Digital transformation, including the effects of artificial intelligence and blockchain, took center stage at the most recent Supply Chain roundtable on August 14.
Panelists included Phillip Goodwin, President, DistributionNOW; Rohit Robinson, Vice President, Product Management & Strategic Marketing, Apergy; and Pierre Mawet, Managing Director, Resources Operating Group Supply Chain & Operations Practice Lead, Accenture. Supply Chain Committee member Joe Murphy, Vice President, Sales, Forged Products, moderated.
Phillip Goodwin began the session with an overview of digital transformation, an explanation of what it truly means, and challenges organizations can face during implementation.
Goodwin shared his perspective on the speed at which digital transformation is happening across all types of industries and noted the energy industry is in the midst of actively responding to digital disruption. He shared several specific applications for operators that are currently being used, highlighting big – or smart – data, robotics, drones and predictive analytic tools.
Goodwin closed with a view from an energy services company, noting waiting until digital transformation is forced upon the industry is not an option. As operators accelerate their journey, service companies need to evaluate their current offerings and processes, identify opportunities to adopt new technologies and determine new competitive differentiators as a way to align themselves with their customers.
Next, Rohit Robinson addressed the current significance of artificial intelligence (AI) in many different professional sectors. He pointed out AI can take on such activities such as sifting through large volumes of data, generating reasonable insights and optimizing towards a specific objective while remaining within constraints.
Robinson explained that in oil and gas, utilizing AI can reduce downtime, save on costs, sustain operations, increase safety and produce more throughout the value chain.
Robinson also presented a use case where Apergy applied AI to detect suction leak risk on a piece of equipment, sharing the effective results on compressor monitoring.
He closed with explaining why his organization decided to use AI, citing reasons such as limited resources to monitor hundreds of assets in real time and differences in opinions in deciding if an asset had a certain issue.
Lastly, Pierre Mawet discussed blockchain, a term often used in the oil and gas space regarding supply chain. Mawet reviewed today’s typical message-based business model and the challenges industry can face using traditional data systems, such as redundancy in data capture and maintenance of data, questions around origin of data and security risk.
Mawet said a blockchain business model creates a confidence an organization can count on, primarily because of the transparency incorporated. Origin of data can be traced and not tampered with, data is controlled and shared by multiple parties, and there is agreement across the business regarding rules, governance and standards.
Mawet also shared a case study where blockchain was implemented across three organizations with significant results, such as streamlining processes and reducing the requirement for data entry.
Following the presentations, the speakers fielded questions from the audience, allowing for open discussion and sharing of best practices.
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The PESA Supply Chain Committee hosts quarterly roundtable events educating PESA member companies on the various trends, challenges and solutions affecting domestic and global supply chain departments.
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