Hero image

How Amazon Business and AWS are helping bp reshape the future of energy

bp has launched a strategy to be a different type of energy company, with digital innovation in its supply chain key to its success.

Overview

bp is continually reimagining its purpose and testing new ways to modernize and increase efficiency of its global operations. As the company evolves to become more agile and sustainable, it’s embracing digital innovation to reinvent from within. In February, bp set an ambition to pivot from an international oil company focused on producing oil & gas resources to an integrated energy company that delivers diverse energy solutions for its customers. Amazon is one of the suppliers bp is working with to deliver on this goal, partnering with Amazon Business and AWS to adopt digital solutions to improve on their supply chain challenges.

 

 

A global energy company committed to sustainability and innovation

bp’s three-part strategy turns its future ambitions into reality: integrate new types of energy systems, partner with countries, cities and industries to lower carbon-intensive electricity and energy, and drive digital innovation to create more convenience and mobility across operations—which in turn contributes to a reduced carbon footprint.

 

Justin Burnett, Vice President of Materials Management and Warehousing at bp, is helping drive the company’s procurement ecosystem strategy, using digital solutions to automate procurement in the business to create scalable processes and eliminating waste across the supply chain.

 

Since the start of 2015, there has been a focus on optimizing inventory and reducing waste caused by inefficient purchasing. The efforts resulted in a 40 percent reduction in existing inventory and improved performance of the procurement system. This represents significant savings in depreciating, unnecessary warehoused materials.

 

To further streamline supply chain procurement and increase efficiency, starting with its Gulf of Mexico region, bp is piloting a “One Amazon” solution that includes procurement optimization tools as well as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other optimization services.

 

 

Embracing modern, digital approaches to create solutions

“Amazon Business is part of a larger opportunity for bp to eliminate multiple contracts, enabling us access to a large amount of suppliers, which prevents us from having to continuously manage individual contracts and negotiated price lists in the large tail of our spend” said Burnett.

 

“When we’re dealing with offshore movement of materials, consistency and reliability is key. We are consolidating orders and shipments with Amazon Business to one day per week timed with our vessel schedules. This adds reliability to our supply chain, and will have a positive impact on our ambition and commitment to be net zero by 2050.”

 

Incorporating AWS as part of its solution is progressing along with Amazon Business. As the usage for purchasing within the store increases, Burnett and his team are including AWS services among other solutions to further optimize. Activities such as machine learning to automate inventory will help to further improve bp’s supply chain, and add intelligence to inform decision making—for example, analyzing purchasing trends and supply levels to automate reordering and reduce manual efforts.

“When we’re dealing with offshore movement of materials, consistency and reliability is key. We are consolidating orders and shipments with Amazon Business to one day per week timed with our vessel schedules. This adds reliability to our supply chain, and will have a positive impact on our ambition and commitment to be net zero by 2050.”  

— Justin Burnett, Vice President of Materials Management and Warehousing, bp

bp’s operations are best supported by supply chain when it can deliver consistently and reliably.  With the additional purchasing channels and tools through Amazon Business and AWS, bp is receiving predictive purchasing suggestions, optimizing its suppliers, and managing deliveries more efficiently—ultimately leading to reduction in ordering materials. Consolidating invoicing with Amazon Business’ Pay by Invoice feature—a Business Prime feature that allows bp to receive a few consolidated invoices monthly for all of their orders—has helped reduce invoices from 500 a month to less than 10. These success stories with the trial in the Gulf of Mexico are allowing Burnett to expand these solutions to other parts of BP.


This success with Amazon is not the only example within bp. The company has also been using machine learning services such as Amazon SageMaker through AWS to monitor fuel stations to learn in real-time if something is not working properly so it can be repaired immediately before it becomes a complex, expensive problem that affects the bottom line. A pilot for a predictive maintenance program in Germany is tackling the challenge of servicing and maintaining automatic diesel stations. With dozens of tiny sensors “dusted” around the stations, environmental variables, such as irregular temperatures and vibrations, give bp actionable insights.


In addition, Alexa’s natural language understanding capabilities provide automated answers to technicians on the front lines as bp expands rapidly in Mexico after it became a deregulated market in 2016. Thousands of support calls were used to train machine learning models to find patterns and identify solutions to common problems. Automating answers using Alexa, through an automated support system called Talk2Me has resulted in a 40 percent reduction of calls to help desks, and improved the customer experience for technicians.


“Our world and our industry are changing rapidly, and bp aims to be a very different kind of energy company to meet the evolving needs of our customers, and indeed, the world. Our new strategy will kick start a decade of delivery towards our net zero ambition,” said Burnett.


“We need to continue to push ourselves to evolve with progressive companies like Amazon, and allow them to support and push us on what is possible. Working together we can leverage great qualities from both companies to create a more efficient supply chain, and solve historically tough challenges.”

“Our world and our industry are changing rapidly, and bp aims to be a very different kind of energy company to meet the evolving needs of our customers, and indeed, the world. Our new strategy will kick start a decade of delivery towards our net zero ambition.”  

— Justin Burnett, Vice President of Materials Management and Warehousing, bp