Sludge. Let’s talk about sludge.
Sludge is a well-known issue in the oil & gas and chemicals industries. It is a nuisance, clogging up equipment, causing process inefficiencies and unwanted downtime. And then there are the disposal costs to consider.
Sludge is the enemy of smooth and stable operations. Ask any oil & gas or chemicals company and they will have some problem or challenge in dealing with sludge.
As well as this troublesome industrial sludge, there is also sludge in our day-to-day work environment. What do we mean by this?
Sludge* is defined as a process, system or work method that is inefficient, wasteful or value-killing. Examples of sludge are:
- Mindless bureaucracy (e.g., filling in form A so that form B can be filled in)
- Double or triple handling of work activities (e.g., adding the same data to multiple documents)
- Analogue systems in a digital world (e.g., reams of paper versus "cloud" based systems)
It's no surprise that we do not like sludge. We aim to seek it out and eliminate it where possible, just like those Ghostbuster guys. Whatever the situation, such as delivering a project for a client, or improving an internal business workflow, we see every day as an opportunity to sludge-bust.
Over the last 7 years we have busted a lot of sludge and look forward to continuing this.
Do you need assistance with sludge-busting in your process facility or project? If so, please feel free to be in touch:
*Sludge is a concept created by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, read about it in their book Nudge: The Final Edition.