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Case Study

Case Study

Santos is using an innovative scanning and data capture system to help achieve its environmental vision of lightening the footprint of its activities.

Facilitated by Australian scanning innovator Avantix, the system is designed to help Santos reduce paper usage and increase automation as part of its Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability information management strategy.
Everyone, from Health and Safety Advisors to Environmental Officers assessing discovery sites throughout Australia’s remotest regions can now file reports faster and with greater accuracy using the system, which converts paper-based forms and documents into an electronic data stream.

Helen Challen, Knowledge Information and Data, Team Leader, advising the Santos Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability group said that the Avantix system is aligned with the company’s information management principles.

“Improved information management means making sure we can rapidly gather and disseminate accurate information to ensure we meet our statutory and community obligations,” Helen said.

“For many of our field operatives, their office is a four-wheel drive for much of the time. Therefore, although we are attempting to reduce our dependence on paper, we are still very paper oriented. “Before the Avantix system was implemented much of this data was being retyped, with the possibility of human inefficiencies and potential for losing documents.”

Australia’s largest domestic gas producer, Santos supplies gas to all mainland Australian states and territories, ethane to Sydney, and oil and liquids to domestic and international customers. The company has interests and operations in every major Australian petroleum province as well as in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan.

Santos has an environmental vision that “we will lighten the footprint of our activities”. To help achieve this vision the company continually collects land disturbance data and environmental inspection information; historically this has been written out by hand on paper forms or reports in the field. Thousands of these reports were stored in boxes at remote site offices.

Santos selected Avantix for the reports scanning project following the successful cultural change program to scan thousands of documents when the company moved from its former premises on Adelaide’s King William Street to its new offices on Flinders Street.

“Project Shrink”, as it was known, involved scanning substantial volumes of paper records, reports and documents using OCR and creating a document management system. With the current project, Santos decided to embark on a trial to batch scan a backlog of filed reports. “This allowed us to see how the technology works and prove the concept,” Helen said.

Further automation is planned, including bar-coding of paper forms to further streamline the process. This will enable consultants and staff to fax through bar-coded forms that are scanned automatically and uploaded into a workflow system, without human intervention.

“The aim is to get all the information into an electronic database and implement proper information management processes around it, so it’s searchable and people can start gaining some value from it” Helen said.

“If information assets are only in paper you end up with a high volume of data that you can’t do anything with. Converting to electronic format (where appropriate after considering compliance and business requirements) is essential to reduce the risk of undervaluing information.”

Queensland Government – Queensland HealthAnglo AmericanDNRMchildrenshospitalDHPWStae Library of Queensland and Avantix

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