With more than 20 years’ electronics and operations experience, Michael Greening joined STR in 2023 as our Rental and Services Sales Manager for the Americas region.
In this instalment of our ‘Meet the Team’ series, Michael shares his perspective on what makes STR the go-to choice for subsea technology, why he is so passionate about the work he does and what he sees in STR’s future…
Tell us more about your career background and what led you to STR…
“I began my career in the Marine Corps, where I served for 11 years focusing on avionics and electronics for helicopters. I then became an electronics instructor before transitioning into the subsea industry.
“My first role in this sector involved technical and engineering support on ROVs and support equipment for an ROV provider in Louisiana. This led me to a position as an offshore Survey Engineer at a leading global offshore survey company where I progressed to project support manager, then operations manager.
“During this time, I got to know STR through renting its equipment and was always impressed by the quality of the service. I previously worked with Randy Mullins, STR’s Regional Vice President, and when he joined STR at the beginning of 2023, I was keen to explore new opportunities to further develop my career. When the opportunity arose to lead the regional sales team at STR, I felt the growth ambitions of the business matched my personal goals.”
What is your key area of expertise and which of STR’s technologies are you most involved in?
“I’m highly experienced in construction and survey equipment such as LBL and surface positioning, but since joining STR, I’ve developed a great understanding of geophysical equipment. The confidence and knowledge I’ve built on the equipment is down to the incredible team that I work with, which is full of individuals passionate about enabling each other's progression and finding effective solutions for our customers.
“I think this approach has allowed me to fit in really well with the STR team and the work we do. Throughout my professional life, I've thrived in high-stakes environments that demand quick reactions, precision, and the ability to solve problems. From challenging circumstances in the Marine Corps to handling imminent requests in the offshore industry, I’ve honed my ability to find fast and effective solutions to solve problems.
What does a typical day look like for your role, and what is your ultimate goal?
“I’m up early to catch up with the UK office and handle some emails - it’s a great start to the day to feel organised and on top of customers’ priorities. By the time 8am rolls around, my focus shifts to regional meetings and customer calls.
“I spend about 70% of my time communicating with customers discussing their operational requirements and making sure they're getting the optimum technical solution for their project, including pre-mobilisation equipment integration tests.
“My goal every day is to get as much information from our customers as possible to ensure I can deliver a service that makes their jobs easier and more effective, all while getting back to them with a solution as quickly as possible.
Why are you so passionate about the work you do?
“For me, it’s the fast tempo of it all and the support I receive from everyone at STR. I’m the type of person who just can't sit still for too long, and I’ve always thrived in a fast paced environment where I need to solve problems quickly. At STR it's constantly dynamic and different every day. One moment you're attending team meetings or completing paperwork, the next you're helping a customer with an urgent request that needs to be solved as soon as possible.
“I've also always enjoyed being part of a team, whether it was playing sports growing up, being in the Marine Corps or being part of an offshore team. What I really like about working at STR is the level of camaraderie - everyone is working towards a common goal, which you don’t always get in business.
“Another reason I’m so passionate about working for STR is that there’s a real commitment to supporting its team and what’s important to them. With my background in the Marine Corps, STR now sponsors a veteran non-profit organisation called Now or Never, which I’m really passionate about. It organises fishing and hunting trips for veterans to help build trust and relationships or support those who are having a hard time connecting with the civilian world once they’ve come out of service.
What do you see in STR’s future over the next 3 to 5 years?
“STR has experienced significant growth both internationally and locally. We have quickly transitioned from start-up to a scale-up business in the USA and we are excited about the emerging offshore renewables market. One of our main goals is to continue to support our customers' growth through our diverse service suite. STR has invested in all its facilities, equipment fleet and the organisation and we have recently increased the capacity of our in-house production team. We have a new product development plan, which is very exciting, and I believe will further enhance STR’s technology and service offering.
“Autonomous systems, new technology are transitioning some offshore activities and ways of working from offshore to onshore, reducing the number of people on vessels and rigs. As a result, there's going to be an increased requirement for specialised technical experts to integrate and maintain the equipment during mobilisations and project operations. This is an area STR can continue to deliver value to our customers.”
Why do you think people choose STR as a supplier?
“What I’ve learned is that if you want to separate yourself from your competition, you have to ask yourself ‘How fast can I solve my client’s problems and provide them with the optimum technical solution?’. As someone who comes from an operations management background, I've been on the other side of the fence where you’re trying to mobilise a vessel on a Friday night, you’ve got a question and there are no suppliers available to answer the phone until Monday. Those 48 hours could potentially cost >$200,000 in vessel time lost waiting for that answer.
“At STR, we are an organisation from top to bottom with a depth of operational experience and strong domain knowledge. We’re always prepared to go the extra mile to get the best technical solutions package delivered to our customers on time. We pride ourselves in being agile and providing our customers with best-in-class customer service – providing the best customer experience drives strong re-occuring sales and helps develop very strong customer relationships.
When you work with STR, it's not like going to Walmart and picking something off the shelf - we dig deep into the engineering and operations side of things, and ask ‘what application do you need the equipment package for?’, ‘How can we support you to optimise vessel uptime, improve data acquisition and overall project performance’ That's the level of attention and customisation our customers need from STR - it's more of a partnership with the customer and it’s one area we pride ourselves in doing differently from our competitors.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
“This isn’t so much a piece of advice but a quote that I have always remembered throughout my career: “They say that no matter how hard you work, there is always someone, somewhere who is working harder than you - be that someone”.
“This is something that I’ve applied in all areas of life, both personal and professional. There are many things that are out of our control, or things that other people are better at, but the one thing that is controllable by any person is their work ethic. If you work hard, stay curious about what you don’t know and learn from your mistakes, then you’ll succeed.”
Find out more about STR and our suite of best-in-class services here...