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June 27, 2017

Business Intelligence in Oil & Gas Industry

     

Why BI in Oil & Gas Industry?

Have ever wonder what Business Analyst / Technologist / Management Team would analyze the Production and Financial data in Upstream sector of Oil and Gas Industry:

  • How and where am I spending my dollars in OPEX across the wells in same location?
  • What is the impact on overall CAPEX spending if there is drastic increase in any of the well drilling phase (Planning, drilling, completions, etc.)?
  • What is the growth trends of Oil, Gas and natural gas production across well, fields, etc. with current, Month on Month and Year on Year comparisons?
  • Not able reconcile actual and budget on various tasks while drilling the well?
  • How to avoid duplicate/mismatch in the production / financial data for a well?
  • Can I get the cockpit view of production and non-production time?


KPI's


"Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in upstream Oil & Gas sectors are the measurable value that is intended to show how well the business is adhering to its business model and strategies that directly or indirectly reflect the level of success in meeting its goals".


Some of the Production KPIs which measures the Production Strategical Performances and goals.

        • Sales Volumes and Revenue
        • Intangible/Tangible Drilling Cost
        • Intangible/Tangible Facilities Cost
        • Intangible/Tangible Completions Cost
        • NPT (Non - Productive Time)

Figure 1 - Operational Scorecards - KPIs

Some of the below Financial KPIs acts as the key element in visualizing the financial attributes and goals:

        • Authorization for Expenditure
        • Field Cost
        • G/L Actual
        • Operating cost and Expenses
        • Revenue
        • Drilling Cost
        • Facilities Cost
        • Completions Cost

Reports

This Section focuses on BI Reporting for Upstream Applications in Oil & Gas Sectors:


Production Reports - Shows the calculated Monthly Production Volumes in Standard (BOE - Barrel of Oil Equivalent) and Native Measures for Shale and Conventional drilling and completed wells and production units. Some of the sample Production Reports are:

        • Monthly Actual vs Budget

        • Production Report

        • Production Outlook

        • Month on Month Production Report

        • Cumulative Year to Date Production report


Figure 2 - Monthly Budget vs Actual Report


Lease Operating Reports - Helps to track the Payouts, Expenses, Incomes and Profit/Loss for the well.

Budget Report - Information Summarizing Large Capital and Operating Expenditure Approvals for Exploration, Development and Production.

Maintenance Cost Report - Shows the Monthly, Yearly - Operating Cost, Expense Cost, Sales Cost, Volumes, Revenues for the Mineral Products (Oil, Water, Natural Gas etc.,) extracted from each well.

Capital Expenditure Accruals Report - Shows the Timely Accrued Expenses of the various category (such as Drilling, Completion, facilities) incurred from drilling the well till it is ready for producing the minerals Such as Oil, Gas, NGL Etc.

Still we haven't focused on how to avoid the duplicate/mismatch in the production or financial data for a well and the possible solution can be mastering the Well Id using industry standard MDM tool. Let's focus it in the next blog.



Continue reading " Business Intelligence in Oil & Gas Industry " »

April 19, 2017

User Experience Vs Customer Experience

Is User experience same as Customer experience? Well in the age of digital media and smartphone apps, it is very common to hear about both the terms frequently. At the core of it, they address one key aspect of human behavior- "perception" and an important organization function- "Customer Relationship Management". Interestingly both UX and CX are not separate ideas, they may work in conjunction as well as exclusions. However it will be rightful to mention here that in most cases CX is a subset of an overall UX.

In our day to day life, we interact with number of organizations either for additional information or for a service related issue. Our interactions are dependent on the number of communication channels the organization has exposed for interaction. For e.g. - it very common for cable TV operators, telecom providers, financial service providers to expose to the users the following channels

  1. Physical mails, paper applications- (mostly getting archaic due to associated costs and long response times, however still used in government organizations, rural areas)

  2. Website- Online Interaction

  3. Customer Service Numbers- Voice interaction

  4. Smartphone Apps- Digital interaction


For the purpose of analysis, we will take into account the digital channels through which we interact with a person organization for our queries. It's interesting to draw out key ideas which directly impact either user experience or customer experience.

