Coronavirus immediately posed a threat to an industry that largely relies on workers grouped offshore, in environments where infection prevention and control measures are paramount.

The outbreak created huge amounts of manual work for our client, Total, in trying to keep their deployed contractors safe and healthy as they mobilised offshore. We worked with Total to lessen the administrative burden and automate manual tasks.

4.5 FTEs

equivalent time saved


responses in first 11 days

The challenge

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic posed a challenge to our offshore oil and gas client, Total. Minimum numbers of people on site, coupled with travel restrictions and the need to carry out COVID-19 tests prior to mobilisation created a significant administrative challenge.  

The greatest areas of effort included analysis of large volumes of spreadsheet data and communicating with workers and contractor organisations accurately and in a timely fashion.

Our challenge was to reduce the manual effort needed to understand where workers were based, establish how to get them safely to Aberdeen, work to record pre-test and test results for follow up and communicate plans for deployment to workers and to contract companies.

The approach

We were able to use components of Microsoft Azure to automate data extraction. We then used Power BI to digitise the data and unlock analytical reporting to a small and restricted group of people. Lastly, we embedded a Power App within Power BI to allow these restricted users to dynamically change and update data.

This showed where workers were clustered location-wise around the UK and thus where socially distanced transport could be used to get them to Aberdeen. It also showed which workers would require accommodation on arrival for a period of self-isolation whilst coronavirus test results were awaited, and which could safely isolate alone at home.

To increase effectiveness, we also built an audit report to look at the data and assessed what details were changing over time (e.g. travel dates offshore). This audit helped Total to understand exactly what was changing and why, as frequent travel alterations are common in the industry.

To further ease the administrative burden of the new mobilisation requirements and to ensure rigorous safety protocols were trouble-free to follow, we built an email summary report. This allowed Total to contact each company with a list of all their personnel who were flying on a particular date, allowing them to get their workers ready via the necessary coronavirus pre-screening.

We ran this pre-screen exercise through Power BI, allowing Total to assess who was answering each form, to bring submissions into a central repository and to match it against their individual transport arrangements.

The outcome

Our use of Power BI in this innovative way allowed Total to rapidly automate their response to the coronavirus threat. Being able to visualise where workers were domiciled meant that cost-effective transport to mobilise could be easily and efficiently arranged, saving money on private transport and accommodation wherever safely possible. This will have ongoing uses beyond the coronavirus crisis as it will continue to automate the burden of administration related to worker travel.

In the first eleven days of its operation, the Covid-19 pre-screening form had over 1200 responses. Each form submission is replacing a manual ten-minute phone call from Total. Our use of Power BI to deliver this has saved the equivalent time of of 4.5 full time resources, with the new capability delivered in a rapid turnaround time of one week.

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