Gazprom Neft has begun implementing a project to automate its procurement activities, based on “Internet of Things (IoT)” technology, under which the most time-consuming, labour-intensive and routine operations in the procurement process are being programmed and automated.
This technology has been tested on the procurement of printer consumables, with a test purchase of various components being successfully initiated by the equipment, and concluded with an electronic signature on a supply contract entered into with a company selected with the help of an automated procurement procedure.
The implementation of digital technologies is expected not just to reduce the labour costs involved in servicing processes, but also to significantly shorten the length of time taken in performing operations. Accordingly, the time spent on undertaking the procedure during the test process was reduced from two weeks to 48 hours, allowing demand for materials and resources to be met quickly.
In addition to a “robot-buyer” the company expects, in the near future, to gain a “robot-planner”, intended to automate the process of compiling purchase orders, as well as a “robot-controller”, automating oversight in building and construction.
Konstantin Kravchenko, Head of the IT, Automation and Telecommunications Department, Gazprom Neft, commented: “The Industrial Internet of Things is not so much about high-technology solutions as about an alternative means of using existing devices and information systems, without major expenditure on modernising equipment, allowing a significant impact to be achieved. The level of automation within the company is, already, allowing the robotization of most routine operations, eliminating the risk of human error and improving the transparency and efficiency of operations, while reducing their cost.”