As energy companies ride the rollercoaster of a volatile marketplace, discussions are naturally circling a central question: What’s next—and how do we get there?
Mike Train, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions, offered insight on the topic during a panel discussion at CERAWeek 2017 by IHS Markit—the world’s premier energy conference.
During the “Service Company Strategies: Positioning for the Future” panel, executive panelists shared insight on the ways the industry has shifted in response to the energy market. A laser focus on cost reduction and a constant drumbeat of improving operating efficiency has inspired rethinking of business models—and made it difficult for some companies to imagine what’s on the other side of the landscape.
The market volatility can be seen as an opportunity for innovative companies to revitalize their processes, Train said. As players across the supply chain rethink their business approach, a key realization is the need to reduce complexity—particularly in projects, to bring them in on time and on budget. Technology is an important lever here.
“Market volatility is driving a cautious ‘grind it out’ mentality, yet company operating performance goals demand new, transformational thinking and action,” Train said. “Technology offers a vast set of new options, and Emerson will demonstrate how to put the ROI in IOT.”
Automation may account for just 3 to 5 percent of a project’s total capital, but its ability to impact the entire timeline of a project is much greater. Introducing these elements early is critical to success and really separates Top Quartile performers from the rest, Train said.
Engaging early with partners and suppliers, taking time to identify the right work processes and technologies, and streamlining project steps will help companies move toward the future—and toward Top Quartile performance.