I interviewed Omon Edeki who discussed Supply Chain and Risk Collaboration Challenges, and How Cloud Solutions Helps Bring Diverse Distributed Teams Together to Solve Challenges.
It’s great to speak with you today, Omon. I’m looking forward to hearing your views today on supply chain and risk-collaboration challenges and also some solutions. My first question regarding this topic is: Can you describe what these challenges are?
The first challenge—I work with a lot of energy specialists. I live in Houston, Texas, and that’s the energy capital of the world—at least it has been the past couple years. Supply chain is not just about, depending on who you’re talking to, but supply chain is everything that has to do with how we get hydro carbons, how we move our products, how we move all our equipment to a site, do what we need to do, get what we need to get, and get out in a very efficient and safe manner. When we’re talking about supply chain, it’s not just about a retail store, although that could be one context, but in the context of manufacturing or energy or an industrial vantage point, you’re looking at what those steps are that need to be done in order to execute a project efficiently and safely.
Historically, a lot of these types of initiatives have been done with teams and they have project methodologies, but with software and cloud, our perspective is, we’re trying to encourage the industry to begin to adopt digital software tools to help make all these processes more seamless, recordable, in a digital format, more collaborative. And that’s what we do. That’s what we’re bringing to the industry with our software, our services, and our specialty. That’s what we do.
Another big piece of this pie is safety. Safety is a huge issue. We don’t want people dying. We’ve had situations where we’ve had oil spills with some companies—I’m not going to mention any names—but we’ve had oil spills in some cases, and then going in to clean up all these oil spills is very expensive. We’re trying to encourage our customers to begin to look at those core key performance indicators that cause accidents and cause safety issues. It comes down to inspections and maintaining all our equipment. We’re trying to encourage them to use software and digital solutions to identify these issues and to execute these inspections to reduce their risk of accidents and incidents.
Also, we’ve heard of a story on the international front where there was an explosion in an international city, and it cost many people their lives. Again, that’s typically what happens when there are lapses or accidents. The cost of cleanup, the cost of addressing media in these challenges is just so expensive.
Why don’t we put in these processes? Again, it’s not just about technology; it’s really about getting people to change their culture, change their mind-set, and get the whole team to embrace a whole methodology of inspecting, being efficient, reporting, recording, and holding ourselves accountable. And that’s what we do in the supply chain world. It comes down to looking at inventory, knowing what you have, knowing if what you have performs okay. That’s kind of what we do, and that’s a problem space.
The second question you asked was: How can it be addressed? We have some software that we’re recommending that we’ve developed called Verity. If you can see the screen, this is just a quick view of what the software looks like. Basically, it models worksites, distribution worksites. It can be anywhere in the world, multiple places, multiple team members can be looking at the same software, and they can see what they have in their inventory at one site.
This comes down to what you have as far as supply and demand. Do you have enough product and equipment to do the job? And when I do have those things, sometimes we want to run maintenance inspections. The software also supports, we’re trying to encourage our clients to run safety inspections. This is an example of safety inspection.
Let’s say this was a shipping plant. A lead inspector will go to the shipping plant and define all the objects in that site. From time to time, he would now design safety designs for all the core product classes, then when they develop these safety designs, they will now get their team members to routinely run safety inspections, which is what you see here.
This is a safety inspection that was run by somebody. It looks at the length, weight reading, check if its oil, and they collect all the readings. All this is saved to the cloud, by the way. All the different key players can see what’s going on. You don’t leave it to chance, and you can add things like: Is the warehouse clean? Is the generator working? What’s the output? Are there any leaks? Are there any spills? You can put everything in a digital format, and, that way, you manage your risk and reduce risk of incidence.
That’s what we bring to the table; that’s our story. The first piece is the digital supply chain, which talks about inventory levels, and there’s also a logistics piece, which I won’t go too much into because that’s kind of a saturated space right now. We can also model things like moving pieces of equipment from one site to the other.
That comes into play when, let’s say you have in one site—here, I’m looking at the Houston site; I can also spin off another instance of the application to look at maybe Port of Santos and West terminal, which is in Brazil.
