Engineering firm Worley has made digital and technology a specific focus for its executive team as it seeks to capitalise on a broader digital transformation it has underway.
The firm, formerly known as WorleyParsons, is also working to equip its staff with new digital and data skills, with a learning scheme having already reached 11,700 staff worldwide since August last year.
Both initiatives and more are contained in the ASX-listed company’s FY21 reporting.
In its annual report [pdf], Worley notes it has made specific changes to its 'group executive' to ensure top-down buy-in on digital and technology investments.
“As at July 5 2021, the group executive was realigned to take on dedicated roles in direct response to fulfilling our purpose and enabling our strategy: sustainability, digital and technology solutions,” the company said.
“Digital will enable the transformation of our business through digital technologies and customer-centric data solutions.
“Technology solutions will expand our process technology portfolio, capitalising on our unique knowledge and IP to leverage technologies that will both enhance and differentiate our sustainability focused engineering offerings.”
The company’s group executive leaders will remain the same; they will now have to drive digital and technology as a specified part of their remit.
Adoption of digital technology is seen as a way “to drive margin improvement and high-value solutions for customers”, while technology investments are to be aimed at “growth areas where Worley has domain knowledge.”
The annual report also notes that leaders are doing more virtual site visits using technology developed by Worley’s ‘digital acceleration’ team, which is now being commercialised as a product in its own right.
The first internal use of the technology was for “a virtual site visit in Latin America with four members of the board” in November last year.
The technology utilises a “specialised camera-linked tool to clearly visualise on-ground activities and simultaneously witness safety practices.”
“While this has kept us connected during the pandemic, we see this as a long-term opportunity to enhance senior leader connection to the sites,” the company said.
Worley is also focusing on upskilling staff in digital and data as part of its transformation.
“An integral part of our strategy is the digital transformation which requires all our people to work towards embedding digital skills and technologies in the way they work, to improve efficiency, challenge the norm, embrace innovation and provide competitive edge,” it said in a separate sustainability report. [pdf]
“To support this, the ‘digital passport’ has been developed for all people within Worley to begin their digital journey.
“By completing the ‘digital passport’, each employee can develop their learning about how they can be part of our digital transformation and use digital skills and technologies in their own role to save time, be more efficient and be more valuable to Worley overall.”
Worley said over 11,700 people had completed the ‘digital passport’ in the first year, including 5600 people in the first two months after launch.
“Building on its success, we are now introducing ‘stamps’ that take a deeper dive into specific digital topics such as data science, AI and data literacy,” the company said.
“As a result, our people can direct their own learnings to topics that are most relevant and useful to them.”
Broadly, Worley said it needed to be a “leader in the application of digital technology” in order to “remain at the cutting edge” in the engineering sector.
In FY21, the company delivered a statutory net profit after tax and amortisation of $161 million, compared to $252 million in the previous year.