Channel

Interaction Type

Common Feature to judge UX

Common Features to judge CX

Website/Online Application

Online Interaction

1.       Look and Feel

2.       Colors used

3.       Text Font/size.

4.       The volume of content in the page.

5.       Ease of loading of the website

6.       Payment Options available (Credit card, Debit Card, Net- Banking, PAYPAL etc.)

 

1.       Ease of loading of the website

2.       Number of clicks performed to browse to a particular section

3.       Online Chat facility

4.       Price Comparisons facility

5.       Search facility

6.       Click to chat facility

7.       Guided wizards to perform a task

8.       Setting up of alerts

9.       Dashboards to get multiple reports in one page

10.   Ease of payment

11.   Help Text as a hover

 

Customer Service

Voice interaction

1.       Quality of the phone line

2.       Waiting time in the queue

3.       Accent of the CSR

4.       Option of payment available

1.       Knowledge of the CSR,

2.       Ease of the IVR to guide to the right CSR,

3.       Resolution time

Smart Phone Applications

Digital/gesture based interaction

1.       Ease of downloading/installing the app,

2.       Look and feel of the app

3.       Text Font/size

4.       Response time to navigate to different sections of the app.

 

1.       Ease of navigation,

2.       Ease of uploading  documents,

3.       Click to call facility,

4.       Creating calendar events on the fly from any section of the app.

5.       Ease of navigating to similar topics/reviews/issues,

6.       Quick links to you-tube to check navigation etc.


Are there any metrics to measure UX or CX? Well Since ultimately both CX and UX lead to brand perception, let's put in perspective some common measurements which could be used.

UX Metrics

Success rate(number of visits to the digital media to perform a task)

Error rate(e.g. Crashes  per month-)

Abandonment rate (e.g.  Transaction started but was never completed)

Time to complete task

 

CX Metrics

CX is measured in overall experience (Net Promoter Score)

 Likelihood to use again (Customer Loyalty) and recommend to others

Customer satisfaction


Although CX and UX are different and unique, they must work together for a company to have success.


Continue reading " User Experience Vs Customer Experience " »

March 22, 2017

***Chart of Account (COA) Design Considerations***

Chart of Account (COA) structure is the heart of an ERP implementation enabling business to exercise its day to day operations. This has very influence on how an organization wants to record monetary, contingent and statistical impact of different transactions taking place across the line of businesses, report it out to external entities to fulfil regulatory and statutory requirements, leverage it internally to gain insight on performance of different departments on both top and bottom lines. In order to be able to embark efficiently on these essentially require a modern chart of account mapped to different business modalities and dimensions that does not only takes care regular requirements as said but helps facilitate automation, rein in need of creating duplicate segment value pool, one segment does not override others i.e. maintains uniqueness of purpose mapped to each segment etc. Investing enough to lay down the foundation of COA structure would be the first step to lock down a successful ERP implementation and to drive innovation for businesses throughout the life of application. Note: Combination of segments (e.g. Company, Department/Cost Centre, Account etc.) forms a Chart of Account.

There are numerous essential characteristics including, but not limited to, below 5 that must be considered while designing COA structure:

Selection of business modalities/dimensions as segments of COA:

The selection of modalities as segments is not an objective matter but a very subjective in nature. While some are mandatory one irrespective of everything and anything but some are invariably vary based on types of industries, organizations and products or services offered, geographies where businesses have its operations, internal and external reporting needs, future considerations and volume of inter or intra company transactions etc. Each one of these are key drivers to design an idealistic, futuristic and holistic chart of account. For an example, manufacturing organizations may want to consider cost type as a segment to represent say fixed and variable cost in order to better assess contribution margin at the product level. They may look at a segment exposing sales destination location of a product to clearly articulate the strategy for multi-fold growth in determined geographies. In banking industry, companies may choose to introduce reference to a relationship manager/cost centre in order to measure performance at product portfolio level. In retail industry, looking at product categories instead of individual product can be the favourable option.

One segment should not override or make other ones redundant:

This is one of the vital discussion points while designing a COA structure in any ERP systems. While a thought leadership on this can offer long term benefits to organizations in account of easier maintenance, minimal master value pool for each segment, no duplication etc. On the other hand immature decisions, however, may erode the benefits eventually. A COA structure and value set for each segment should intelligently be designed in such a way that one segment does not make other one redundant, does not enforce introduction of similar type of values for a segment and most importantly they must be structured "relative" to each other. To understand it better, let's take an example of a COA structure that has 4 segments called Company, Cost Centre/Department, Natural account and Sub-Account. There are 3 companies COMP1, COMP2 and COMP3 and each company operates with its 4 own departments as Sales, IT, Purchase and Inventory. As a strategic and sustainable approach, a) one would recommend only 4 different cost centre value sets representing each of the 4 departments. These 4 can be associated with either of the 3 companies while actual transactions are taking place. On the other side as a poor design, b) organization can undoubtedly be enforced to introduce 12 different cost centre codes representing 4 departments working for 3 different companies. It is self-evident that option "a" firstly cascades the behaviour of relativity where Cost Centre is relative to a company and thereby does not lead to a redundancy and secondly avoids creation of duplicate codes for similar type of departments. This can further be well understood with postal code numbering system where it navigates through State, District and finally City. Here City is relative to a District and a District itself relative to a State for a given country. In regards to option "b", shortcomings are clearly countable as creation of duplicate codes while departments are of similar nature for each company, can't share segment values, certain to experience huge volume of cost centre values over the period of time etc.

