More than half of firms use spreadsheets or paper for SCM

A survey conducted within heavy industry has found that more than half are using a mix of spreadsheets and even paper to coordinate contractor records, raising concerns about effective risk management within larger operations.

The survey, conducted in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the UK by Verdantix and commissioned by Avetta, suggests the problem may be exacerbated as 38% expect increasing engagement with contractors moving forward.

Managing contractors effectively is impacted by several challenges, including multiple contractors performing simultaneous activities (more than 80% of respondents believe this is ‘a very significant’ or ‘significant’ management issue); multiple safety practices across an organisation or industry (the chain of command related to safety is often unclear, 65% find this lack of clarity a significant challenge); multiple business unit involvement (66% of respondents believe the likelihood of contractor information becoming siloed, and thus unusable to other business units, is a ‘very significant’ to ‘significant’ challenge); and high turnover rate among contractors – the result of high contractor churn can be a loss of visibility into how many workers are actually onsite, making it harder to manage their projects.

The survey further found that nearly half of respondents use spreadsheets for contractor reporting and analysis and 45% use them for job hazard analysis. Around 27% are using paper-based systems, making contractor information more likely to be lost or misplaced. These methods also fail to capture standardised data for analysis and decision-making. Without a real-time view into contractor data, companies do not have the ability to use the information to drive better safety and compliance outcomes for their businesses.

A respondent in the oil/gas industry commented: “We lack centralisation of the contractor data, which makes quantifying tough. Some use spreadsheets, some use databases. There is no central place for the data that we get.”

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