By Todd Simoneaux, Director of Hardware Technology
TWIC compliance will affect plant operations. Keep these principles in mind as you select your compliance strategy.
For the last several months, it's been almost impossible to visit a refinery or chemical plant without discussing the topic of the TWIC Final Rule. This long-awaited regulation is finally giving definition to the challenge of fully complying with the government's plan to protect our critical infrastructure.
Most facilities we serve are subject to the TWIC regulations because they connect with Coast Guard regulated waterways and the connected rail systems. As a result, they have until August 23, 2018 to implement a system to control the access to their plant using biometric credentials. In other words, they must invest in software and hardware that can verify a person's identity by using a unique identifier like their fingerprint, eye, or face.
By John Barth, Senior Accounts Manager
"Are you an exhibitionist here this week?"
I usually think pretty well on my feet, but I admit, I needed a few moments to respond to this inquiry. Several things went through my head. "Is someone an exhibitionist for a specified period of time? Am I wearing a trench coat? Is this the right place? Has she asked everyone that question? How do I respond?"
By Philip Mears, Director of Services
When my organization starts a new day, we look forward to opportunities to interact with customers. That may be counter-intuitive because the conventional wisdom is that customers only call when they need something, usually information or a fix. The subtext of this is that they may also be angry or aggravated by problems they're having. Many companies try to deflect these calls with online documentation and call center menus because "Customer Service has to scale." In pure dollars and cents, this point is indisputable. Humans cost more than online resources.
While I agree that we can't always be there for every customer's every need (and we shouldn't be), it's important to acknowledge that maintaining a healthy rhythm of direct contact is necessary for us to enjoy what we do and get better at it. Here's why: We are puzzle solvers.
I took it to mean that many people are "gamers”; people who will step up and exceed even their own expectations when the chips are down. But I also took it to mean that those people are rare. Teams are usually made up of one or two "gamers." The remainder are mere mortals who must train extra hard to triumph in competition. In other words, a team will perform to the level of its preparation.
By Chris Laibe, CEO
How building muscle memory will help you win during a petrochemical emergency.
How’s Your Plan?
The former prizefighter turned stand-up performer is generating quotable quips that are sprinkled throughout the Internet. One of his most popular quotes, believe it or not, can be directly applied to emergency response planning in petrochemicals:
“Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.”
Sometimes air travel feels miraculous. You can board a flight in a country with a very distinct culture and then, in just a few hours, disembark in a country that is completely different. I think this feeling is most surprising to Americans because our country is vast and culturally similar. You can fly for hours and still be in the US. Leaving Doha and arriving in Cologne gave me that feeling. The climate, architecture, culture, clothing, food - you name it - was very different.
I know this isn't a travel blog but I have to start this post off with this: Doha airport. Wow. I have never been to such a deluxe airport and I doubt there are many on the planet that can compare to it. It is well planned, well stocked, and architecturally impressive.
The airport was my first indication of what I would find as I ventured deeper into Doha: Qatar is running at warp speed to develop Doha and the rest of the country in anticipation of it's spotlight on the world stage when the Soccer World Cup comes in 2022.
If Switzerland was in Asia, it would be Singapore.
I found that Singapore has the edge of a multicultural Asian society combined with Swiss precision in its public services. This contrast is evident in the clatter of neighborhood street-food vendors and merchants from around the world that co-exist in a completely non-chaotic municipality. Public transportation is reliable, the streets are completely safe and, when the government gets involved, it is an impressive experience.