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What is a connected worker platform, and how can it help the energy sector?

The energy sector and the oil or gas reserves, oil and gas drilling, and refining companies now have more ways than ever to connect and support their workers. Read the article and the infographic. 

The solutions that a connected worker platform brings to companies can help these organizations add value to their operations and eliminate paper-based processes once and for all. 

Smartflow stands as a business connected worker platform & app. Before understanding what a connected worker platform is, it is important to have an overview of the connected worker. 



What is a connected worker? 

Does the company integrate workers into the whole work environment by enabling them with connective technologies?

If yes, then that’s a team of connected workers. 

If no, maybe it’s because the organization hasn't yet had the chance to comprehend this new way of working fully. This article will help to get a clear image of the connected workers. 

Connected worker technologies combine data exchange & data capture solutions and other hardware devices and machines. For example, Smartflow is a smart-data capture SaaS solution that integrates easily with hardware solutions such as smart glasses, drones, VR glasses, ATEX & Non-ATEX devices, and many more. 

Embedding workers with responsive systems connects them in real-time and builds an agile and flexible work environment where data access works fast, and no one is dealing with knowledge-transfer challenges.

A connected worker uses technology and sees supportive technology as a means to do more. 

Connected workers are a direct link to better decision making, increased work quality, predictive work, enhanced safety, and, of course, better data. 

Does the energy sector support connected workers?

Many companies from the oil and gas industry, bulk liquid storage, drilling companies, and others are still using paper-based data capturing systems that are dangerous for the workers’ safety, and are not environment-friendly either. Given the challenging work conditions, workers have to perform in, completing their inspections & tasks on paper is a heavy load. 

Making sure data is being collected accurately and kept safe while being concerned about your safety, it’s a heavy load that can be easily avoided with connected workers technologies.

Connected worker technologies ensure that workers can rise to the complexities of their tasks. They simplify their processes, and it even helps them unload the stress of keeping all the paper processes safe. When data is automatically saved and stored, their only concern is to complete all inspections on time. 

Learn how Vopak, the world’s leading independent tank storage company, has implemented Smartflow as its connected worker platform. 

Who are your connected workers? 

Connecting your frontline workers is a strategic move. 

To equip operators with systems that respond to actions in real-time so they can access work instructions, perform inline quality assurance, quality control, inspections, tasks, or even communicate to other operators will directly impact productivity and revenue. Connected worker technologies have an alarm system that sends in-app notifications whenever something is missed or goes wrong or when an urgent task has just been assigned or completed. These technologies will also eliminate human error as they have error-proofing and other intuitive features. 

Smartflow is a scalable connected worker platform with endless feature possibilities that can be customized for each organization’s needs. 

Equipping field workers and field technicians with connected worker technologies would make their work less complicated. With click-distance access to information, field technicians would never miss a notification, details, or support they need giving them more time and fewer issues. 

Equipping your engineers with connected worker technologies will create a flexible work environment where any sudden change can be immediately reported or documented, and accessed in real-time by other engineers. 

Equipping the management board with connected worker technologies means clear and accurate data visualization. Data is usually the missing puzzle when you want to create predictive processes, drive new strategies, and ensure that all your decisions are based on precise data. 

Reshaping work inspections with connected workers

In an article we wrote about how connected workers are reshaping work inspections, we mentioned that according to the Osterman Research, 69% of the polled organizations confirmed they suffered significant data or knowledge loss resulting from employees who took information resources with them when they left the company.

Retirement is increasing as older generations have reached the employment age. According to Harvard Business Review, one next anticipated wave of almost 700 retirements would mean losing over 27,000 years of experience. How many companies can say they have meticulously planned the knowledge transfer between the retired employees and their successors? 

How can you make sure the knowledge is transferred through the company once an employee retires or moves on to another company? Relevant data from previous inspections or similar ones get lost forever once employees no longer work in the company.

Connected worker technologies solve both the knowledge-transfer problem and assure younger generations of workers that they gain the right skills to perform their work. 

Connected worker platforms give workers information when they need it, wherever they need it. They equip the less experienced workers that are just starting in the field with knowledge. And while looking for it, they don’t have to go through a lengthy process as it is right there on their phones. 

Moreover, connected workers can be trained within the platform, allowing them to perform advanced tasks sooner. 

What are the direct benefits for the energy sector to implement connected worker platforms?

Long-term benefits

  • Working with inspections systems that respond to their actions in real-time
  • Using mobile-accessible apps that work online and offline, reducing dependencies
  • Having real-time visibility into key-essential indicators 
  • Storing all data correctly to meet the demands of both the organization and the government
  • Adding, collecting extra information, or modifying information in real-time while instantly notifying the other parties involved

Immediate benefits:

  • Less human error 
  • Improved productivity 
  • Increased uptime
  • Fewer costs 
  • Assured safety & compliance
  • Real-time assets monitoring at any time from anywhere
  • Quick decision making 
  • Enhanced reliability 
  • Linear collaboration 
Is your company experiencing some of these needs?
  • An agile platform to empower the business to self-standardize and coordinate the digital execution of a wide variety of tasks and controls that are part of their day-2-day operations.
  • Expand data capture possibilities in the field by using relevant industry technologies like IoT, NFC, OCR, and RFID.
  • API-driven designs to integrate frontline operations with all types of legacy systems or Middleware solutions.
  • Enhanced real-time collaboration between workers and systems by directing and automating tasks and controls through connected workers, ERP and automation layers.
  • Actionable data & insights that guarantee uptime, effectuate the execution of tasks, reduces duplicate, redundant and wasted effort, presents real-time metrics and benchmarks, capture realizable value and capacity, identifies, predict, and isolates causes, reshapes risk management.
  • Lower costs, higher productivity.
  • Happy users because it makes their lives easier, resulting in easy adoption and fast rollouts.

Smartflow supports operation, maintenance, and SHEQ teams at worksites to replace paper-based checklists, digitize inspections, safety rounds, and structure various workflows and processes using the App and the low-code/no-code industry SaaS platform.

We’ve been working with companies like OilTanking, CUROIL, Vopak, Oceanco, J. de Jonge, A. De Reus, Volker Wessels, Amtek/Aboma, Amcor, Kone, Q8, and many others connecting their workers with our platform & app. 

If you want to know more about one of these use cases, contact us, and we can sit down with you and walk you through how your company could start building a connected environment for your workers.