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How COVID-19 forces companies to develop remote inspections?

In this new digital world, transformation is inevitable. Companies all across industries are embracing the many technology opportunities brought by the digital landscape.
  • tank storage terminal
  • tank storage terminal

In this new digital world, transformation is inevitable. Companies all across industries are embracing the many technology opportunities brought by the digital landscape.

Adaptability is one essential feature companies still need to develop, as change doesn’t come easy. To seize the new technological normal and increase the competitive potential, it’s time to step up the game and embrace the future. 

Safety is a top priority in an environment dictated by the COVID-19 regulations. Organizations worldwide believed that the effects of COVID-19 would not last longer than a year, and they will be able to perform work as they’ve always done it. Stalling time was not a good strategy. Many companies have reached a point where they are rashly testing digital solutions. Keeping workers safe and continuing their activity in a protected environment should be a well-grounded strategy with little risk.

Technology is now acting as the primary tool that is reshaping the way workers perform their jobs and the environment in which they are working. The next generation of connected workers is already changing how inspections are performed. 

In a context where remote work is the new normal, how are inspection professionals dealing with this, and most importantly, how are they adapting to remote work? I will zoom into this topic on the 25th of March in a live webinar, Remote Inspections, during COVID-19 and beyond. Watch this webinar on-demand if your organization is ready to consider remote inspections as part of their connected worker strategy.

Change requires work

Over the years that are ahead of us, we will be working differently. We are already interacting easier and more often with colleagues all across the organization, even if they are half a world away. But there is still a marathon to run, and lack of preparation can be a considerable challenge for companies that are not working on their remote inspections strategy. There’s no one to blame. Most business leaders were taught to respond to a different set of scenarios than those they face today. 

See industry-related Use Cases.

The last year has brought to the surface a set of new questions that should regularly address the ability and willingness to change.

What will make or break organizations’ success over the next decade? 

Are business leaders focusing on creating collaboration? 

Are companies leveraging technology to improve performance? 

How ready are companies to embrace the next generation workforce?

Those professionals whose strategic role within organizations is to act as business enablers are working on delivering cost savings solutions through operational efficiencies and automation. 

Part of this year’s business roadmap is delivering business intelligence, as well as safely managing and using customer data. It’s essential to keep the workers safe and equip them with tools that help them become more effective. Building a long-term business mindset to technology implementations and increasing the overall speed of project delivery is no longer ‘a nice to’ but a must-have.’

How will remote inspections reshape the business? 

Remote inspections will not only positively impact the costs but also the time and the productivity of workers. A remote workforce will help businesses accelerate the execution and compliance of inspections, permits, and work orders. Maintaining the highest security and quality standards, at the same time reducing operational risks, and collecting real-time insight from the generated data, remote workers will impact the entire business roadmap. 

Each organization has to build a decision process and identify the best tools that match their needs and fulfill their expectations. But change is coming whether companies are ready or not. It is always smarter to start a painless digital transition that respects your timeline rather than a forced change.

Moreover, businesses should create strategies that focus on the workers’ best interests. Preparing your inspectors for the new digital normal should be an active part of the transformation. Most importantly, creating a culture in which the workers are united by technology and not feel replaced by it. 

Learning how to prepare your workers for remote inspections, how technology has advanced to support remote inspections, and how companies can equip the connected worker with the right solutions are topics we will discuss on the 25th of March webinar. Besides these important matters, we will also outline the challenges of on-site inspections and the issues generated by the current inspection methods. On a closing note, we will explore the gains and benefits of technology-based inspections and introduce new ways of working. 

banner with text and two oil and gas operators next to a oil terminal

What can frontline workers do in the Smartflow app?

  • Easily create custom workflows or use the existing ones in the library 
  • Have insights into analytics and reports to use for their strategic development 
  • Access to a central cloud-based dashboard with real-time data 
  • Automate fault alerts 
  • Set automation triggers for schedule adherence, preventive maintenance, and compliance
  • Easy access to archives inspections 
  • Streamline and automate data entry with integration capabilities


  • Leo Brand

    CIO at Vopak
    With the rollout of the Smartflow platform at our terminals, we will be able to speed up, building our digital infrastructure to transform our frontline operations. Our people at the terminal will be able to work much more efficiently, and they will be supported in standardizing processes like ISGOTT and digital operator rounds.
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    Thomas Visser

    Management Trainee Vopak Europoort

    Usage of the Smartflow environment makes it much easier to standardize workflows and to reduce administrative time and errors. For example, when a tanker is discharging her cargo, only questions relevant for discharging activities are provided.
    Furthermore standard information and remarks that are applicable for Vopak Terminal Europoort such as emergency procedures, can be pre-filled thus reducing the amount of questions that need to be performed.
    Having all data in one digital environment makes it possible for each stakeholder to have easy access to all relevant and up-to-date ISGOTT documents. Zero paper waste as operators perform the process using a PC and ATEX certified tablet.

  • Mark van der Wolf

    Director Service & Projects at MOBA
    Smartflow offers MOBA many advantages in terms of efficiency and lead time reduction of the service order process. By implementing the user-friendly Smartflow, we expect a significant reduction in the manual administrative work of both the service engineers and the back office.
  • Mario Rovers

    Manager AMTeK at Aboma

    The Smartflow app helps inspectors collect and interpret data. We can easily analyze data and prepare for future events or to predict failure. Data can be analyzed immediately consequently improving the quality of inspections.

    Are you considering digitizing but you are still in doubt? Talk to a consultant to get an inspirational session that might help you fill the gap.

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