: That a company isn’t a logo or a product. A company is a group of people and their common goals. We work to influence our customers’ cultures for the better, and that isn’t as easy as writing new policies or changing practices. It can only be accomplished when everyone genuinely has the same goal, and when that goal is getting yourself and the person next to you home at the end of your hitch, it’s a powerful motivator. That is why I am so proud of what we do.
For more information, visit www.safetyms.com or call (800) 252-5522.