Automation for Intra/Inter Company Transactions:

Organizations like GE who has leading business presence almost all over the world deal with huge volume of transactions b/t two or more internal business units. Transactions taking place b/t 2 business units ideally lead to inter/intra company transactions and that is where it is essential to consider a placeholder for inter/intra company segment in the COA in order to efficiently track referencing inter/intra company and enable opportunities for automation. ERPs like Oracle Application R12/Fusion Cloud offers an automation to create inter/intra company accounting entries by introducing pre-configured rules. For example, Oracle Fusion Financials automatically creates Intercompany Payable accounting entry corresponding to the Intercompany Receivable inter/intra company accounting entry by looking at the rules. Such entries have a counterparty reference in the COA code combination as in company (balancing segment) and designated inter/intra company segment.

Give meaning to each digit/character within a segment rather than just treat as code:

While a business meaning is tagged to each segment, a COA design can further be advanced by injecting an appropriate meaning to digits or characters within a segment. For example instead of just coding a company as COMP1 with no meaning to individual or set of characters, one can strongly advocate for "013060" where first 2 digits represents Country, next 2 region and last 2 State. Such logical combination may take away the need of an individual segment in a COA to signify location. This is additionally very helpful for easy reference.

Business Rules With Valid COA Code Combinations:

In regular business practice while creating different transactions, allowing only valid COA code combinations is usually the core business requirements. For example, although a COA code combination with Cash Account does not require any specific product code however the same would be needed while booking revenue. Thus, identification of such scenarios and implementing rules accordingly in the system is the key to rein in undesired code combination values.

January 13, 2017

Service Modernization for Utility Enterprises

With the advent of the smart era, a new chapter in the customer service leaflet begun wherein the customer wanted to 'always search' and 'always share' actively. Furthermore, this wish list exploded to include simplified and personalized mobile services which made him neither repeat the problem statement nor wait unknowingly.

Continue reading " Service Modernization for Utility Enterprises " »

September 8, 2016

Internet of Things (IoT) in field service management (FSM)

In today's competitive world, real-time data and innovative service methods are vital for field service enterprises to ensure customer delight, increase revenues, and expand profit margins.

The IoT explained

The Internet of Things (IoT) allows machines to communicate with each other (M2M communication). It is built using a combination of networks that comprise of data-gathering sensors, devices, big data, analytics, and cloud computing, which communicate via secured and encrypted channels. Connected devices enable efficient predictive maintenance by constantly providing information on a machine's performance, environmental conditions, and the possibility of failures. IoT can connect machines on the field in order to record incidents in real-time into a semi-intelligent 'Gen-X' FSM system.

Integrating IoT with FSM software applications

Field service organizations always strive to consistently provide the best service experience to their customers, by ensuring immediate repair and maintenance of their equipment and machinery. By collecting data about the machine's health and performance from IoT sensors, organizations can leverage predictive and preventive field service to minimize device downtime.


Three primary traditional FSM challenges

Here are three primary issues that challenge the current reactive scenarios:

    Field technicians execute the job and fix the equipment after the issue is reported. However, the delay can impact business continuity, which in turn affects the operating profit margins


    Adding more field technicians and service trucks to the field comes at a cost and sometimes the increased capacity remains under-used


    Assigning more work to existing field teams can have a negative impact on SLAs and first-time fix rates. Even worse, it can increase the cost of travel and overtime

Essentials of a new-age FSM solution

A field service management system that integrates device sensor data, technicians, customers, and technology is the key to address these issues. It should function in a predictive and preventive mode with the following features:

    The FSM process, which includes issue identification, communication, incident creation, scheduling, and assignment can be automated, thereby ensuring zero disruption in machinery operations and no or negligible downtime. This not only increases productivity, but also expands operating profit margins

 

    Most FSM products can also automate incident creation, scheduling, assignment, and invoicing processes. Using IoT, we can predict upcoming issues based on sensors data analysis and auto-creation of incidents based on preset threshold rules

