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Collaboration in the cloud

by e-office

It is not getting easier to meet higher Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) standards. Regulations, costumer demands, industry standards; how do you as an offshore- or maritime company stay compliant and in control, and how do you stay ahead of the competition? Smart cloud systems make it possible to plan operational and management processes in an efficient and effective way. Cloud systems provide transparency, make  knowledge and information accessible and support collaboration on a project basis. Another advantage is that it requires just a small investment.

“The problem with QHSE management is that it creates a paper reality instead of an integrated part of an operational process. What happens in a daily practice is that it differs from processes that are written out in management systems. But if you have a covenant that tells that everybody on a platform gets a safety manual, you have to prove that it is really handed out when there is an audit or inspection”, says expert Maarten Smit from MS-Support. Smit has decades of experience in the offshore and maritime industry and in the oil business. He worked in operations, had positions in the field of QHSE management and performed audits.

The QHSE management requirements are becoming more important. “Setting up procedures just to please external stakeholders, is not going to cut it”, explains Smit. Take for instance the new ISO structure, with its specific criteria for compliance liability. You have to know what requirements are applicable for your company and take this into account in your management processes. Then you have to follow up with actions to meet these requirements.

Acquire QHSE in operational processes

The possibility for vessels or oil rigs to get access to the internet by using satellites, paved the way for smart cloud systems that shape up operational processes and projects that have elements of QHSE. Smit: “Think of all kinds of practical solutions that can be a part of this process. Like visit, technical defect and incident reports, but also change, certificate and documentation management. It also makes it easy producing schedules and it can register resting hours. There are plenty of possibilities. The core of a cloud solution is that it makes processes, procedures and information accessible and transparent for all those involved. It makes the collaboration between the office and vessels or oil rigs much easier. Also it makes the communication between external stakeholders, like authorities or clients, more efficient and simpler to do.”

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He gives an example: “Let’s say there is a charter party that is thinking of extending the contract of one of your vessels, but first they want to know if the findings of a two and a half years old inspection report they made, were carried out. If you have a cloud system you can show it a click of a mouse.”

Transparency and creating trust

A cloud solution has to be tailor-made for specific company needs, says Smit. That’s something IBM and its business partner e-office do with the platform IBM Connections and IBM Watson technology that uses artificial intelligence, in combination with smart apps for video conferences or setting up procedures. Smit: “They provide the building blocks which make it simple to make infrastructures for communications, share information on an individual level or for whole project teams and make data accessible. But also for the deliverance of static information about performance indicators or making it simple and efficient to upload of information and internal forms.”

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This way of working provides transparency and this means the end of ‘little kingdoms’ within companies. It creates trust in management systems, says Smit. “Management, employees and other stakeholders realise that everything is taken care of. Because it is easier to communicate, there is more interaction within the company. This creates support. Next to that, processes run faster and more efficient. This saves administrative work.”

Start small for low costs

A good infrastructure, documentation, registration and measurement make the level of compliance and control increase, concludes Smit. Costs are no obstacle. “If there is an infrastructure for and availability of internet onboard of a vessel or oil rig, why not use it for a cloud solution? The advantage of the cloud is that you can start small with low investments and let the system grow organically with the idea to eliminate the paper process. It is recommended to work with an internationally renowned party, so that you are sure there will be continuity.”

Interested in more information about compliance and control in the offshore industry? Visit the knowledge session ‘The future of energy and utilities – be compliant, be in control’ on 16 March (Dutch Spoken). For more information and registration click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 23 februari 2017