A million trips for Telelink

St. John's call centre hits milestone for Houston-based oil and gas service company

Daniel MacEachern dmaceachern@cbncompass.ca
Published on May 5, 2012
Team leader Brad Langeer points out the Newfoundland hub of Weatherford International Ltd. at the Telelink call centre in St. John's. Using GPS technology Langer and other team members have instant two-way communications with drivers for passing and receiving vital information. - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Around 7:12 a.m. Sunday, Jon Marshall took a call at the Telelink centre on St. John's - and then danced around the office, high-fiving co-workers.

The reason? It was Telelink's millionth journey co-ordinated for its biggest client.

Telelink's live tracking system for oil and gas service provider Weatherford International co-ordinates trips and routes for the Houston-based company's drivers, between 2,500 and 3,000 of them per day. Charlie Reid, Telelink's director of business development, said the company uses a GPS tracking system and software to track vehicles.

"We can see drivers, where they are, how fast they're driving, what location they're going to, and we track and manage those driver activities to and from their work sites to ensure they get to their location safely, and then back again safely," said Reid Friday at Telelink's office, just ahead of a ceremony to mark the million-journey milestone.

Jeff Hudson, a Weatherford manager on hand for the ceremony, said the tracking system has improved the company's efficiency.

"When there is a storm or anything like that that would cause difficulty for driving, we're made aware of that and we can plan accordingly," he said.

Reid said the work with Weatherford - their first and still biggest client in transportation logistics - is a point of pride for Telelink.

"We've had incidents or situations where we've had calls from drivers' family members, thanking us for keeping their dads safe," he said.

"We've had situations where regional QHSSE (quality, health, safety, security and environment) managers within Weatherford have asked us to shut down certain areas because of poor weather conditions. So we play proactive roles in ensuring that those drivers get that communication."

Telelink CEO Cindy Roma noted that the Weatherford contract has seen a lot of growth since Telelink took on the project in 2009, from eight people working on it for a few hundred trips per day, to 60 people looking after 2,500 trips per day.

Reid said the company has been waiting for the journey counter to tick over to the one million mark for about a month and a half - and Roma adds there was even an office pool for bets on when the millionth journey would actually come, with half of the money going to the winner and half going to the company's efforts to raise money to buy a critical-care crib for the Janeway Children's Hospital.

Marshall, the employee who took the call for the millionth journey - earning himself prizes including tickets to an IceCaps playoff game in the process - did a dance and a victory lap around the office, forgetting that it would be picked up by the office's security camera; the video can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMrXLlqrxu8.

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com, Twitter: TelegramDaniel