The Retrofuturist Chronicles: Lost Memories and Other Oxymorons

Insights on Embracing the Experience Economy

In episode 4, we learned how the loss of a journal decorated with rainbow-colored sequins and a unicorn constitutes a major crisis for a twelve-year-old. From Aunt Natalie’s perspective, the missing journal is an opportunity to tell the story of the Cosmopolitan Retrofuturistic Innovator’s Secret Investigative Sisterhood (CRISIS) investigation of a lost oil tanker—which, as it happens, wasn’t lost after all but temporarily misplaced due to a paperwork error. The takeaway: using a paper-based tracking system for a 2,000-ton tanker is definitely not a recommended best practice.

While it’s rare for tankers to go missing these days, oil and gas producers are finding that knowing where all of their assets are at any time—and how those assets are performing—is key to delivering safe, reliable, and sustainable energy products and services focused on the customer. Even in asset-intensive industries like oil and gas, companies are digitalizing production and delivery and transforming other areas of the business to help them adapt to the experience economy.

Retooling for the experience economy

Like their counterparts in retail and other industries, oil and gas producers are rethinking their business practices in light of the market dominance of empowered consumers — and B2B buyers — who demand simplicity, service, and quality. This means that companies who have thought of themselves as industrial producers are now seeking to master value-added activities, such as consumer energy usage analytics, so they can extend the range of services they provide beyond their core offerings. For example, fuel retailers will become more customer-centric, using pay-for-outcome pricing and offering personalized configurations that improve the customer experience. They will create a range of new services and experiences that focus on convenience and personalization. We’re even seeing the emergence of services that deliver fuel directly to a customer’s vehicles while the customer is at work.

The key to making these innovations viable is data—and the insight companies draw from that data. With the right analytical tools, decision-makers can pinpoint individual consumption patterns to find better ways to engage consumers and earn their loyalty. They have a clearer understanding of which reward offers and pricing models will reduce consumer churn.

Transforming long-standing processes and practices

Beyond finding ways to engage consumers and buyers through personalized experiences, innovative oil and gas companies are exploring other ways to generate value. Some oil-field services companies have sought ownership stakes in the oil fields they previously only served, and fuel-service companies are simplifying order commitment and fulfillment processes through live inventory management, real-time available-to-promise, and faster material replenishment planning.

Other oil and gas operators will flip the script on traditional roles in the value chain by managing physical deliveries across the network, often without owning or operating any of the necessary inventory or

assets or hiring scores of employees. Through the use of real real-time monitoring, integrated data sources, AI, predictive analytics, and machine learning capabilities, they’ll discover entirely new modes of business and opportunities to generate new value based on unprecedented insights into operations, products, and services.

And finally, because oil and gas production is still an asset-intensive effort, companies will continue to find ways to optimize maintenance and operations by improving collaboration within their distributed enterprise and with the strategic partners they rely on. Many will deploy remote monitoring and collaboration platforms that remove the hands-on labor traditionally required, and they will eventually achieve 360-degree digital tracking and analysis of assets, materials, and product throughout the entire value chain.

As Aunt Natalie tells Miranda, “We hold on to our memories so that we learn from our successes and our failures and do better in the future. It’s a matter of survival.” For oil and gas companies, recognizing that the way they did things in the past is only a starting point for ongoing innovation is critical. By rising to the new challenges of the experience economy and becoming an intelligent enterprise that runs on data and insight as much hydrocarbons, these companies can continue to fuel the future.

For more inspiration on how SAP solutions can help you turn your past leadership in oil and gas into future leadership in the experience economy, visit To see how close your organization is to becoming an Intelligent Enterprise that’s ready for the rigors of a new era of commerce, complete the self-assessment.

SAP and Capgemini:

Helping oil and gas innovators adapt to a volatile market

Traditional energy sources, such as coal, gas, and nuclear energy, are facing economic, political, and social pressure. Decarbonization, deregulation, and decentralization are having a significant impact on a historically regulated industry. Innovation is now the key for success.

At Capgemini, digital transformation isn’t just a concept. In conjunction with SAP, we help clients take the bold steps needed to weather these changes and succeed in the emerging customer-driven, technology-enabled landscape

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