Decision Whether to Internationalize or Research Paper

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46). Likewise, Gillispie suggests that an incremental approach can be used to "test the waters" for even very small companies seeking to project an internationalized presence. In this regard, Gillespie recommends that companies, "Craft a scaleable master design that represents the major aspects of your business worldwide and anticipates the degree of localization that will be required in each market. The degree of localization can have a real impact on budgets and timelines" (2008, p. 45). These are important factors for companies in general where limited resources and a lack of experience may preclude more aggressive internationalization initiatives, and these issues are directly related to a company's internal resources as discussed further below.

Internal resources

The company has a wide range of specialized internal resources which are described in Table 2 below.

Table 2

Internal resources of RBG Limited

Business Unit


Specialist Cleaning

RBG's Specialist Cleaning division offers a comprehensive range of services designed to restore production processes to optimal operating conditions. RBG is fully equipped to provide safe, effective and environmentally friendly solutions for a wide range of specialist cleaning applications.

Fabric Maintenance

RBG is a recognised market leader in the provision of fabric maintenance services, typically supplied as part of integrated services contracts. The company has an extensive capability, delivered by experienced, multi-disciplined deck and service crews.

Rope Access

The division has been a member of the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) since 1990 as an operator and trainer providing specialist multi-disciplined access solutions to the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. The company provides a variety of access solutions, either as part of integrated maintenance contracts, or on a stand-alone project specific basis, including offering clients a full project managed service, incorporating planning, integrated management, engineering, inspection and maintenance and execution.

Mechanical Services

RBG assists clients in achieving their business objective of a safe and leak free work environment by providing appropriate management and control techniques.

Electrical & HVACR Division

This division provides a broad scope of electrical and HVACR services and equipment.

Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Inspection

RBG provides a comprehensive range of project and operational inspection and non-destructive testing services. In the current climate where oil and gas operators are striving to extend the life expectancy of their assets and associated plant, the integrity of these assets must be assured. RBG has invested in a wide range of conventional and advanced NDT equipment to provide this integrity assurance. These services are delivered by highly trained, experienced and competent personnel.


RBG's Fabrication division has an extensive track record of delivering excellence in a wide range of oil, gas, subsea, civil engineering, marine and drilling fabrication and construction projects.

Vendor Inspection & Expediting

This division provides an extensive range of services to support the supply chain management function and the manufacturing process.

Manpower Solutions

This division specialises in providing recruitment services to clients in the international oil and gas industry. The company's experienced and professional personnel work with candidates and employers to match the right people with the right vacancies.

Flooring & decking

This division is a leading manufacturer, supplier and installer of marine deck covering systems. Besides offshore and marine activities, the company also provides decorative flooring sub-contracting services to the UK domestic, retail, industrial and commercial sectors.


The division provides technical support, control and data management services for design, erection and dismantling of scaffolding structures at offshore and onshore locations. The company is fully compliant with the latest European Standard for temporary scaffolding works, BS EN12811-1:2003 and TG20.

Marine Services

This division offers a full range of air and nitrox diving services with particular emphasis on inspection, repair and maintenance related scopes of work. All scopes are assessed and engineered to ensure customer requirements are met and solutions provided for a variety of inshore and offshore locations.

Source: RBG Service Information 2011

Marketing objectives

The company's current marketing objectives are focused on its thriving North Sea contracts. According to a recent press release from the company ('RBG Secures Major North Sea Contracts 2011'), RBG secured more than £150million of new contracts during February 2011 alone, creating 60 new positions in the company in the process. The press release adds that, "RBG, which provides a wide range of expert services to maintain the integrity of production facilities, has experienced a period of significant activity in the North Sea, securing contract wins with a number of major operators to be delivered over the next few years" (RBG Secures Major North Sea Contracts 2011, p. 2). The company's CEO, Dave Workman, observed earlier this year that, "The industry is emerging from a significant downturn and we are now seeing the predicted recovery. We have started strongly in 2011 with an upturn in contract activity, particularly in the UKCS, with demand growing across all of our service lines" (RBG Secures Major North Sea Contracts 2011, p. 1). Some of the more notable corporate objectives that have been achieved recently include:

1. A three-year inspect, repair and maintenance (IRM) air and nitrox diving contract award from Maersk Oil UK, worth up to £36 million including extension options. Around 100 employees from the company's marine and subsea division will provide a range of integrated services including vessel-based diving, autonomous diving support craft and ROV services, for Maersk Oil's North Sea assets.

2. A multi-million pound contract with a major UKCS operator to deliver an integrated range of fabric maintenance and integrity support services on three North Sea platforms. The five-year contract, which has two one-year extension options, will see teams of experienced and multi-disciplined RBG personnel provide essential services such as deck operations, access solutions, protective coatings and other specialist activities (RBG Secures Major North Sea Contracts 2011, p. 2).

The press release also emphasizes the company continues to pursue additional marketing opportunities by becoming even more agile to respond efficiently to changing demand in the marketplace. According to the company, "These investments will ensure that RBG is well positioned to serve the global energy industry and provide integrated and tailored solutions to meet any project requirement" (RBG Secures Major North Sea Contracts 2011, p. 2).

Benchmarking -- via internal and external analysis

One useful way to establish relevant benchmarks to measure the potential implications of internationalization in the future is to examine current performance levels and other key statistics among RBG's several business units (Graafland-Essers & Ettedgui 2003). This data is most likely already available in various databases, but combining this information with projected "what-if" scenarios can help companies decide whether internationalization is in their best interests or not (Karlof, Lundgren & Froment 2001). With respect to RBG, though, the internal analysis is complicated by the company's current level of globalization, and the external analysis by the almost two dozen countries in which the company competes. Besides its global corporate headquarters in Scotland, the company maintains eight major international offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, as well as Trinidad & Tobago and the Caspian region (About us 2011). At present, this global network provides oil and gas extraction support services in more than 20 different countries (About us 2011). In addition, the company has extensive international experience already that dates back more than 3 decades in a wide range of settings, including major projects and contracts in the Caspian region, the North Sea as well as Trinidad and the Gulf of Mexico (RBG Service Information 2011, p. 3).


The basic tenet of market segmentation is that companies can achieve a competitive advantage and improved financial performance by (a) identifying segments of demand, (b) targeting specific segments, and (c) developing specific marketing mixes for each of these targeted market segments (Hunt & Arnett 2004). The company's market is highly fragmented, but some indication of the market segmentation focus at RBG can be discerned from its existing customer base (Vinyard 2006). Currently, RBG provides oil and gas extraction support services to some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, including (among numerous others) the following:

1. BP;

2. Chevron;

3. Apache;

4. Talisman;

5. Conoco Phillips;

6. ExxonMobil;

7. Shell; and,

8. Total (Who we work with 2011).

Moreover, these services are provided to customers located in more than 20 different countries (About us 2011).

Competitor analysis

Because the company already competes in an increasingly globalized marketplace, an analysis of RGB's competitors would involve country- and regional-specific information; new entrants, reorganized firms and global demand therefore all play an important part in determining which competitors are most salient at a given point in time. Some indication of the competition faced by RBG can be discerned from the economic indicators for the industry in which it competes. Currently, the oil and gas extraction industry's general Extraction of Oil and Gas category accounts more than three-quarters (77%) of Scotland's core marine sector's overall gross value added activities such as those performed by RBG and its competitors in 2007 and fully 92% of its gross value…[continue]


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