Increase corporate sustainability – go digital.
We are all aware of the challenges paper and manual processes pose for logistics and communications in the oilfield.
Now we’d like to discuss another complexity entering the system: the imminent loss of institutional memory across the industry.
The number of B.Sc. degrees awarded in Petroleum Engineering in the United States in 2013 was over 900% greater than in 1998. That is a massive shift in just 15 years.
These newly minted graduates are mostly millennials. With approximately 35% of the population having completed a 4-year degree in the U.S. alone, the millennial group is actually larger in number than the baby boomers. Millennials are digital natives who are able to quickly and easily adapt to new and ever evolving technology.
At a time when there’s mounting pressure on producers to be efficient and control costs, there’s also an acute need to ensure all these new crew members understand and document the history and decisions being made for business continuity and auditing purposes. Not to mention the pressures of adjusting to working remotely during a global pandemic.
That begs a few questions that are troubling risk management professionals across the industry:
- How do we protect our people?
- How are we capturing and storing all the key knowledge necessary to mitigate risk and promote business continuity?
- How is that information being transmitted? Is it just through conversation? Is it accurate?
- Are we working with the best (and best value) service providers in the industry?
- How do we measure vendor performance?
- How do we know Health, Safety and Environmental Standards are actually being met?
- Are the guys in the field teaching new workers the most efficient ways to do things or just the way it has always been done?
- How much information has already been lost with the recent turmoil and churn in the market? How much has been systematized and captured for the future?
The answer is technology.
Technology captures and standardizes process flows mitigating the risks associated with the loss of institutional memory. Sometimes maintaining the status quo with respect to communications and logistics systems is easier than adopting new technology and processes. But, as outlined above, there are also significant business risks and hidden costs, which, as time goes on, will be harder to hide.
There is also one final question to ask, why not reduce business risk by going digital?