Welcome to the fourth podcast in this series focused on business challenges facing today’s Energy & Materials (E&M) industry.
In this podcast, Dassault Systèmes Head of V+R Business Intelligence Portfolio, Christophe Roy explains how a platform-approach that offers better project intelligence boosts project agility and speeds up decision making to fast-track projects and reduce costs.
It remains essential to find the information quickly, to analyze it precisely, and to manage it properly, if useful insights are to be revealed.— Christophe Roy
Enjoy the podcast with Christophe Roy and Howie Markson
Digitally Transforming Capital Projects
Gaining Business Intelligence Insights On Capital Projects
Be sure to listen into the other podcasts in this series and to learn more, please visit: https://ifwe.3ds.com/energy-materials
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Howie: Hi everyone, welcome to Dassault Systèmes’ podcast series on digitally transforming capital projects in the Energy Process and Utilities industry. In this podcast entitled “Gaining Business Intelligence Insights on Capital Projects”, we discuss how better intelligence can boost project agility and speed up decision making to fast track projects and reduce costs. I’m your host, Howie Markson, and with me is my colleague, Christophe Roy, head of the V+R Business Intelligence portfolio at Dassault Systèmes’ NETVIBES-EXALEAD brand. V means Virtual and R meaning Real, so Christophe’s role is to help bridge the two worlds to address industry challenges. Welcome Christophe.
Howie: Okay. First, can you describe for us why capital projects in the Energy, Process and Utilities industry are so complex?
Christophe: Yes, indeed. Getting increasingly complex, either from a business, technological and organizational standpoint. We are talking here about a very competitive context that often require significant investment upfront. A lot of risks to deal with, and a relatively low margin to be expected, thus the need for transparency and for rigorous process execution. And because facilities or plants need to go online on time and then last decades, the organization of related construction projects is often multi-site, involving multinational partners, incorporating more and more sophisticated technologies like geolocalization of equipment or 3D scans. And finally, for the best, more and more stringent requirements related to health, safety and environmental regulations.
Howie: So I imagine there’s a lot of data that goes along with these projects. How does data contribute to this complexity?
Christophe: The current situation is that the exponential amount of data generated during these projects is found in multiple locations, organized, if I may, in silos, stored in different formats, which at the end makes it very difficult to use. And because of what has just been said, engineering, procurement and construction companies along with owner operators have understood the value of benefiting from all data generated. They have started capturing this critical growth of information that needs to be handled regarding IoT, regarding unstructured information. But it remains essential to find the information quickly, to analyze it precisely, and to manage it properly, if useful insights are to be revealed. This is in fact where the real analytics journey starts
Howie: Christophe, in a perfect world, what are some ways to find and leverage this data?
Christophe: I would say that the first challenge is about the ability to mine and aggregate information across departments and the supply chain and to break down silos by contextualizing information from those multiple sources. The second challenge is to be able to access and share reliable, accurate, and up-to-date information in real time to ensure confidence in timely decision-making processes. The third challenge is about monitoring overall progress using advanced analytics available on customizable, user-friendly dashboards and allowing for actionable insights. As an example, effectively coordinating complex changes or multiple issues and identifying trends in how they are resolved, helps assess and mitigate risks and reduce schedule and cost overruns.
Howie: Are there existing technologies or solutions that can help move toward that perfect world you just explained?
Christophe: Yes, it starts with business transformation supported by a true business platform. Single source of truth, collaboration, integrated product and processes, navigation on relationships between data aggregated from multiple sources. This requires an efficient search engine using an advanced indexation mechanism. This would allow, for example, for project work packages to be contextualized with financial items coming from ERP systems. Another expected capability is to be able to dynamically display analytic dashboards, presenting KPIs that can be filtered through many dimensions in order to investigate efficiently on root causes of bottlenecks, for example.
Howie: How do these technologies differ from standard project management tools or business intelligence solutions?
Christophe: The scope of information such an innovative solution is able to manage encompasses engineering and construction data, possibly leveraging 3D representations of the plant. Only an advanced large graph processing engine is able to browse such hierarchical structured information that constantly needs real-time status updates. There is no longer a manager report that is expected here. This is an in-context user empowerment tool, providing direct visibility into her or his contribution to the project execution. Additionally, artificial intelligence could also be used to provide cognitive insights to the users, helping at actual decision time in revealing, for example, similar past experience and automatically recommending next best actions to execute. Finally, those mechanisms implemented as core components of the business platform benefit from all embedded collaboration capabilities.
Howie: Christophe, can you provide a real life example of how the use of a business platform has driven a successful capital project?
Christophe: Yes. A well-known North American company admitted that they had no clear visibility into the overall project schedules. Because the project information was stored in multiple silos, the project controls spent more than 100 percent of their allocated time collecting data manually and generating reports. And as a result, the project managers and executive sponsor couldn’t leverage these reports to address critical issue on time due to already obsolete information. With project management and analytics brought together on the same environment, this company switched to real-time dashboarding to review issues and can now analyze the impact of their decisions at multiple levels. Beyond increasing the accuracy and timeliness of information, this solution allowed them to improve their ability to manage project risks on global and local levels and, in turn, protect their project margins.
Howie: In summary, what should listeners keep in mind about the benefits of business intelligence applied to a capital project?
Christophe: First, gain visibility and monitor what happens by aggregating all needed information in a single place. Secondly, understand why it happened by leveraging deep dive analysis tools available to every stakeholder. And third, control how to improve the situation with direct actionability. These are keys to foster business transformation and help to shift from a task-based to a real performance-driven approach.
Howie: Thank you, Christophe. It was fascinating to learn how by applying business intelligence companies can gain the insights to keep capital projects on track and on budget. And thanks everybody for listening to our podcast on “Gaining Business Intelligence Insights on Capital Projects”. Remember, with a business platform, you can digitally transform to reduce complexity and risk in your capital projects. To find out more how Dassault Systèmes is helping EPU companies digitally transform, go to ifwe.3ds.com/energy-process-utilities.