Operational efficiency was a dominant discussion point at Offshore Europe this year as energy companies strive to find ways to survive against the slump in global oil prices.

The current climate has put immense pressure on companies to cut supply chain costs whilst continuing to improve the efficiency, safety and accuracy of operations. To achieve this, many companies are looking inwardly at processes and outwardly at technology to provide the solution.

Manual efforts bring operational risks and can be time consuming, costly and prone to error – particularly as supply chains are becoming more complex and moving into increasingly remote locations. Automating this process can provide the opportunity for companies to have one complete, real-time, accurate view of its assets and equipment throughout the global supply chain.

These observations were reinforced recently in PwC’s report: ‘Understanding Supply Chain Management: What does good look like?’ Researchers found that increased automation in supply chain processing is one way oil and gas companies can provide substantial value.

The report also found that most companies recognise the importance and power of data analysis, especially spend analytics, but in order to gain this data capture and reporting, processes need substantial improvements.

Imagine having access to one view of all of your company’s assets and equipment across the world. Being able to find out the location, status, certification schedules and even track spend of project critical equipment using just your web browser. Or even receiving alerts every time an asset enters or leaves a location. Imagine how valuable that data would be?

It would mean more accurate decision making and allow the business to plan effectively – reducing risks and being able to rectify issues before they occur. It’s no good having the right equipment in the wrong place, or the wrong equipment in the right place. Lost misplaced and delayed equipment costs the oil and gas industry billions of dollars every year – dollars that would help position the industry well to weather the current climate.

Additionally, the ability to accurately track spend across all cost centres and projects based on actual location should greatly reduce misallocation of cost, reduce administration time associated with invoicing and allow companies to focus on their core business safe in the knowledge that these peripheral functions are being managed appropriately.

Having that view would also allow more efficient asset management and provide an accurate view of utilisation and monitor return on investment.

The pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiency is not a passing phase, but an opportunity for a more sustained effort to challenge existing procedures and look to technology to help streamline the process.

By Nick Coaton, General Manager Track & Trace Solutions

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation
to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this
article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from
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