As we start the new year, we need to think about the old one. In August 2020, the oil and gas industry hit rock bottom when it comes to production and number of rigs. More than a year later, the number of oil and gas rigs in the United States has grown from six to 635, leading to increased production, increased numbers of workers and, most importantly, the need for a continuous digital transformation in the form of field service technology. Oil and gas companies need to be convinced that investing in digital transformation will lead to return on investment (ROI), continued cash flow and the elimination of inefficiencies.
The first step in digital transformation is to invest in the tools and solutions needed to support businesses and workers on the ground. Field service technology solutions help process tickets and forms more efficiently and transparently, avoiding bottlenecks in the quote-to-payment process. Once collected, the data is used to create a proactive workflow that enables routine preventive and predictive maintenance, increased equipment reliability, and effective regulatory compliance. On top of that, by digitizing and automating the billing process, human errors and billing delays caused by lost revenue errors and incorrect pricing are removed from the equation. The digital adoption also enables accurate data collection, giving oil and gas companies visibility into current and historical data, which is sure to increase efficiency and profitability. This actionable data gives businesses the information they need to grow and prosper.
Participating in the digital transformation also enables maintenance managers to more effectively monitor asset health and verify user qualifications, reducing security risks while protecting assets and the operators who use them. With digitally transformed equipment records in a visual and user-friendly format, quality assurance managers and field service teams can use the data to ensure that safety conditions on the job site meet safety standards and regulatory compliance.
The future is digital, even though the oil and gas industry has a reputation for being reluctant to change. Until recently, it relied on archaic thinking and manual processes to drive business operations. Out of necessity, many companies are switching to new solutions to replace existing systems and stay ahead of the rapidly growing demand resulting from the pandemic crisis. Implementing change in your workforce is a very delicate process, which means these digital transitions and technological changes have to start at the top. To change the mindset of a workforce, senior executives need to build trust between themselves and their employees and have a comprehensive understanding of digital capabilities.
From top to bottom, everyone needs to be on the same page. It is up to senior managers to ensure that everyone in their workforce understands the reasons and benefits of changing operations. Once everyone is in tune with the change management procedures, it leads to fewer errors and a more productive work environment. Employee engagement creates a relationship that helps them understand and trust the change management process.
Teaching workers how to use the platform is the next step in full digital integration. Emphasis should be placed on integrating the user with tools and programs to help them in the digital transition. The faster and easier the user can adapt to new systems, the faster the business will see the return on its digital investment.
Several oil companies are struggling to improve their workers and adapt to an increasingly tech-savvy clientele. To combat this, oil and gas companies can use educational setup content to ease the software learning curve. E-learning solutions, supplemented by interactive tests that help train employees, are available to teach workers how to navigate digital platforms. Employees will quickly adapt and understand how to use the software and gain a better understanding of how it simplifies their daily tasks and improves their daily work functions.
Digital transformation in the oil and gas industry shows no signs of slowing down in 2022 and, when properly implemented, technology will continue to lift energy companies to the next level. What is often overlooked is the importance of an effective change management strategy. Employees need to understand how changing the way they work will benefit them and their daily lives. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
At the same time, providing them with the right resources to learn and adopt new technologies will pay off hugely. Oil and gas companies considering going digital by embracing field service technology need to make sure they see change through the eyes of their most valuable asset, their employees. Change is always tricky, especially in the business world. Undertaking a digital transformation alongside an airtight change management strategy will allow oil and gas companies to grow with their industry and keep their employees on board.
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Oil and gas operations are typically located in locations far from the company’s headquarters. Now it is possible to monitor pump operation, collect and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the Internet and related applications enable a multidirectional flow of information and control that is more important than ever.