Trust, Teamwork, and Talent

Optimal Field Services
Written by Allison Dempsey

Understanding that every project comes with risks, Optimal Field Services strives to help minimize those risks by implementing unique solutions across the nation, helping clients stay on schedule and within budget. With its commitment to honesty and reliability, and with the expertise of highly skilled and knowledgeable artisans in numerous locations, Optimal’s impressive experience and commitment to success have helped shape the company into what it is today.

After years of working in the field, Optimal’s small founding team decided to make a break and build the kind of company they wanted to work for. With only five full-time employees at its founding in 2013, today Optimal is a multi-state operation with over 200 employees and a network of thousands of elite craftspeople.

Expanding cross-country
Headquartered in Geismar, Louisiana, Optimal Field Services provides comprehensive industrial services to clients across the country, with skilled teams at client sites and offices to provide customers with powerful, productive, and proven results through specialization in turnaround services, specialty welding, capital projects, and maintenance services.

Committed to establishing a business built on teamwork, trust, and the idea that everyone has a role to play in performing their job proficiently and knowledgeably, Optimal positively impacts the market and clients it serves by not only establishing a solid reputation from the ground up but by expanding the business alongside customers.

“Even as Optimal approaches its tenth year of operation, the team has an energetic desire to exceed expectations from its partner clients and ourselves,” says Shane Doss, President of Optimal Field Services. “We want to be the best option for our clients. The team we have is built for excellence and drives that culture in everything we do, even though we still have room to learn, grow, and do better. We stay very humble, appreciate our partners, and never take anything for granted.”

Optimal also takes great pride in driving the industry forward by leveraging its deep knowledge and strong company values. The accountability and common ideals shared by Optimal’s team are deeply embedded across the company, Doss adds.

Built on trust
“We understand that results start with trust,” he says, and he believes it’s trust that underpins the company’s impressive longevity in the industry. In line with those values, Optimal joined the Crest Industries Family of Companies in 2016, opening the door to further growth, support, and success across all areas of the business.

A natural fit with Crest Industries—an organization that has a strong history of serving its clients for over 60 years—Optimal is also dedicated to supporting its clients and being present when most needed.

That outstanding support extends to the company’s employees. Optimal prides itself on treating its team members like family, which means ensuring they are protected, particularly when it comes to issues of safety. “Safety is not just something we practice,” says Doss. “Safety is embedded in our core values and in everything we do.”

The company certainly has an outstanding and impressive safety record—one single OSHA recordable and zero lost time throughout its existence—which Doss attests to holding its people accountable and responsible.

“We give them the training and tools necessary to be safe every minute, every day,” he says, adding it’s culture driven from the top down. “Craftspeople who repeatedly return to work for Optimal know they are all well cared for. This type of team-based and customer-centered focus is at the heart of our safety program.”

Along with safety, Optimal has much to feel proud of when celebrating what sets it apart from other companies in the industry.

“From leadership to those on the frontline, everyone on the Optimal team recognizes that our people are the most powerful tool on every job,” says Doss. “We retain the most sought-after project managers and superintendents who bring their own core teams of skilled craftspeople, allowing us to know their past proven quality and safety record before they arrive on the job site. Our values and the way we treat people like family allow us to retain the best talent in the industry.”

Optimal’s leadership rejects the idea of assembling an “A-Team” within an organization’s workforce as they believe everyone in the company is expected to be A-Team caliber, displaying top-notch performance at all times.

“Being a privately held company gives us the ability to focus on long-term value-added relationships with all of our stakeholders,” Doss says. “All decisions are based on our company values.”

Carbon commitment
Those values extend to the company’s commitment to a carbon-negative future, recognizing the importance of creating robust programs to support environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.

“As the discussion around the climate crisis continues to grow, the quest for carbon neutrality is becoming a predominant influencer in decisions about building new partnerships and policies across the industrial and petrochemical sectors,” explains Doss. Unlike many other organizations its size, Optimal’s company-wide sustainability goals are in line with many energy industry titans such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Dow, with carbon reduction being at the forefront of Optimal’s overall sustainability program.

Additionally, for decades Crest Industries has offset its emissions through its ownership and sustainable management of more than 100,000 acres of timberland in Louisiana and Texas through its subsidiary Crest Natural Resources. Earlier last year, Crest commissioned a third-party evaluation of its operations to identify its company-wide Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in addition to the carbon sequestered by its timberland holdings.

“The results were exciting as the Crest Industries Family of Businesses was declared carbon-negative for all Scope 1 and 2 emissions,” Doss says.

With an eye to that greener future, Optimal’s upcoming projects are based on both renewable fuel and biofuel in the refinery and chemical areas. Considered the wave of the future within the industry, biofuel demand is rising quickly on a global scale as the integrity of the world’s food supply and the requirement for lower emissions from industry and transportation, as well as increased energy security, is an ongoing concern.

Biofuels, which can be produced locally, are a desirable alternative for nations presently dependent on geopolitically unpredictable oil and gas supplies and are also considered to be a practical substitute for fossil fuels in nations with net-zero ambitions. When burned, biofuels produce fewer damaging greenhouse gases (GHGs) than fossil fuels since they are made from organic waste, plants, animals, and crops, all renewable resources. In short, biofuels can help make the world a better place to live.

Pride in people
Optimal has enjoyed other impressive accomplishments over the past few years, including taking “great pride” in developing its team members into strong leaders. Optimal has seen a 94 percent growth rate over 2021, has received an array of safety awards from its clients, and has added an additional long-term maintenance partner to its portfolio.

“During COVID, we focused on the growth of our employees with robust company-wide employee development and training programs,” Doss says. The team leveraged teachings from the talent development and team dynamic experts at Simon Sinek, and has also adopted their philosophy of ‘bigger does not mean better, but better is how we get bigger.’

“The company’s central strategy is built upon the foundational set of four core values: We take care of our people; we are our word; we value our partnerships; and we have something to prove,” says Doss.

Challenges have included dealing with the pandemic and the unique issues it presented. However, the connection with Crest Industries has provided an extra layer of security and accountability for the Optimal team that gives them the flexibility to endure and succeed when challenges arise.

An example of this would be despite the emergence of COVID in 2020 and its massive disruption to the petrochemical industry, Optimal was able to retain its entire workforce. Not a single employee was displaced.

“We take care of our people; it’s what we do and who we are,” says Doss. “How can we help our clients, employees, and their families when they need us if we didn’t retain our people through the tough times?”

Ambitions for the upcoming years include greater client diversification, says Doss, together with a resolute focus on the company’s values which have done so much to shape and grow the success of the business since its inception.

“We’re focusing on safety and quality,” he says, “with a continued level of safety, excellence, and quality of execution with existing clients as Optimal continues to find ways to add growth with each, and understanding clients’ needs to develop a custom solution specific to each.”

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