Embracing the New Normal: Open for Business

In the current circumstances, everyone is re-defining how their work is performed.  In particular, many businesses in asset-intensive industries are struggling to understand how to maintain the performance and reliability of their assets without being able to bring people to site. 

A major theme for Bluefield is “Embracing the New Normal.”  We’ve had numerous conversations on how to ensure we remain open for business and keep delivering value to our clients.  We’ve also continued to learn new ideas and techniques from our clients, from each other, and from around the world.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll share these lessons, starting with our remote working capabilities. 

Working from Anywhere  

Bluefield’s IT and communications technology allows our team to work from anywhere in the world without the need to be in the same location.  We continue to collaborate and communicate with our clients and with each other, and remain open for business across our full range of asset management services.   

Our service delivery model allows us to deliver services that many people may not have considered being suitable for remote work.  It’s based on four capabilities: 

Remote Office Set-Ups 

Bluefield has a team of more than 80 asset and project management specialists living and working across Australia, North America, Europe and Latin America.  Many of our projects have team members in multiple locations.   

For that reason, Bluefield team members all have their own remote work set-ups that mirror the experience of being in the office.  We collaborate closely when it comes to sharing our set-ups, as well as tips and tricks that allow us to be more productive. 

Microsoft Teams for Communication and Collaboration 

Bluefield has been using Microsoft Teams for some time for a variety of purposes.  All our internal meetings are held in Teams, allowing video conferencing, screen and file sharing.  We’ve also integrated Teams with several other apps to improve our productivity and our ability to collaborate.  We can even run training sessions over Teams. 

Teams is a cloud-based service, which means Bluefield can use it to communicate with any of our clients in a dedicated, secure environment, without clients needing to download and install software.   

For example - some of our specialists are currently using this approach to provide daily reliability engineering support to clients in Western Australia from as far away as Queensland and Victoria. 

Microsoft SharePoint for File-Sharing 

Bluefield’s entire document system has been cloud-based for years.  SharePoint allows us to secure each project folder and restrict access to protect clients’ confidential information.  But we can also use it, subject to our clients’ IT policies, to transfer large volumes of data quickly and securely.  SharePoint also enables us to collaborate on documents in real-time, ensuring we don’t have problems with version control or missing data. 

This approach allows us to develop asset management plans and maintenance strategies, perform benchmarking analyses, even perform reliability improvement projects, all of which require large volumes of data and are traditionally seen as requiring a lengthy on-site presence.  In several cases, we’ve been able to perform work for clients in South America using our team in Brisbane and Perth. 

GroupMap for Online Brainstorming 

GroupMap is an online brainstorming and collaboration tool that allows users to virtually replicate the experience of using “sticky notes” or similar group activities.  Everything happens in real-time, allowing a facilitator to run a workshop with participants in multiple locations, each using their own device.  The outputs can be generated in multiple formats to allow further use. 

GroupMap comes with over 60 pre-existing templates covering everything from SWOT Analyses to prioritization matrices to problem-solving techniques.  Bluefield has also built custom templates that cover strategic planning, product design and development, even risk assessments. 

Bluefield has its own environment within GroupMap, which lets us bring clients into a dedicated, secure site to conduct your workshops virtually.  It’s revolutionized the way Bluefield does business, and changes perceptions about what sort of work can be done remotely.