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How does the new generation of inspectors look like?

To accurately understand the new generation of workforce (in the oil and gas industry), we need to see what the industry is dealing with as automation and artificial intelligence continue to transform companies' operations. 

In the article How connected workers are reshaping work inspections? we've pointed out how connected workers solve knowledge loss and efficiency, and I explained a few benefits of creating a connected work environment that simplifies communication, data, and knowledge transfer.

We've seen by now that companies from all industries are letting technology shape and solve their production costs as they face many challenges, price drops, and workforce fluctuations. Increasing the use of technology will change the way workers perform their jobs. The adoption of automation will require organizations to analyze how their jobs will evolve in the near future and how they can create synergy between technology and workers. There's also the question of how will the new efficiency-oriented work method shape the industry, the companies, and the workers?

Until industries are ready to enhance productivity by uniting technology with their workers in the best way possible, the question of how technology shapes the new generation of workforce remains to be answered.

Working with clients who have embraced our technology, we discovered some of the challenges they were facing daily when many of their workers were still performing manual tasks.


The most common need we at Smartflow have identified is that operational intelligence needs easy access to data transparent data monitoring, fast data extraction, exchange and data safety, and storage, so they can make informed and rapid decisions.

As much as we trust our employees to gather and store data correctly, there's no better and safer way to do it than the cloud. If you're looking to increase productivity and improve compliance, data should be available with a single click, accessible from anywhere, online or offline.

According to a McKinsey report, employees spend 1.8 hours every day searching and gathering information, leading to a lesser hands-on tool time. On average, that's 9.3 hours per week! Companies from the oil and gas industry, for example, do not afford to spend that amount of time only searching for information needed to perform the job.

Using tools that allow you to access data easily with a simple search is improving efficiency, productivity, and performance as workers are not consuming their energy traveling, calling other workers to find the data they need, so on and so forth.


In industries like oil and gas, compliance is a sensitive aspect that should be taken seriously. Inspections and regulations require fast processing if the industry wants increased productivity and uptime. All the non-profitable tasks such as data entry, tracking, and paperwork are affecting the ROI of the companies with every minute invested in performing these repetitive, time-consuming tasks.

Many regulations require companies to self-report their inspections, and the penalties for violations are too high to afford not being compliant, especially in times like the ones we're living in now.

If you automate your compliance processes, you can reduce workload, lessen audit risks, and minimize fines and violations.

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


Many companies still struggle to share data in real-time due to paper-based or spreadsheets-based work models that lack agility. Regardless of the industry, companies require a quicker and more accurate generation of real-time reporting if they intend to solve efficiency among workers.

In the last two years companies worldwide had to adapt to a remote work method, and many weren't ready. With many job roles still requiring physical presence at the workplace and a lack of automation tooling that enables real-time reporting, workers still had to go through a long, sometimes tedious process to deliver their work, slowing down the decision-making process.


We're looking at a mobile workforce, especially with the new generation of workers entering the job market ready to step up. The new generation of connected workers is technically savvy. Companies need to adapt to welcome workers that are oriented to innovation and technology. Many companies are still adopting paper-based work methods, or use expensive technology when daily inspections could easily be performed on the mobile devices the workers are carrying. Automation of forms on a mobile device, such as an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy, can be a huge time saver for businesses and an efficient, effortless way to work.

In addition to these, more and more companies are embracing new technologies such as smart glasses, or drones to help them perform inspections in the most accurate, fastest way.

At Smartflow we are leveraging the capabilities of the new age tools like smart glasses that help field inspectors and operators share smart data capture to the back-end team. Wearables are changing field services and revolutionizing inspections and monitoring operations.

The new generation of workers wants to keep processes, systems, and technology up to date and create a culture of flexibility.


Companies are slowly starting to adapt to a diverse workforce, a continuously changing age demographic, where different generations come together, and they have to work together.

A recent Deloitte study showed that 48% of Baby Boomers expect to keep working past the age of 65 – and 13% believe they will work into their 70s. At the same time, Millennials will exceed 70% of the workforce by 2025. This comes with business leaders' responsibility to find ways to integrate the two generations and create a safe and comfortable work environment where both generations can grow and work efficiently.

Managers play a critical role in understanding the personal and professional goals of both Millenials and the older generations.

It is obvious by now that technological advances highly impact the future of work. Many organizations are already conducting research analysis to determine which new technologies will model and help their workforce.

As for now, not all businesses are ready to become more agile, and probably none of them will succeed in being perfectly agile. 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 these companies are ready or not. It is always smarter to start a painless digital transition that respects your timeline rather than a forced change.

Original post published by Jelle Swanenberg - COO at Smartflow on Linkedin.


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.

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.

    What is holding your organization back? What is the element that is still missing from deciding to implement a connected worker solution?

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