The workflow of a FSM system with IoT integration

Here is an outline of the flow of incidents in a typical IoT-enabled FSM system:

1.   Data from the equipment's sensors is collected and transmitted, using secured and encrypted channels, to a big data storage


2.   Big data management and analytics is used to parse and analyze for refined sensors data


3.   The IoT command console is configured with predefined threshold rules to identify errors and monitor the device's health and performance


4.   Incidents are auto-created in the FSM system whenever errors are detected


5.   Auto-scheduling, routing, and dispatching of field service technicians against the incidents is done based on customer entitlements, location, product, skills required for the job, technician's availability, parts availability, etc. via the FSM system


6.   A field technician performs the job at the customer's site; records the effort, parts used, travel time, and any expenses incurred; and then bills the customer


Workflow of Field Service Management application using IoT.

Six Solution benefits



Wind turbines: A case in point of how IoT integrates with FS systems

Failures in wind turbines interrupt power generation leading to lower productivity and higher system downtime, which result in varying energy production and higher operating costs. To maintain profit margins, higher efficiency and uptime are required.

Near-real-time analytics provides data so that FS teams can react faster and address the issues before they become mission critical, thus reducing impact and avoiding downtime.

The wind turbine's sensors collect real-time data that is analyzed and through which, auto incidents are created, service scheduled, and an agent assigned to fix the issues. Wind turbine sensors are also used to continuously collect operating temperature, rotor acceleration, wind speed and direction, and blade vibrations - all of which can be used to optimize the turbine's performance, increase its productivity, and execute predictive maintenance to ensure reduced downtime.


*** Authors: Haresh Sreenivasa and R.N.Sarath Babu **


Continue reading " Internet of Things (IoT) in field service management (FSM) " »

September 16, 2013

Cloud Vs On Premise - Where do you go?

One of the most frequently asked questions by Enterprises all over the world today is - Should their Applications be on the Cloud or On-Premise?
My 3 part Blog series tries to answer this question by looking at various aspects of Cloud and On Premise solutions and then coming up with the best suited model as per Customer Business requirements.

In the first part of this blog series, we will be taking a deeper look into the features of both the Solutions.

Continue reading " Cloud Vs On Premise - Where do you go? " »

September 16, 2011

Asset Management in Electricity Distribution Utility: "The Challenges of Getting Softer"

Guest post by
Abhishek Prasad Verma, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

Power sector historically has been late in adopting IT to enable and streamline its business processes. The same is evident in its archaic operations and built in inefficiencies. However recently there has been a considerable effort by the utilities to look for all available options to improve operational efficiency in various field of operation like customer services, metering, billing etc. for improved customer services & tariff rationalization. So is the case with Asset Management System. In the first wave of transformation, the industry is looking forward to go softer and leaner i.e. it is exploring IT to replace its "Hard Book" based archaic manual systems.

Continue reading " Asset Management in Electricity Distribution Utility: "The Challenges of Getting Softer" " »

June 29, 2011

Solutions for Linear Asset Management - A Data Model for Definiing the Linear Assets

In my earlier Blog, I have detailed the challenges arising in Linear Asset Management and I like to highlight the possible out of the box or custom solutions to overcome these challenges. This blog primarily explains how a data model can be developed to define the network of linear assets and their attributes using Oracle EAM Asset group attributes.

Continue reading " Solutions for Linear Asset Management - A Data Model for Definiing the Linear Assets " »

May 29, 2011

The 10 most challenges in Linear Asset Management and solution options

Maintenance of linear assets (A kind of networks) is completely different from maintaining non linear assets like a fleet, machine. They through lot more challenges in modelling and executing the maintenance work compared to non linear assets. The ability to model and execute the maintenance these assets is what can tap the huge market potential in this segment.

Continue reading " The 10 most challenges in Linear Asset Management and solution options " »

May 19, 2011

Typical Challenges faced in Implementing Meter Data Management Systems in Utility Distribution Space - Indian Context

Guest post by
Dilesh Deepak Dattani, Consultant, Oracle Practice, Enterprise Solutions, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

 

A lot of Indian companies in Utility Space have either already started or in the process of starting implementation of IT Systems to which would help in increasing their operational efficiency and reducing costs. In this post I would like to highlight some of the typical challenges which we come across in such implementation projects in India.

