Careers at Williams Companies
Williams Companies’ mission is to be the premier provider of large-scale infrastructure connecting the growing supply of North American natural gas and natural gas products to growing global demand for clean fuels and feedstocks.
Williams Companies is an energy infrastructure company. The firm operates three reportable business segments:
- Williams Partners – Consists of its consolidated master limited partnership, WPZ, which includes gas pipeline and midstream businesses.
- Williams NGL & Petchem Services – Consists of the Texas Belle pipeline and other domestic olefins pipeline assets and certain Canadian growth projects under development, including a propane dehydrogenation facility and a liquids extraction plant.
- Other – Consists of corporate operations and its Canadian construction services company.
In 1908 brothers David R. Williams and S. Miller Williams, Jr. were working for a contractor with an assignment to pave sidewalks in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The contractor abandoned the job when funding was delayed, but the brothers went ahead and took care of it. They then started The Williams Brothers Corporation, providing construction services, particularly for steel pipelines.
In 1919 they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, the oil and gas epicenter of the U.S. Within a matter of time, they began building pipelines for petroleum and natural gas. After many years, they graduated to cross-country pipelines. In 1949 they sold the firm to their nephew John, and it was renamed Williams Brothers Company. In 1957 it went public. By the 1960s it had become a leader in its sector.
In the decade that followed the company expanded its portfolio through service development and acquisitions. In 1966 it purchased Great Lakes Pipe Line Company, the then-largest petroleum products pipeline in the U.S. In 1971 it acquired The Suburban Companies, a liquid propane gas retailer. That same year, recognizing it had diversified, it was renamed The Williams Companies.
Business model of Williams Companies
Williams Companies has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at firms in the energy and petrochemical industries.
Williams Companies offers two primary value propositions: risk reduction and brand/status.
The company reduces risk by maintaining high safety standards. It created the Pipeline Integrity Management Plan (IMP), which identifies safety procedures that it adheres to as an added safeguard for liquid and gas transmission pipelines in highly populated areas. Its overall goal is“Operational Excellence“, which involves zero injuries, zero accidents, and zero releases.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It owns and operates over 33,000 miles of pipelines, including the United States‘ largest-volume and fastest-growing pipeline. Its interstate gas pipeline and gathering and processing operations include strategic assets in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest and the Eastern Seaboard. The company‘s Williams Partners segment is one of the largest energy master limited partnerships in North America, and its operations touch about 30% of natural gas in the U.S.
Williams Companies’ main channel is its business development team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and participation in trade shows and conferences.
Williams Companies’ customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products and services while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website enables clients to manage their account, resolve issues, schedule activities, and more.
Williams Companies’ business model entails generating and delivering its energy products for its customers.
Williams Companies’ key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the equipment and materials it needs to run its operations.
Williams Companies’ main resources are its physical resources, the main one being 115 miles of pipelines in the Houston Ship Channel area that transport ethane, ammonia, propane, tertiary butyl alcohol, and other industrial products used in the petrochemical industry.
Other major physical resources are a tunnel-crossing pipeline under the Houston Ship Channel and the 280-mile Bayou Ethane Pipeline, which runs between Texas and Louisiana.
Williams Companies has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is product costs. Other major drivers are in the areas of operation/maintenance and sales/marketing, both fixed expenses.
Williams Companies has two revenue streams: revenues it generates from sales of its products and from sales of its services. Sales typically occur through the signing of long-term contracts.
info: Alan Armstrong earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He previously served as President of Williams Companies’ midstream and olefins businesses in North America and as Vice President of Gathering and Processing.
info: Donald R. Chapel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting at the University of Illinois. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Williams Partners and as CFO and SVP of Operations and Administration at Waste Management, Inc.
info: Robyn Ewing earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting at the University of Tulsa. She previously served as Vice President of Human Resources at Williams Companies and worked at MAPCO.
info: Sarah Miller earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Oklahoma State University and a JD at Oklahoma City University. She previously served as Assistant General Counsel at Williams Companies and as a litigation associate at Crowe & Dunlevy.
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