Many times, supply chain experts, if they want to check their inventory, maybe want to go buy something, but before you go out and buy it, sometimes it makes sense to see if you have it in stock in a different part of the world, any of your other distribution centers, before you go out and purchase it. It allows us to check and see. If you have something, let’s say you want to move 20 Hoffmann Flow meters from the Port of Santos to Houston, it’s very, very easy; you can quickly implement what we call a collection, and then you move pretty much what you want from the Brazil site to the Houston site.
It says I have 125. Let’s say I want to move 25; I ship from Brazil to Houston, and I click Save. It saves it and then you can come back here, and you now can go ahead and move it. You can look at what I have in here. By the way, all this is in the cloud. You can tell it to move from Port of Santos to Houston, Texas. You click Move, and it keeps track of all the inventory, all the logistics, and it tracks who’s moving what.
This is very useful in a case where you have distribution personal, and maybe you can have a truck driver or a shipper or dispatcher who does this sort of work and keeps track of financing. Let’s say the cost of financing is $3500; the software keeps track of all the financials, and it can also tie in to ERP. Then you save the data. The software keeps track of all the inventory. Before, it said we had 125, and if you come back and check again, it went down to 100, so that tells us that we’ve moved 25. If you look at the new Houston inventory, it should tell you that you’ve added 25 of those. Bingo! It says I have 25 in the Houston site.
This can also be used for logistics, moving things around, safety, and just keeping track of the supply and demand. That’s the unique spin we bring to the table. There are other vendors out there that provide similar solutions, but many of them focus heavily on the financial side of things; we focus heavily on the logistics side and the safety and the maintenance inspections and keeping all that in track to manage risk and increase efficiency in a very collaborative environment.
That’s our spin, that’s our story from a technical standpoint. We’re still trying to introduce it to the marketplace. We started out in the energy industry, and now we’re talking to different customers who are trying to introduce Six Sigma and 5S, which is just a methodology to encourage efficiency, to encourage, know what you have, to encourage ordering and proper slotting of your warehouse and proper pricing. At the end of the day, if you’re more accurate, you can better measure and better predict and better run an efficient supply chain. We’re trying to tag along this software with these specialists, so as they’re out there trying to introduce these in lean, digital, Six Sigma, and 5S, they can have the tools to help support these new initiatives.
Are we finding any success? Yeah, so far we have one partner in the Middle East and another guy in India. Those are the first two people who are using the software. They’re playing with it and trying to introduce it. I must say, it’s an exciting time because there’s so much of a need for this, but I think part of the problem is, they know there’s a need, but they don’t know there’s a solution. Just the education piece is where we are, but there are solutions, we present some technical solutions. I think it’s exciting; I think the market is slowly beginning to respond to our message.
And what was the other question we have here? Dustin, do you want to chip in here?
My last question is: Can you provide a brief background of yourself?
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, which is in West Africa. Nigeria is an oil-producing country. I came to the United States for college. I’m a software developer/consultant. I work typically with energy companies, and I’m slowly trying to expand my practice to go a little bit more into other vertical industries because right now, oil prices are not as attractive; three’s quite a bit of shrinking in the energy space.
Typically, my biggest projects have been in the oil and gas space, helping my clients with optimizing oil production, optimizing going after gas reservoirs, developing software and solutions to help them go after these reservoirs. Also, I’ve worked with some of the bigger companies like Exxon Mobil, I’ve worked with Halliburton, Boots and Coots, and I’ve also worked with a couple technology companies as well. Typically, I sit in between an engineer, technical expert, or a subject-manner expert, and he has his ideas and visions, and when he needs a technical person to help bring it to life or put together software to help bring about his vision, that’s where I get hired.
Now, we’ve developed this software. This software, Verity, that you see, kind of grew out of the engagements I had with Halliburton. I went out to their site. They’re a wonderful company and I noticed that there was a need for maintaining assets and doing it in a digital fashion. That’s one of the things that led us down this path of developing this solution. That’s what I do for a living.
Right now, we’re still trying to get more customers, more traction for this software, and our expertise. I’m based in Houston, Texas, which is the greatest state in the U.S., depending on who you ask, but I think it’s a great state—very entrepreneurial, very open-minded, very international as well.
On the personal side, I am married and have got two kids. I play soccer.
Thanks for sharing today.
About Omon Edeki
Managing Director, email@example.com