In these current unpredictable and uncertain times, decision making has changed considerably. It is now more important than ever to act expediently and with confidence. This applies to all kinds of business decisions, whether operational, e.g. where to intervene and adjust prices, or strategic, e.g. where to invest and how to allocate budget and resources.
Data-Driven Decision Making
The basis and requirements for decision making have moved from being linear and repeatable, e.g. based upon standard IT reports generated regularly, to a more fluid and dynamic approach where decision making is a continuous process based upon clear information and current contextual insights so to react quickly and with flexibility.
This change is particularly affecting the oil and gas industry, where the pandemic is coupled with a long-term decline in petroleum demand due to a move to renewables with low-carbon alternatives and sustainable energy. Drastic business transformations are imminent and reinforce the need for a reliable basis for decision-making. However, it’s not just about showing the past or current situation. It also requires future trends to be predicted and considered when making decisions. An example would be pro-actively forecasting a network of service stations’ fuel and shop category sales volumes and values so as to secure profits and avoid losses by adjusting prices and running special campaigns.
In a nutshell, to act quickly and confidently, companies must embrace the power of data. Reports and analysis data must meet the needs of different stakeholders, address various user aspects and also be comprehensive and detailed. With today’s IT capability, self-service reports can be generated on-demand, which supports the fluid and dynamic business decision-making model mentioned earlier.
1 Change of Consciousness and Intercompany View
Today, digital transformation is no longer optional – it is necessary. It is affecting and calling into question existing business organisational models, disrupting markets, and increasing the pressure on companies to adapt. Digital transformation also requires a culture and mindset that supports coping with new challenges. Moving from an internal process-based, siloed view to an integrated, intercompany view is key. Using the example of the service station network again, headquarters must be in constant engagement with the tenants in order to ensure mutual success. The business views should be directed outwards and integrate all stakeholders to gain transparency and insights across the entire process and value chain. Enhancing ERP-to-network resource planning (NRP) collaboration is a must, especially in oil and gas downstream, where processes are affected by numerous and highly dependent participants.
2 The Power of Data
Using the power of data is fundamental to acting with confidence. Data as a value driver must be reliable, accessible, and uniform. Data from any source and of any kind and size must be made accessible to any decision-making process where it can add value. For the oil and gas industry, this includes data such as fuel sales quantities, OMR prices, shop category sales volumes and values, margins, etc. Quality and consistency checks must assure complete and reliable data. This brings the topic of interface management into focus. It is important to have a single solution for all interfaces that is configurable with minimal customisation, highly adaptable to change, has clear monitoring, and is cost-effective and calculable. A solution that meets all of these requirements is SEEBURGER’s Business Integration Suite (BIS).
3 Contextual Analytics and Decision
The key to better business decision making in oil and gas downstream ultimately relies upon the combination of data, technology, and industry know-how. Apps and dashboards that are flexible, future-proof, and independent of operational IT solutions, rely upon quality data to offer overviews of the business as well as providing contextual insights. No reporting after the fact, but comprehensive and actual analysis, enhanced with forecasts into the future as well as comparative values and rankings are in demand. To explore the potential and to capitalize on opportunities, data and the associated analytics must be accessible on-demand to give guidance for making the right decisions.
Industry Example in Making the Right Decision
Evolutioneers GmbH has used its experience and industry expertise to help oil companies in simplifying the management and control of service station networks. The relevant information is made accessible, enriched and visible with a solution based on SAP Analytics Cloud technology. SEEBURGER provides the integration layer to make the data available. The service station management app offers three different information levels:
- A bird eye´s view over the service station network with sales analysis, profit and loss areas for management
- A benchmarking level to compare the performance of various service stations
- A detail level to dive into contextual figures for one selected service station, both for the fuels and shop perspective, and for breaking down the information into product groups
Easy access and collaboration enable all stakeholders to manage and control the business anytime, anywhere, and to make informed decisions on a reliable basis.
Take away: To make confident and better decisions and increase overall business efficiency, companies need to:
- Have a holistic view of the business across all stakeholders
- Utilize reliable data and include all data sources through a solid interface or integration management tool
- Use a simple and efficient analysis tool
SEEBURGER and Evolutioneers Partner to Provide Digital Solutions for the Oil and Gas Industry
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Written by: Cornelia JudsCornelia Juds is Chief Sales Officer at Evolutioneers - a highly engaged and experienced specialist in digital transformation with deep knowledge in SAP® solution implementations. She has helped various industries including oil and gas companies to transform their business processes for more than 30 years all over the world.