Artificial Intelligence

Begin with knowledge to construct a greater provide chain

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Laurel: On that subject of office agility. In 2020, bp started a reorganization that consolidated its procurement departments into that single world procurement group. What had been the challenges that resulted from this reorganization?

Raimundo: Yeah. To provide you a extra context on that. So, if you consider bp being this actually massive world organizations divided in enterprise items, earlier than the organizations, each one in every of these enterprise items have their very own procurement departments, which deal with actually billions of {dollars} that’s how massive they had been. And in that enterprise, they’ve the ERP techniques, your contract repository, your course of and course of deviation. However you solely handle the portfolio to that. When you combine all of these organizations right into a single one, now your accountability develop into throughout a few of these a number of enterprise items, that has your knowledge in all of those enterprise techniques.

So, if you wish to create a report, then it is actually sophisticated as a result of you need to not solely go to those completely different techniques, however the taxonomy of the info is completely different. So, an instance, some enterprise will name their territory, North America, the opposite one will name it east and west coast. So, if you’d like a report for a brand new enterprise proprietor, it turns into actually, actually onerous, and in addition the reviews won’t be as full as they’re. So, that actually requires some instruments that we have to put in place to assist that. And on high of that, the quantity of requests now could be so better that simply altering and including steps to course of aren’t going to be sufficient. You actually need to look into automation to fulfill this increased demand.

Laurel: Nicely, talking of automation, it could actually leverage current expertise and construct efficiencies. So, what’s the function of superior applied sciences, like AI, machine studying and superior analytics within the strategy to your ongoing transformation?

Raimundo: So, right now, all people talks about AI, ML, and all these instruments. However to be sincere with you, I feel your journey actually begins just a little bit earlier. I feel once we exit and take into consideration this superior expertise, which clearly, have their place, I feel at first, what you really want to focus is in your foundational, and that’s your knowledge. So, you ask in regards to the function of the cloud. So, for bp, what we’ve achieved is the entire knowledge used to reside in a number of completely different websites on the market. So, what we’ve achieved is all the info now has been migrated to the cloud. After which what the cloud additionally permits is to do transformations in place that assist us actually homogenize, what I simply described earlier than, North America, South America, then you possibly can create one other column and say, okay, now name it, no matter, United States, or nevertheless you wish to name it.

So, all of this knowledge transformation occurred in a single spot. And what that does can also be enable our customers that want this knowledge to go to a single supply of fact and never be pulling knowledge from a number of techniques. An instance of the chaos that that creates is any person might be pulling bill and knowledge from Spence, any person will pull in PayData. So, then you have already got knowledge discrepancy on the reporting. And having a centralized device the place all people goes for the info reduces a lot complexity on the system.

Laurel: And talking about that form of complexity, it is clear that a number of procurement techniques made it troublesome to take care of high quality compliance as effectively, and in addition to manufacturing monitoring in bp provide chain. So, what are a number of the most difficult features of realizing this new imaginative and prescient with a centralized one-stop platform?

Raimundo: Yeah, we’ve an excellent listing in there. So, let me break it into perhaps technical and folks, as a result of I feel folks is one thing that we should always speak about it. So, technical. I feel one of many greatest issues in technical is working together with your technical group to search out the best structure. That is how your imaginative and prescient suits into our structure, which is able to create much less, for example, confusion and complexity into your structure. And the opposite facet of the technical problem is discovering the best instruments. I will provide you with an instance for our challenge. Initially, I believed, okay, RPA [robotic process automation] would be the expertise to do that. So, we run a pilot RPA. And clearly, RPA has unbelievable purposes on the market. However at this level, RPA actually wasn’t the device for us given the modifications that might occur on the screens from the system that we’re utilizing. So, then we determined as an alternative of going to RPA, going to API.

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