One way to save money and make operations more efficient is to close the gap between the field and the office by eliminating time spent on manual reporting and processing.
by James McDonough, SEE Forge Inc.
May 8, 2015

Most people in the industry are affected by the decreased price of oil. The drilling rig count has been dropping each week as a result. How does the industry respond? What are successful oil service companies doing to grow their business? One way to save money and make operations more efficient is to close the gap between the field and the office by eliminating time spent on manual reporting and processing. This can help remove mountains of paperwork, leading to faster resolution of problems, lowering overall risk and increasing productivity across all operations. End users of a software solution said that the five strategies discussed in this article helped simplify their operations and save money.

Before and after results of using the software solutionBefore and after results of using the software solution (Images and graphics courtesy of SEE Forge Inc.)

1. Improve Accounting & Reporting Accuracy

A software platform with an integrated app hosts all the documentation required for field operators and office personnel to complete daily tasks. The options include billing, invoices, time sheets, audits, inspections, equipment lists and job instructions. With inaccurate data, operators and service providers will lose money. A consolidated solution reduces the risk of providing inaccurate job quotes. It also decreases the possibility of creating duplicate jobs or sending unavailable material, providing an immediate profit increase.

2. Automate Revenues to 
Fix Operational Issues


Without real-time reporting in 2015, operators and service providers will have trouble winning bigger jobs and keeping up with their competition. Real-time operational reporting helps end users understand revenue and operations, which provides powerful insights at a single glance.

Early warning system to view activity in the fieldEarly warning system to view activity in the field

Dashboards gather records and transform the information into useful graphs that fully illustrate current operational data. The historical data saves time and instantly create a forecast for the next month. If end users cannot see the problem, they cannot solve it. Operators and service providers should ask, “Where are we leaking money?”

3. Eliminate Time Delays & 
Do More with Less

When a potential field ticket error has been identified, time spent searching for the correct paperwork does not always result in immediate action. Several employees may be taken off task while trying to find the problem. The manual records may be messy or contain incomplete entries that fail to illustrate the full scope of a problem, which can create miscommunications and further problems. In addition, time is lost by submitting a report to a decision maker, who assesses the field tickets before digitizing the information so that appropriate action can be taken. By automatically transferring data between the field and the office using smartphones, time delays are eliminated. The software produces an easy audit trail, and errors are minimized, which boost profits.

4. Ensure Compliance & 
Win More Work

Operators and service providers that use paper forms may think they are compliant with regulations. However, they should re-think their processes. Using a smartphone app gives up-to-date templates to ensure that organizations remain fully compliant. Smartphone forms can be immediately downloaded by all team members and customized to report field tickets, invoices, billing, inventory, maintenance problems, quality issues and potential hazards to the organization. Reporting does not require an Internet connection, and any problems can be assessed quickly in the field. With two-way communication, information can be shared instantly across all departments and with the team in the field. In addition, using an automated system helps end users win bigger contracts by appearing more professional.

Number of days to cash, reduced DSONumber of days to cash, reduced DSO

5. Reduce the DSO &
 Get Paid Faster

Companies in heavy industries suffer from time lost in manual processes and outdated procedures. Eliminating the need for paper-based forms helps organizations get paid faster and increase profits. With increased efficiency, the previously high days’ sales outstanding (DSO) is immediately improved because less time is required to capture, communicate and act upon information. End users can immediately invoice clients and get paid faster instead of waiting 60 to 120 days to send an invoice to a client.

Technology in the 
Energy Industry

Adopting technology can be daunting for many, but it does not have to be. The first step is to realize that the world and communication techniques have drastically changed, and organization-wide changes may be required to remain competitive in the industry. Then acquiring and maintaining talent will become more manageable. Today, millennials order pizza from their mobile app, text instead of talk and are bombarded with millions of advertising messages per day. They multitask and can be impatient because they think everything moves too slowly. Millennials simply do not know what life is like without the Internet or mobile phones. Once experienced industry personnel understand this, attracting and integrating millennials into the oil patch will be simple.