Automating ‘Quote-To-Cash’ In Oilfield Services: Trican Gives FieldFX A Try

by | Oct 7, 2019

Courtesy of the Daily Oil Bulletin. View the article here.

In 2002, Trican Well Services Ltd. set out to build its own ticketing software system — a move that made sense at the time as really there was no other field ticketing software available for oilfield services.

This internal system went live in 2005 and since then the company has moved billions of dollars in revenue through it.

However, the oil and gas sector has changed a lot over the years (i.e. hydraulic multistage fracturing and associated logistics), and while there is nothing technically wrong with his company’s software, the Trican ticketing solution simply is no longer sufficient, said Mike Bishop, vice-president of information technology.

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“It’s not that the technology is old, it’s that fundamentally what we are doing in the oilfield today, what our users expect and what our supervisors expect, and the tools we need to put in front of them to do their jobs, has changed,” he told a lunch-and-learn session in Calgary on Thursday. “We couldn’t meet those needs with a stack of technology and a product whose architecture and design were built for what we were doing in 2005.”

Enter LiquidFrameworks Inc. and its FieldFX solution — a cloud-based “quote-to-cash” mobile field operations software suite designed to manage contracts, quotes, equipment, jobs and field tickets along with customer-specific electronic forms such as safety incidents, inspections and other operational data reports.

LiquidFrameworks designed this solution specifically for field personnel, increasing usability and thus increasing and accelerating implementation value by eliminating revenue leakage and accelerating revenue collection. FieldFX operates both online and offline — a critical component for oilfield service companies.

“What we really do with FieldFX is move people out of that paper world and into a more electronic world where tickets are now standardized,” Travis Parigi, founder and chief executive officer, told the lunch-and-learn. “[FieldFX tickets] are professional and electronic. I’ve got the data, it’s reportable and it all works offline in the field. We’re also taking that data and putting it into a system where we can generate system intelligence reports and analytics.”

Although LiquidFrameworks has teams to help integrate the technology, Trican implemented the solution on its own. Starting in January 2019, Bishop noted, it took approximately eight months to bring FieldFX online across the organization, minus some business intelligence work that requires a few months of data. Trican will keep working to build the program and its capabilities for the company, but so far it has already helped facilitate efficiencies.

“On the IT end, because we stopped building our own software, we were able to free that and capture some of the money,” he said. “We’ve already gotten our money out of this system, even though we’ve just rolled it out.”

Send in the clouds

Use of the industry-standard Salesforce cloud computing platform within the FieldFX solution, and the associated business intelligence capabilities, was one of the major reasons Trican decided to pursue this particular solution.

“It’s all about data. It’s all about having information now,” said Bishop. “That’s what put us over the top. It wasn’t the functional stuff. We felt it fit in this way for us. That took us to the project.”

Trican’s ability to collect and analyze data is a massive appeal when it comes to the cloud computing platform, he added. The company actually met with LiquidFrameworks in 2016, in the earlier days of scoping out alternatives to its internal system. When Trican met to discuss FieldFX again last year, Bishop said, its platform had evolved to render in applications that would enable the oilfield services company to execute more effectively.

“What we find with cloud tools, and we use a number of them at Trican, is we can redesign the process and we can redesign the approach and how we implement them as well. That leads to continuous improvement — get the platform in, [see] what’s the minimum viable product we can put in, and then we can iterate.”

Trican’s information technology staff are already considering how to speed up the newly-implemented ticketing system for faster results, he added. “We believe we can have field bonuses in front of our employees the next day, and not on payday, so they can get a better picture of what they’ve earned. And so, we can speed up our payroll cycle and a number of things. Because we did this ourselves and now have the internal capabilities, we don’t slow down.”

Ticketing software matters

Buying a new field ticketing system is a “10-year decision” for a company such as Trican, suggested Bishop. Key is finding a platform enabling “progress and evolution,” which makes the cloud capabilities of FieldFX with Salesforce very attractive for an organization.

“What we really liked is that we were able to do our first demo for end users in three weeks,” he said about the process of integrating the solution into Trican’s operations. “We were able to mock it out, bring in our guys to have a quote, bring it out in front of them, and then use the tool three weeks into the project.”

Engaging field staff with software demonstrations meant regular feedback facilitating positive adjustments as the eight-month process progressed, he added. “That goes back to that idea of accountability, ownership and visibility.”

For its part, according to Parigi, a technology such as FieldFX offers a whole suite of modules that come together for office and field users enabling them to automate the entire “quote-to-cash” process — everything from quoting to scheduling, dispatching to field-ticketing, safety to asset management, as well as invoicing.

He said: “By doing this, we end up bringing in a tremendous number of benefits related to increased cash flow, reduced labour costs, reduced error rates, and just a whole host of things that are very beneficial. We can do that because of the various specific domain feature set we bring to the table that’s specific to the energy industry.”