Tim Bell is the oldest of the four Bell brothers, the founding family of MODS. Tim has worked for MODS since the early years assisting his brother Jon, now CEO and father, Keith, when the company was formed back in 2002. Tim left school with plans to study Mechanical Engineering at University, but fate had other plans for him leading Tim to quickly join forces with his father and start his career specializing in Dimensional control.
Tim shares his rather accidental path into the Energy sector:
“I was due to start college and on the first day, driving to campus, I had quite a serious accident. I never actually made it to college, ended up in hospital for a month or so. It was quite a serious fall and by the time I'd been released from hospital and was fit enough to attend, the classes had already started and the academic year was well under way. I just sort of carried on in an apprenticeship type role, and it wasn’t long before I started going offshore and never really made it back to further education. It might have seemed like a bad start but actually, I’ve ended up having a great career”.
Dimensional control and Auto-CAD were Tim’s initial specialties, skills that were quickly picked up by larger organizations such as the Wood Group and Scopus. Tim’s experience was soon developed and in demand across the globe as Tim explains:
“ I came home to Scotland for a holiday as I working in the States. I received a phone call from my company asking if I would urgently work in Brazil and instead of going back to Houston, I was to head straight to South America. So, I left everything and spent the following three years in Brazil doing dimensional control on a big project for Halliburton which was very interesting”.
However, Tim was destined to return to the family fold when Jon and their father started MODS. They were quick to enlist Tim’s expertise in Dimensional Control and a return to Scotland and regular offshore tasks in the North Sea was soon routine.
As the years progressed, Tim worked with a number of multi-national organizations in the Energy sector where he developed his talents to include skills in piping design, engineering, construction and developing work packs. MODS, however, magnetically attracted him back to the family business where he has more recently developed a particular partnership with Petrofac over the past year.
“I have been fortunate in my career to gain a lot of experience in a variety of roles in different locations. Petrofac is a great client to work for and I spend a lot of my time now, as the Technical Interface manager, assisting them with the use of our software products. They use MODS Connect when creating and utilizing Work packs for example and I regularly assist them in areas such as Completions. We have a good working relation and with my background in the Oil and Gas industry, they know we can converse with each other knowledgably, as I really do know and appreciate the issues they might be having. I actually prefer this role I’m in at the moment, compared to all the other jobs I’ve done, as I like getting involved with the practical usage side of the software. I'm happy to liaise with Petrofac and our various other clients and find out what their problems are and try and fix them for them. If you can even suggest something that might help them, even if it's out with the software, you know, it helps things to run a bit smoother. So having experience, certainly in piping and Dimensional control, I'm able to sort of throw a couple suggestions in there, just to try and help things, and the guys do appreciate that.
For us at MODS based in Aberdeen, the relationship with Petrofac has really developed over the past year, it’s a very enjoyable challenge working with them as they have so many assets. And we hope to build on that across the rest of the UK. We have worked hard collaborating on a tailored product that will make our software their go-to system”.
Client relationships are a large part of Tim’s role, where building trust and being responsive to clients’ needs is all part of the process in designing a software solution that fits their need. Tim has been recently focusing on developing Work Packs, instruction information collated and used to help operators complete a task. Historically, Work packs were large, paper-based files, physical folders full of all the necessary documents. Technology and software have transformed these cumbersome folders into a digital files that can be accessed from anywhere via laptop or mobile hand-held.
MODS Work Packs take this solution one step further by linking it to other programs within their MODS Connect suite as Tim explains:
“Every time we read a newspaper, everything talks about digitalization or changing processes into digital. And I look at it and think, wow, we sort of started this quite a while ago, and it only seems to be now that people are catching on to it. MODS have been developing their Work pack software for more than a decade. We’ve still got a lot of fine tuning and learning to do, but I feel that we're a step ahead of most of our competitors at this stage, because we have been lucky enough to recognize this at an earlier stage than most and have developed the product with clients along the way. Because of that, we've managed to build up a team of people that have learned as they've gone along and in turn our products are highly developed having past the teething stage of design and execution years ago”.
Teamwork might be top of the work list for Tim but the highest priority in his life is, of course, his family. Married with one gaming-mad son, Tim enjoys his downtime with his loved ones at home in Aberdeen. The Bell brothers are well-known petrol-heads with multiple motorbikes between them, however, Tim is quick to add that he’s more into watching motorsport now rather than taking part. He does admit to being a keen football supporter and happily confesses to prefer spending as much quality time at home enjoying family life.