Originally from Norway, Christenson is currently present in Seadrill’s offices in Rio de Janeiro He knows Aker Solutions’ drilling equipment inside out and has travelled the world on numerous service missions. He also has extensive expat experience from Brazil and South Korea. At the moment, Christenson’s main concern is the West Eminence, a double Ram Rig built in Korea operating offshore Brazil, but he is also dealing with the West Taurus and the West Orion which are conventional rigs built in Singapore “Working as a key account manager is similar to several of my previous jobs, and I enjoy having a close dialogue with Seadrill’s organisation,” says Christenson.
Alexei Kerkis, Seadrill’s rig leader for the West Eminence, said the benefits of a key account manager are: “We get better in-house support and quicker turnaround than previously and it keeps the small problems from being blown out of proportion.”
Kerkis emphasises the importance of field experience when working as a key account manager: “Bodvar Christenson has prior experience as a service engineer and knows exactly who in Aker Solutions to contact for specific problems and issues. Many times he is able to address the problem himself.”
Christenson’s counterpart in Singapore, Lu Tze Lin is also located in Seadrill’s offices. He has been working in Aker Solutions since 2004, previously as a service engineer and in sales since 2010 and is facing many of the same issues as his colleague in Brazil. He serves West Hercules and West Aquarius, two deepwater drilling rigs operating outside China.
“Providing fast and accurate assistance to the client is my main objective,” he says. “I can tell that our key account system makes a difference and that our clients feel more confident when they have a key account manager who can give due attention to urgent issues.”
Stepping up our services
One common challenge for Christenson and Lin is to get support and priority from product responsible personnel in Norway. “The support from Norway is getting better, thanks to rig specific task forces and lifecycle engineering (LCE), but we still could benefit from an even faster response rate,” says Lin. “Please remember to give the task forces and technical customer expeditors (TCEs) credit too,” he adds. “They do a great job and they are faced with a lot of challenges too.”
Christenson agrees that responsiveness from the organisations that has the system knowledge is critical, not only from Norway but also from Germany when it comes to mud pumps and drawworks. “Heavy technical things often linger in the system,” Christenson said. “Luckily I have a good network and I know exactly who to call to get the information I need. Our presence in the customer’s organisation enables us to be more in touch with issues at an early stage. Most querys get a quicker response than earlier, opposed to having to wait for the home office to confirm receipt of their inquiry.”