Digital transformation has been accelerating within the oil and gas industry.

If you’re in this sector, you may already be neck-deep in ERP selection. However, you may not be certain you’re on the right track.

Today, we’ll answer all your burning questions: What are other companies implementing? What pain points are they fixing? What best practices are essential for digital transformation in the oil and gas industry?

Read on to discover the answers you need to know.

Oil and Gas Companies: A Brief Digital Timeline​

Traditionally, oil and gas companies have been slow to embrace new digital systems. While it might seem as though this new wave of growth is happening all at once, the reality is that many organizations have been slow to adopt digital transformation at a large scale. For them, simply replacing their paper-based tracking systems with Excel spreadsheets was a big enough leap into this new, technological world.

This lag can be mostly attributed to one factor: resistance to change. This industry is largely process-driven, with rules and best practices that guide every step. Changing the gears in these systems requires a massive shift, and it’s one that many companies have been unable or unwilling to take.

However, modernization is becoming more imperative for oil and gas companies. Mobile and cloud-based systems are some of the most effective tools for improving efficiencies, streamlining services, and boosting production. 

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Goals of Digital Transformation in This Sector​

Faced with a shifting economy, many oil and gas companies are looking to modernize operations. They’re implementing cloud-based systems, as well as those powered by artificial intelligence (AI). As they implement these technologies, their core goals include:

• Maximizing efficiency
• Ensuring safety
• Increasing sustainability
• Optimizing organizational efficiency
• Improving the customer experience

Additionally, they have their sights set on developing new, data-focused products, services, and business models to stay relevant and differentiate themselves from the competition.

The First Steps

Oil and gas companies know they must modernize, but how can they focus their efforts? Where do they begin and which tools are most helpful?

One option is ERP software. This software can expedite the quote-to-cash process and prevent time-consuming bottlenecks. These systems become more helpful when they’re deployed in the cloud, which allows workers to access them from anywhere, at any time.

However, ERP isn’t the only option. Let’s take a look at digital transformation in general and how it can benefit this industry.

Processes That Can Benefit from Digital Transformation

1. Scheduling and Dispatching

At a time when customers expect immediate service, a company cannot over-invest in an efficient scheduling and dispatching service.

Transforming this process from a manual one to a digital one can improve a company’s response time and customer satisfaction.

For example, with field service technology, employees can stay on top of job-related data, track their resources, and monitor the following variables:

• What serialized equipment is in use
• Where the equipment is moving to
• What jobs utilized the equipment
• When the equipment was inspected and maintained
• Changes that may affect the equipment moving forward

2. Renting Equipment​

Renting equipment can be challenging, especially when you’re managing an equipment rental process that includes multiple people, elements, and moving parts.

Digital transformation allows companies to streamline this process from the warehouse to the back office. This empowers teams to coordindate rental agreements, without contending with outdated procedures that could slow down their progress.

3. Collecting and Analyzing Data

Data analysis is an essential part of any business, but oil and gas companies need to be especially consistent in their data collection efforts.

Oil and gas workers are required to capture a greater amount of data than ever before, and they need modern technology to make this process simple and seamless.

AI-powered tools can help collect and analyze data quickly, without sacrificing quality or accuracy. Employees can use these insights to make better-informed decisions, such as scheduling preventative maintenance to improve equipment reliability and uptime.

4. Sending Invoices

Invoices in this sector must be accurate at every turn. Otherwise, it breeds distrust among clients and customers.

With digitized invoicing systems, oil and gas companies can reduce errors, meet customer requirements, and accelerate time to payment.

5. Managing/Maintaining Assets

Companies must constantly monitor the condition of their assets. Until recently, this has been a manual effort requiring efforts of multiple teams.

Now, companies can use digital tools, such as IoT technology, to gather asset information and monitor conditions in real-time. Even if they’re not physically near the equipment, they can remotely monitor and analyze its overall health.

Companies that leverage these systems can increase asset uptime, bolster output, and decrease maintenance-related labor.

Embrace Digital Transformation in the Oil and Gas Industry

This sector might have been slow to embrace innovation, but digital transformation in the oil and gas industry is here to stay. Businesses are discovering how much more efficient, streamlined, and accurate operations can be with the integration of digital technologies.

Are you an O&G leader looking to learn more about digital transformation? Contact us below to learn how our ERP consultants can help you get started.

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