Continue reading " Typical Challenges faced in Implementing Meter Data Management Systems in Utility Distribution Space - Indian Context " »

September 2, 2010

Critical points to be consider while "Asset Group" Design process for Successful eAM implementation

Generally Asset Group is new concept to most of companies switching over from legacy plant maintenance system to Oracle Enterprise Asset Management system, as in most of the legacy system it does not exists, they have Asset/Equipment numbers without Asset Groups, in Oracle eAM assets are created from Asset Groups only, so Asset Group is mandatory in Oracle eAM. This blog would explain the impact of Asset Groups in various places of the eAM application and help to expedite the Asset Group design process.

Continue reading " Critical points to be consider while "Asset Group" Design process for Successful eAM implementation " »

May 22, 2010

Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 3)

There are many ways to achieve Leaner ERP implementation, and I have discussed some of the strategic levers for it in my previous blogs Go Lean (Part 2) and Go Lean (Part 1) like senior management and executive sponsorship, robust decision making framework, effective change management approach, upfront planning for middleware and reporting platforms, solution design workshops, selection of appropriate edge products and leveraging localizations. However, there are many tactical and operational levers also available for enterprises to adopt, which are primarily part of implementation execution cycle. I am discussing here some of these levers and best practices to minimize customizations:

  • Boot Camp Trainings - Before initiating the solution design phase, organizations must seriously consider to conduct the boot camp trainings on chosen ERP to their key super users, business analysts and implementation core team, facilitated by System Integrator (SI). The intent for boot camps must be training to the team for vanilla features and functionalities of ERP relevant to their industry processes. This will enable them to bridge many gaps and requirements through seeded ERP functionality, and increase the overall fitment of the package application, leading towards reduced customizations.

Continue reading " Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 3) " »

May 20, 2010

Leveraging Technology - Retaining corporate knowledge in an Ageing workforce situation

Irrespective of the geography and services offered by Utilities today worldwide, a few challenges remain common. Utilities are constrained to meet those challenges and deliver without compromising operational efficiency and/or offering the best value for money to the end customer.  The industry in itself is facing challenges in terms of uncertainty on fuel prices, uncertainty in markets, government involvement in pricing and regulation, pressures from climate change imperatives etc. To mitigate these challenges, executives resort to their dashboards that offer a quick snapshot of their traditional financial and business performance measures.  In many cases, one of the key metric that doesn't come under the priority radar is the importance of employees who work for them has in the organisation's success.  The pace of change in utilities world-wide has accelerated market factors that influence the industry.  While technology is one of the means to prepare for these changes, organisations are beginning to understand that the role of 'employees' in their organisations is going to gain more importance in preparing for these challenges. There is a fundamental agreement across the board that these are the people who would have vital knowledge and experience that could fuel the success of the organisation. This blog focuses on few approaches that organisations can take to leverage the people advantage to stay ahead in competition.

Continue reading " Leveraging Technology - Retaining corporate knowledge in an Ageing workforce situation " »

March 15, 2010

Is it possible to achieve "Zero" breakdown in Maintenance World?

In maintenance world when we talk of "Zero Break down" most of the time maintenance crew says that it is not possible to achieve zero break down.  So is it really possible to achieve "Zero Break down" for a Machine /Equipment?  The answer is "Yes". 

What is breakdown? :- When a Machine (M/c)is working and suddenly something fails for e.g. in case of CNC M/c hydraulic hose pipe rupture and it leads to heavy oil leakage, thus Beak down due to hydraulic leakage occurs on the M/C.
Above Failure could have been anticipated by doing regular check of hydraulic hose piping by carrying out proper preventive, predictive maintenance.
What is "Zero Breakdowns"? :- When the Maintenance Department hand over a M/C to Production Department for the Production activities, that time maintenance department can confidently say the M/C would not fail due to "Hydraulic leakage" for another 24 Hrs as they have done a proper inspection/rectification through Preventive and Predictive Maintenance on the M/C  on Hydraulic side. This 24 hrs of running time without any Hydraulic failure is said to be "Zero Break Down" in Hydraulic piping area.
 After 24 Hrs again maintenance team would take the machine in their custody to do preventive and predictive maintenance to ensure that there would not be any failure due to "Hydraulic leakage" for another 24 hrs, thus maintenance team take over the control of M/C after certain running period of the M/Cs and do preventive/Predictive maintenance to achieve "Zero Breakdown" in specific area e.g. 'Hydraulic Pipe failure'. Over a period of time by doing proper, regular preventive maintenance on almost all the areas of M/C instead of specific area leads to achieve Total "Zero Breakdown" on an asset for certain mentioned period time frame by the Maintenance department.

 

Continue reading " Is it possible to achieve "Zero" breakdown in Maintenance World? " »

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