Building a “future-ready” supply chain for energy and resources logistics
As we look towards the "new normal" as a sign of recovery from the pandemic, a key question we need to ask ourselves is: what does - or will - the "new normal" look like? At IBS Software, we think that "future-ready" supply chains and logistics for upstream energy and resources will display the following characteristics:
Lack of collaboration between interdependent internal and external functions have caused longstanding operational inefficiencies and cost overruns that make supply chains vulnerable to large-scale disruptions. For an oil, gas, or energy operator, with multiple stakeholders at play, across operational processes, the supply chain ecosystem is complex and fallible. Moving forward, interconnected digital supply chains will facilitate collaboration and generate efficiencies, not only within organizations but also across the entire partner ecosystem.
End-to-end supply chain visibility
360o transparency has become a non-negotiable 'x' factor for user-centric solutions. For global supply chains with a plethora of interdependent operations across locations, facilities, and different modes of transport, end-to-end visibility on the movement of people, goods, and equipment from source to end-destination is a strategic advantage.
Digital platforms with 'Global Track and Trace' and 'Control Tower' capabilities help identify potential non-compliances, disruptions, and operational risks in advance and proactively respond to them. Ultimately, real-time visibility helps minimize the impact of unplanned events across the operational lifecycle.
Cognitive process automation
The impact of the pandemic on global supply chains has reinforced why 'cognitive process automation' needs to be embedded into the core of operations for increased agility and resilience in dynamic and often disruptive scenarios. 'Cognitive automation' allows human expertise to be tapped into during autonomous processes for more pragmatic outcomes. AI powered systems help forecast demand but can also run simulations for different scenarios to ensure optimal capacity planning, for example, even in the face of rapidly changing circumstances.
Decarbonizing the upstream energy logistics and supply chain is critical to meeting ambitious net-zero goals. While some energy operators and service providers are already making big investments towards sustainable operations, 'low-hanging fruits' can also deliver significant immediate benefits on the journey to a low-carbon future. One of those is adopting cloud-based digital solutions that provide:
- An integrated ecosystem giving insights on GHG emissions and ways to offset them
- AI-based fleet, route, and schedule optimization to help reduce the carbon footprint, and
- Measures to ensure equipment and asset integrity and compliance
Towards resilient and efficient supply chains and logistics
Given the lessons learnt from the pandemic, energy operators and service providers are looking to shift quickly towards "Lean – Elastic Models" to improve agility and resilience while lowering costs and service disruption risks even in uncertain operating conditions. While the pace of technological evolution accelerates, choosing the right partners and solutions to thrive in the "new normal" is critical to achieving cost savings, reducing cycle times, improving organizational processes, and achieving operational excellence.
Nandu P G is a Principal Consultant with IBS Software' Energy and Resources Logistics line of business. Based in Cochin, India, he helps customers and partners in the Energy & Resources sector develop and implement transformational business processes and tailor-made digital solutions to increase safety and compliance, optimize processes and efficiency, and maximize value and user experiences. He brings close to 17 years of experience working with major oil, gas, and mining corporations around the world, including Shell, BP and RioTinto. He writes about the emerging trends and the industry best practices for sustainable operations in the energy & logistics sector.