Subsea Engineering Associates
We are Subsea Engineering Associates
We are a Perth-based company providing engineering,
consulting and project management support to the
offshore energy sector, in particular the offshore oil and
gas industry. Our 50-plus employees support clients
in Australia, Europe and the US. We have an awardwinning
automated engineering and data platform, the
ICE Platform, which complements our engineering team.
We started exporting in 2015
We started exporting in response to the downturn
in the local industry. Export earnings now account
for nearly half of our annual turnover, and continue
to increase year on year. Exporting allows us to take
Australian experience and new technology developed
on the back of many years of offshore project activity
to the world. Our delivery model is different to the
majority of engineering service providers; we use
technology to be cost competitive, retaining experience
in Perth and bringing work back to Australia.
The hardest thing about starting to export was getting
a foot in the door
Gaining that first foothold in a new region or industry
is difficult. Overseas clients really need to see a strong
value proposition to change from the existing supply
chain or see the results from comparable projects.
We have used government financial assistance to
offset business development costs
The EMDG offset close to half of our expenditure on
export business development for the last five years.
The payoff is clear, with a significant increase in export
earnings over this period. We rely on the EMDG when
deciding whether or not to pursue new markets and
We have also been pre-approved for financial assistance
from Export Finance Australia to cover project bid and
performance bonds. Without this support we would
not have been able to submit competitive proposals for
certain overseas projects.
When we started exporting, we wish we had known
that hunting alone is not the way to go
Engaging in partnerships with overseas companies to
provide an attractive joint capability offering has been
a key learning for us. Attendance at trade shows, with
industry-led delegations, is the best way to form these
partnerships and connections.
Exporting has enabled our business to grow, retain and
develop Australian-based engineering talent.
Exposure to overseas projects and the combination
of our proprietary engineering automation tools will
ensure our team is well placed to grow and survive
The three things we would tell first-time exporters are: