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Natural gas demand is forecasted to progressively recover in 2021, as consumption returns close to its pre-crisis level in mature markets. Gas businesses are now planning for that rebound. Mihir Shah, Director of Oil & Gas and Chemicals Industry & Solution Strategy at Infor, identified five ways gas businesses can optimize their supply chains to capitalize on the rebound.
1. Digitize for visibility and collaboration
Oil & gas and chemicals companies that can rapidly take advantage of improving market conditions will have a major competitive advantage in the rebound. By digitizing the supply chain via cloud-based supply chain solutions, companies can gain deep visibility into all areas of the supply chain and unlock the agility needed to respond quickly to market changes.
2. Strategically ramp up staffing
As sites reopen, bigger teams are needed to extract gas, manage plants, transport materials, and manage business operations. It becomes critical to ramp back up judiciously and mobilize disengaged workforces in the areas that are going to deliver the most profit. AI-powered forecasting helps determine which areas of business to focus on, to extract the most value from a workforce, while human capital management systems can help keep teams as lean, efficient and engaged as possible.
3. Assess suppliers with enhanced risk intelligence
Leverage technology to ensure all upstream and midstream suppliers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can ship the necessary amount of materials on time, so to satisfy shipment obligations. It’s important that these assessments are ongoing and continuously initiating required changes, as the market continues to fluctuate and suppliers are affected disproportionately.
4. Refine production forecasting
AI tools can accurately forecast product demand, even as it rapidly swings. Businesses should be acutely aware of how much to produce to make a profit and efficiently control production cycles to reduce waste.
5. Tightly control logistics
As customer demand fluctuates, it will be important to have strict and efficient control over logistics and shipping. A global supply chain network that connects service providers around the world into a single source of truth for transportation activity can significantly improve global logistics agility for complex product and material flows. This helps to bolster profits.