Nick Hales, Head of Strategic Transformation and Emmanouela Vlachantoni, Strategy & Transformation Senior Manager, on the journey to reinvent business processes that are reimagining bp

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A major digital investment program is underway at one of the world’s leading energy companies… In February 2020, CEO Bernard Looney launched bp’s new purpose to reimagine energy. The company is focused on reducing oil and gas production and lowering emissions, while keeping up cash flow by high-grading bp’s portfolio and growing bioenergy.

A key factor in bp’s reinvention is the strategic transformation of business processes and controls. Among the leaders in that space is bp veteran Nick Hales, Head of Strategic Transformation; accounting, reporting & control. “We are investing in digital to drive process efficiency and improve insights; but also to develop our people with the skills we need for now, and the future. This means we are playing to win while caring for our people through investing in their personal development,” he pledges. 

A strategic transformation

Hales believes his team is making good progress on a transformation journey now in its third year. “There are two key elements: a compliance and remediation aspect, and a digital transformation aspect,” he explains. “It’s helpful to separate the two because it’s best to be driving digital transformation on strong foundations. You’ve got to fix the roof first.”

The first 18 months of the program were focused on control remediation working with business teams and internal & external audit partners. “We’ve largely delivered on that which has given us the licence to move into the digital transformation space. As part of the program, we’ve run more than ten separate projects, some of which are fully completed and live, and some of which are well on the way to fruition.”

Changing bp’s control environment

Emmanouela Vlachantoni, Strategy & Transformation Senior Manager, is leading standardisation and digital transformation for business controls. “After setting the right foundations through various remediation and compliance initiatives, we embarked on our digital transformation journey,” she reflects.

Emmanouela Vlachantoni, Strategy & Transformation Senior Manager
Emmanouela Vlachantoni, Strategy & Transformation Senior Manager, bp

“There was a clear opportunity to standardise and streamline our controls environment, so we engaged with process and control owners across the organisation to reimagine it. In less than 12 months we have managed to go from thousands to a few hundred fit-for purpose, standardised controls and transition from a static controls library to a fully work-flowed and dynamic governance, risk and controls platform, Service Now.”

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