Strike Oil with Simulation-based Training

This guest post, by Chief Revenue Officer Neil Wadhawan, is about the state of training programs in the Oil & Gas sector.

oil & gas trainingIt’s hard to think ahead in moments of industrial crisis, especially when you’re just trying to keep your business above water. But this is often the ideal time to make changes that repair broken systems and set you up for future growth. And it’s where the Oil & Gas industry finds itself right now.

Business Insider reports, “Prices have plummeted because of a global oversupply, and many companies are facing mountains of debt, loads of expenses, and cratering profits.” As the pressure mounts, O&G companies are cutting budgets, laying off workers, and slowing production.

This has resulted in a buying freeze, according to industry insiders, while companies wait for prices to rebound to at least $50/barrel. This mark was hit for a brief few weeks, and then prices dropped again after the Brexit announcement.

Barrel prices will rise again, of course – and when they do O&G providers will seek investments offering the strongest ROI moving into 2017, 2018, and beyond. One of those investments should be training.

“Where oil is first found is in the minds of men.” – Wallace Pratt

Don’t make cuts – make changes
Often training is the first department cut when financial crises arise. Often considered a hassle or expensive burden in the best of times, training seems like the last priority when your workforce is being downsized.

But counterintuitive as it feels, investing in training now is even more critical for O&G companies. It’s always important because safety is paramount on drilling rigs, but it also matters because this is an industry on the verge of growth when the pendulum swings back in their direction.

As production ramps back up, they’ll want to be more efficient and prepared for whatever the future brings. Instead of eliminating training resources, O&G companies should strive to make training as efficient as possible, which will reduce cost over time. They can do this by embracing advanced technology – and they’ll make training better, to boot.

The path to progress is technical
Traditionally, training consists of some form of classroom-/self-study, followed by on-the-job training using actual equipment pulled out of production for the short-term. There are a lot of flaws in this system:

  • Training requires a trainer/instructor on hand for most if not all of the time
  • Training is boring and therefore hard to ingrain
  • Equipment time is limited and hazardous – trainee mistakes can result in injury or costly equipment damage

Why are we still training this way when options like 3D Interactive Simulation offer better results at every turn?

3D Interactive modules (loaded onto an iPad or laptop) offer trainees the flexibility to run through job tasks at home, on their lunch break, or during time with their trainer. They build muscle memory through physicality – enforcing the “learn by doing” model that is most effective for engaging trainees and cementing what’s being taught.

Have a look at one in action:

Best of all, 3D Interactive Simulation allows for realistic “practice” on job-related equipment without sacrificing safety or production. Trainees can go over processes as much as needed, and then apply what they’ve learned to real equipment with a more complete understanding of how things work.

This technology is no more bizarre than the drilling machines which replaced old-fashioned methods and improved production exponentially. 3D Interactive technology does the same for the education of your workforce.

And while the upfront cost of this training technology is higher than continuing what you’re already doing, the ROI extends for years, making the value proposition inarguable.

If Oil & Gas companies want to come back “leaner and meaner,” training is a key area to boost. Not only will they need to refresh any returning workers down the line, they’ll need to train new workers when the tide turns back in their favor – because it definitely will.

We’re ready to help you come back strong – just reach out for more information!