Air Liquide: “ We’re embracing new ways of working”

About Air Liquide

Air Liquide is the world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health. From gas cylinders to smartphones, oil refineries to the food industry, Air Liquide is present, everyday, in the lives of millions of customers and patients and thus, millions of consumers around the world.

The group is spread across 80 countries, counts more than 65,000 employees and is highly involved in digital transformation thanks to its Connect program.

Connect Program

With Connect, Air Liquide is capitalizing on the optimal use of Big Data. The Group deploys its projects with agility, using its networks: Proof of Concept (POC) tests are conducted to validate technological avenues in collaboration with start-ups, mostly French. The passage from the design phase to the field test phase happens more rapidly.

Connect is being developed by a multi-disciplinary team supported by i-Lab, the Group’s innovation lab that bases its approach on usages, R&D, and information systems.

10 new technologies tested – 20M€ invested – 10 startups involved

Connect and Video Tutorials

With a video, certain operating instructions and technical procedures become easier to understand and share. A new solution has been inspired by this observation and by drawing an analogy with popular tutorials. Technicians use a camera and software to film and comment on a very specific type of operation. The video tutorial is then entered into a database that is accessible to everyone, via computer or tablet. Thanks to these videos, which capture actual situations, it becomes easier to learn, troubleshoot, problem solve and verify.

‘In this context, the critical challenge is to support and enable knowledge sharing among peers’ (Olivier Delabroy)

INTERVIEW. To adapt to the digital revolution, large companies need to rethink how their employees work. Olivier Delabroy, VP, Digital Transformation at Liquide, believes in collaboration.

What is the Air Liquide group’s approach to digital transformation?

Digital transformation is perfectly aligned with one of Air Liquide’s core values: innovation. We live in a changing world. The digital revolution and network operations have revolutionized the rules of the game.

To adapt to this new context, a primary concern is to be able to respond to the needs of our clients of today and tomorrow. Client experience is at the heart of digital. But we already know that there’s no good client experience without good employee experience. That’s why we are focusing our attention on improving our employee experience; by simplifying working methods and helping staff share their knowledge efficiently.

What measures have you implemented to improve employee experience?

As part of the Connect project, which aims to centralize and optimize operations in our French factories, we’ve needed to facilitate knowledge transfer among our employees. For a large company, working with a start-up helps us innovate and have greater impact. And SpeachMe fits the bill perfectly.

In a company, an operator can now record a technical skill using connected glasses, save these videos on the SpeachMe platform, add annotations or other media, and share their “Speach” with colleagues. A more junior operator on another site can then log on to the platform and improve their skills while watching the video. This is more efficient than traditional knowledge-sharing methods.

What are the benefits of peer-to-peer learning?

When knowledge sharing is peer-to-peer, employees use their own words. They speak the same language. And the fact that this information doesn’t go through managers but instead comes directly from another colleague is very valuable. We’re experimenting with new ways of working that are an essential aspect of the digital transformation.

‘We are at the center of the new ways of working’

Finally, what’s the best part of your experience with SpeachMe?

I particularly appreciate the ease of use: creating a Speach is simple. Our factory operators are our primary target, but the platform can be adapted to other cases too. If I had to summarize SpeachMe in three words, I’d say: ‘human, knowledge and network!’

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