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We currently find ourselves in unprecedented circumstances, a scenario that is literally of ‘once in a century’ type proportions, which is having far reaching impacts on us all. Understanding how your business can not only survive, but also thrive in these times is key.

Covid-19 has impacted the energy industry in a multitude of ways: the fall in demand from both consumer and industry is a phenomenon never previously seen and combined with the resulting oversupply issues, has had a devastating reduction in the oil price. Supply chains and the wider business world have slowed down to such an extent that the operating landscape is also unrecognisable, and the impact on travel and movement of both people and equipment means that old ways of working no longer produce results.

How then can you position your business to not just survive, but to thrive in this new world?

More than ever, an outcome focussed approach is critical. The use cases that you need to implement in your business have not changed, rather have amplified and expanded to include the landscape as well as the task at hand. Ensuring that the right approach is being taken and the correct aspects are sharply in focus is key – doing more with what you have, making your assets work harder and ensuring that new initiatives are actually providing value is the way forward.

At Merkle we start with the value and your KPIs, not what data you have. What are the key things you want to achieve? What is going to really benefit your business, drive it forward and produce results? Do you need to achieve more production with your current assets? Do you need to reduce your CO2 emissions? Are you struggling to know where your workforce currently are and if they’re able to get to where you need them? Do you know how long expensive hired equipment is sitting on quayside or in a warehouse, costing money rather than being utilised or returned?

A wealth of data is nothing new and has been the input to decision making for decades. There is a plethora of data in the energy industry and engineers have been using it to understand how their assets work and can be improved. Advanced analytics allows these skilled experts’ understanding to be brought to life and explored without any additional investment in traditional simulations or off-shore trials. Machine learning can leverage your data assets and provide insights at speed, allowing decisions to be made on such things as current oil price or levels of emissions being generated.

New ways of working have had to be implemented to keep everyone safe and comply with government regulations. Whilst these might be very different to how things used to be, they offer benefits that can be leveraged. Remote online working means skilled expertise are now just a Zoom or Teams call away, regardless of location. Agile ways of working can be implemented easily with remote teams and enabling end users to see dashboards and system development right from the start of the project lifecycle bring a wealth of benefits: confidence in products meeting actual needs, ability to shape and influence direction, providing user testing from the start. All of these things have a tangible positive impact on reducing cost of development and increasing speed of return on investment.

Agile methodologies combined with data and analytics allow exploration of the art of the possible without large investment of time and resources, as has been proven with our energy clients time and time again. Rapid development of key features combined with a fast, iterative test and user feedback loop can provide quick wins, key to survival in these times, and provides the foundation for the right tools in place at the right time for thriving in the new world that is emerging.

Here at Merkle not only do we understand how to help you find the hidden value in your assets and bring the expertise of your business to life, enabling you to survive the current landscape, we are also experts in showing you how to thrive in the new world that awaits … a testimony to the successes we have had with our clients in the energy space and the wealth of experience we have in-house.

For more information, check out our presentation on how ‘Crisis eats culture for lunch’ – https://vimeo.com/412826402.