Procurement and Supply Chain Live: Fraser Hill

By Helen Adams
Fraser Hill, the General Manager of Digital Transformation at Shell, on data and designing technology around the user

Leading the digital transformation agenda at Shell is Fraser Hill, who spoke at Procurement and Supply Chain Live to discuss designing around the user, being transparent and the importance of lunch. 

Hill and his team take charge of digital transformation in the Shell supply chain, in addition to managing Shell’s technology, AI and big data.

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The human factor in digital transformation

“The third area we work around in all of our digital transformation, is trying to make sure that we design around the user”, explained Hill. “Mistakes that I have made, that others have made, is that you try to design the perfect process or the perfect system and unfortunately, that very rational approach to technology misses out on the most important factor, which is the human factor. People are neither rational nor predictable in my experience.”

Science fiction films have used the theme of technology outpacing human understanding for years. According to a survey by communications firm Edelman, 60% of respondents said they feared that the pace of technology has become too fast. ‘You’re on mute’ was after all, the most used phrase of 2020, as many struggled to work from home efficiently with the available technology. 

“It’s very often more effective to build a slightly inefficient process that people will use, rather than a perfect process that people won’t touch”, concluded Hill. 

 

Relying on data

“The final thing I’ve learned over the last few years, is the importance of data”, said Hill. “If your data is crap, it doesn’t matter how good your system is. Bad data, plus insight, equals bad insight.”

“Do you think some companies are in danger of relying too much on data”, asked Scott Birch, Chief Content Officer at BizClik Media Group.

“If you don’t rely on data, the only thing you can rely on is guess work”, said Hill. “Unless you want to start running your company by flipping a coin..."

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