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 several questions: What are other companies investing in? What pain points are they fixing? Finally, 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, tech-focused world.

This lag has been 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.

Mobile and cloud-based systems can help oil and gas companies improve efficiencies, streamline services, boost production, and increase investment ROI. This movement is becoming more imperative as a younger and more tech-savvy workforce starts to enter the sector.

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Goals of Digital Transformation in This Sector​

Faced with a shifting economy, some oil and gas companies are looking at key growth technologies to help them reach goals and modernize operations. This includes cloud-based systems, as well as those powered by artificial intelligence (AI). As they invest in 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, build profit, 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?

The first step is to think about which ERP solutions are required to support workers. Digital transformation helps employees process paperwork efficiently. This expedites the quote-to-cash process and prevents 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.

Let’s take a look at ways digital transformation can benefit this industry, and how it can be applied.

5 Beneficial Applications of Digital Transformation

1. Scheduling and Dispatching

At a time when customers expect immediate answers to their needs, 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. With field service technology, employees can stay on top of job-related data. They can also use the tools to track their resources, staying on top of key points such as:

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

2. Renting Equipment​

Renting equipment can be challenging. Especially when you’re at the helm of 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 use the new technology, without contending with outdated procedures that could slow down their progress.

3. Collecting Data

Data collection is an essential part of any business, but oil and gas companies need to be especially consistent in their note-taking efforts. These workers are now required to capture a greater amount of data than ever before, and they need new technology to make this process simple and seamless.

AI-powered tools help collect data quickly, without sacrificing quality or accuracy. Employees can also capture it either online or offline, enabling them to work from anywhere without worrying about connectivity issues.

Once data is collected, they can use it 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 creates distrust between 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, they can use digital tools and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies 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 change at first, 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.

Specifically, they’re looking at mobile and cloud-based solutions they can deploy and use from anywhere. As a result, they’re becoming more flexible, adaptable, and responsive to immediate customer needs.

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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