When you’re an Oil & Gas exploration company that manages over 5,000 lines and surveys a year, efficiency in managing data is vital. Yet, three years ago, a company that size had never measured the efficiency of the process of delivering data to the business. There was a general feeling that 80% of the time the process was acceptable. However, they could not see what was going wrong the other 20% of the time. Even within the 80%, they had to wonder if ‘acceptable’ was the best they could do. In essence, they knew they had their weaknesses, but were too close to the problems to see the solutions. They turned to a process improvement firm with oil and gas data experience to shed some light on any workflow problems they felt, but couldn’t see. This is when we came in.
To give you a visual of the work done for the E&P Company, we need to take a step back in time. Remember the days before email? Now, go further back to a time you don’t remember. Imagine a time before mail trucks and planes, a time, when you if you wanted to mail a letter to Spain, you needed to put it on a ship. It would take months to get there. It would need to withstand seasick sailors, ocean storms, and Moby Dick to arrive at its destination. You know it may never be as pretty as the day you mailed it. Now, pretend that time was three years ago. Three years ago, your letter spent months aboard a ship and now, you zap it electronically in seconds.
That is what this oil & gas company has gone through in the past three years. By improving their Seismic data processes, have gone from taking a year to complete a full cycle of receipt to archival to two weeks or less. Remember, in 2010, the oil company considered the delivery time for data to the business as acceptable in 80% of the cases. While they were suspicious of inefficiencies, they could not imagine going from the mail ship to email in three years. But that is exactly what they did.
Every business occasionally needs an outsider to look in to get a better vision of their systems potential. The company began to see that their processing was far from optimal, but it could be.