Monday Mar 03, 2014

Keeping the Lights On: Transform your business today to meet the challenges of tomorrow

Written by: Iain Graham, Director, Process Manufacturing Strategy, Oracle Primavera

In all the years I’ve worked with the energy and utilities sector, it seems that two things remain constant: the need to replace or repair ageing infrastructure and the apparent low level of funds available to many organizations to do so. In many instances, the infrastructure that these organizations rely on is ageing faster than it is being replaced. I suspect those tasked with keeping these assets up and running might recognize the phrases “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and “out of sight, out of mind” when seeking more investment for preventative work. Yet failure to adequately address ageing infrastructure can cause a big headache for many companies, diverting resources and funds to remedial action and possibly impeding growth.

Customers don’t always fully understand the issues energy and utility companies face and expect a reliable yet lowest-cost service. The result is that, pushed to keep costs down, companies continue to sweat their infrastructure assets beyond their original intended life so as to maximize operational value, while even further demands are placed on those assets through growth. This approach brings increased risk of an infrastructure failure and no one wants to be to blame when the lights go out.

A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), based on a global survey of executives in the oil & gas, utility, chemical and natural resource industries, examines the impact of ageing infrastructure. A key finding in the report is that one of the biggest perceived obstacles for organizations is meeting infrastructure maintenance schedule and budget goals, resulting in poor project planning, regulatory interference and a lack of resources. In addressing those obstacles, there are things some companies may do to ease the problem of aging infrastructure, without necessarily requiring large-scale additional funding. The report found that many organizations believed they could overcome obstacles, meet budget and expansion goals through better planning processes. Deploying enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) could help to optimize use of key resources, improve planning and project execution, and prioritize the right projects, amongst other benefits.

You can read the full report here.

Monday Nov 11, 2013

EPPM Is a Must-Have Capability as Global Energy and Power Industries Eye US$38 Trillion in New Investments

“The process manufacturing industry is facing an unprecedented challenge: from now until 2035, cumulative worldwide investments of US$38 trillion will be required for drilling, power generation, and other energy projects,” Iain Graham, director of energy and process manufacturing for Oracle’s Primavera, said in a recent webcast. He adds that process manufacturing organizations such as oil and gas, utilities, and chemicals must manage this level of investment in an environment of constrained capital markets, erratic supply and demand, aging infrastructure, heightened regulations, and declining global skills. In the following interview, Graham explains how the right enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) technology can help the industry meet these imperatives. Project Portfolio Management Solutions for Capital Projects

Q: Why is EPPM so important for today’s process manufacturers?
A: If the industry invests US$38 trillion without proper cost controls in place, a huge amount of resources will be put at risk, especially when it comes to cost overruns that may occur in large capital projects. Process manufacturing companies must not only control costs, but also monitor all the various contractors that will be involved in each project. If you’re not managing your own workers and all the interdependencies among the different contractors, then you’ve got problems.

Q: What else should process manufacturers look for?
A: It’s also important that an EPPM solution has the ability to manage more than just capital projects. For example, it’s best to manage maintenance and capital projects in the same system. Say you’re due to install a new transformer in a power station as part of a capital project, but routine maintenance in that area of the facility is scheduled for that morning. The lack of coordination could lead to unforeseen delays. There are also IT considerations that impact capital projects, such as adding servers and network cable for a control system in a power station. What organizations need is a true EPPM system that’s not just for capital projects, maintenance, or IT activities, but instead an enterprisewide solution that provides visibility into all types of projects.

Read the complete Q&A here and discover the practical framework for successfully managing this massive capital spending.

Friday Sep 13, 2013

Top Challenges, Implications, and Strategic Solutions for Energy and Utility Companies

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts roughly a $38T capital outlay over the next 15 years for the energy sector. Global energy and utility demand isTop Challenges, Implications, and Strategic Solutions for Energy and Utility Companiesexpected to increase by over one-third in the period to 2035, while the primary energy supply mix shifts considerably to natural gas and unconventional sources. The ability for global power and process owners, operators, contractors, and E&C companies to meet demand will largely depend on their ability to overcome five pain points: a constrained capital market, erratic supply and demand, aging infrastructure, a heightened regulatory environment, and declining global skills.

Iain Graham, director of Process Manufacturing Strategy, Oracle Primavera, hosts a Webcast available On-Demand that spotlights three strategic drivers—operational excellence, financial discipline, and risk mitigation—which are key in driving success and helping to identify, select, execute, operate, and maintain assets in an increasingly complex world. During the Webcast, Iain discusses how financial discipline can help manage capital expenses and focus capital on areas that drive greater shareholder value. Through examples that Iain provides, you can learn how operational excellence enhances efficiency, optimizes resource pools, and reduces waste and inefficiencies. He also covers how improved awareness of cash flow and capital expenditures can help any power and process company better manage and react to uncertainty.

Read the full edition of Engineering News Record’s 2nd edition of Construction Connection to discover more successes and stories in the current and emerging environment in the engineering and construction industry. 

Visit the microsite to read highlight articles from the digital magazine.

Thursday Aug 08, 2013

Upcoming Webcast: Discover Custom Solutions for your Oil and Gas Projects - Aug. 20th

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Do you know how your oil and gas projects are performing day-to-day?

For project managers in the oil and gas industry, it’s important to know so you can better manage large and complex assets, better collaborate and share information across the value chain.

Register to attend this webcast, Primavera P6 Analytics Release 3.1 for the Oil and Gas Industry, on August 20th, 2013 and discover how P6 Analytics 3.1 delivers critical support for your oil and gas projects, alongside a host of other new features and capabilities. Learn how you can:

  • Minimize risk with smarter tracking of off-line and on-line maintenance projects.
  • Use specific solutions for shutdown/ turnaround/ outages, as well as routine and on-line maintenance.
  • Increase control with deep, day-by-day histories of project changes and performance.
  • Customize into planning and executions, helping you to minimize downtime, quickly address risks to the schedule and increase the odds of a safely operating asset.

Plus at the end of the webcast you will be given the opportunity to have all your questions answered during the live Q&A.

Date:
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Time:
10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. ET

Thursday Jul 11, 2013

UPCOMING WEBCAST - The $38T Challenge: Strategic Implications for Energy Companies

The Energy Information Administration forecasts roughly a $38T capital outlay over the next fifteen years for the energy sector.

Register today for this upcoming live webcast on July 31, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. PT / 12:30 p.m. ET and learn what is the needed practical framework for your company to successfully manage this massive capital spend.

Discover the answers to questions like:

  • Is your energy company identifying, selecting, executing and ultimately operating these assets properly?

  • Are you successfully reducing waste and inefficiency?

Listen to customer success stories from your industry and learn how they achieve operational excellence, financial discipline and mitigate risk int heir companies. Plus you will be given the opportunity to have your questions answered during the live Q&A at the end of the webcast.

Save your seat today, you don’t want to miss this webcast if you are in the energy and utility industry! 

Tuesday Jun 18, 2013

Optimize News: Utilities Special Report

Gaining actionable insight into project performance, controlling costs and mitigating risks can be the difference between success and failure for utilities organizations. Without the right visibility, financial discipline and operational efficiency their ability to maintain and manage infrastructure and take advantage of opportunities can be compromised.

Watch the ‘Utilities Special Report’ video and see how organizations like yours are using enabling technologies to: 

  • Optimize operations, minimize risks and improve resource efficiency.
  • Manage capital assets more effectively to reduce shutdown and turnaround time.
  • Reduce cost overrun by minimizing waste and inefficiency.
  • Better align operational execution with corporate strategy.