Enter Project Crowdfield
As the saying goes, ‘In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity’.
Accepting that the game isn’t over yet (not for another few decades at least), and that activity will pick up at some point, probably sooner than most think (as the next energy crisis looms), we find, on the one hand, O&G companies being forced to reinvent themselves, and, on the other hand, thousands of O&G professionals and workers all over the world who suddenly found themselves out of the workforce.
This is where the two must meet. It’s time for companies to reach out to the ‘Crowd’, and do so on a large scale and on a regular basis. How?
The CROWDFIELD platform
At the centre of the Crowdfield ecosystem we envisage to build is the CROWDFIELD platform, built on sound IT infrastructure, that connects businesses to individuals, groups, and businesses.
Individuals register and load themselves onto the platform with a series of attributes (profession, specialty, competences, skills, software proficiency, etc), plus other background characteristics, such as academic degree(s), qualifications & credentials, years of experience, etc.
A Company posts a job/project onto the platform, with a precise job description (scope, deliverables, timeframe, etc.), and selects filters and attributes required.
Suitable candidates meeting the criteria are notified.
Candidates bid for the job.
The Company reviews the bids and selects the ideal candidate.
Selected worker executes the project.
But this isn’t new, you’re wondering…
Indeed, there are a few platforms already in the marketplace providing this type of service and similar functionality, such as Freelancer, Fiverr, or Upwork. And although a few O&G professional individuals and consultants have registered in these, the reality is that it has not happened on a large-scale basis and O&G companies simply have not adopted this business model.
Our belief is that the breath, depth, richness and variance in detail of a petroleum project can not be made justice with a generic platform. Hence, the key differentiator of the CROWDFIELD platform is that it is specifically designed and tailored to the O&G Industry, with all its nuances and characteristics.
The biggest challenge is to break inertia and get Companies to adopt this way of doing business. Contractual arrangements, data confidentiality issues, quality control mechanisms, interdisciplinary interactions, follow-up accountability, are only a few of the many hurdles that need to be overcome to get Companies over the fence and deem the Crowdfield enterprise viable.
Granted, there are scenarios (probably most) where either in-house resourcing, or a trusted consultant (individual or firm), are simply not replaceable. This comes down to the fact that history, reputational backup, and trust built over the years, are not dispensable commodities. However, we argue that on great many occasions, outsourcing a task/project to the crowd can actually be the most cost-effective solution. Sometimes, it only takes willingness, and simply a bit of creativity. I’ve seen over and over in my 20-year career situations where the work was left to inexperienced teams, only to have the work redone or outsourced to an external firm, losing valuable time and resources. Likewise, I’ve seen countless senior professionals and managers burning valuable time on repetitive tasks manipulating large excel spreadsheets in situations where a young skilful engineer, working remotely from the other side of the world, could have coded a macro in a couple of hours for a fraction of the cost. In this example, the job could be framed and implemented in generic terms, with no data confidentiality issues to worry about. As these ones, there are plenty of other jobs where this modus operandi is absolutely feasible.
Another material business behavioural shift is to do with remote work, rapidly becoming the new normal in 2020. Team dynamics, group discussions, forums, team meetings and presentations, are staples of any organization, and typically have required the physical presence on office premises. In this time and age, however, with the advent of incredible technological tools we have now at our disposal, it is evident that remote work is not an impediment any more to conduct business. In fact, amid the recent Covid-19 outbreak and enforced lockdowns, many employees and business owners alike woke up to the realisation that working-from-home arrangements not only did not pose any major problems, but actually worked out for the better, with many reporting significant productivity improvements.
Crowdfield is a win-win proposition; workers can continue to hone their skills and develop their careers, while companies can tap into a wealth of experience and a very broad skill base to execute their projects and advance their business in a cost-effective fashion. For companies, the ability to access the right experience and knowledge will lead to productivity gains for a project that may not have been available through traditional resourcing methods.
In particular, the competitive nature of the proposed ecosystem, operating under a bidding mechanism, enables the constant real-time market feedback that ensures that a fair price is always found. This must be embraced and appreciated by the participants on both sides of the deal.
Crowdfield as a strategic partner
The CROWDFIELD platform is envisaged to be a sound, autonomous, self contained technological solution where both, workers and companies, meet one another without needing any third party as intermediary.
However, understanding the ins and outs of the O&G business, we anticipate that many company departments will actually prefer to outsource the admin burden related to overseeing the work carried out externally. For small companies and start-ups in particular, we can provide agility, leverage existing teams, and support groups that may struggle connecting to the right skill sets at the right time. For these reasons, our goal is to position the Crowdfield Team at the core of the Crowdfield ecosystem as a trusted strategic partner to the Companies. Whether helping with the writeup and loading of a precise project description, pre-screening/interviewing/selecting candidates, controlling progress through milestone gates, curating handover documents and files, or any other related task, we want to offer optionality. Ultimately, facilitating the exercise of outsourcing, and providing the smoothest possible experience through the platform, are the key to get Companies to embrace this new paradigm.
Crowdfield development roadmap
Whatever the scope of our involvement in each project, our vision is to build and grow a trusted brand and be recognized as the Industry leader in the O&G crowdsourcing jobs market.
We’re currently in the Consultation stage, where we talk to Industry actors and Company managers to gauge appetite and map out in detail the needs to be met. The objective is to collect as much intel as possible on requirements for the platform and desirable characteristics for the Crowdfield ecosystem as a whole.
At the end of the consultation stage, a white paper will be formalized with a clear project definition. From there on, this is how we envisage the development roadmap will look like.
If you’re interested in this project, want to collaborate or simply want to express your opinion and provide feedback, please reach out.