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Copper Tip Energy Services
Vista Projects
Copper Tip Energy

Automation and Operations Excellence in Energy: Five Things You Should Know

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These translations are done via Google Translate

“In five years, the invoice won’t exist as we know it today.”

This is just one example of the many thought-provoking statements presented during the 2021 SPARK Conference. Since its inception, the driving purpose of the SPARK Conference is to help energy professionals navigate present and potential future challenges through process automation, analytics and digitalization that will transform how supply chain, operations and accounting teams collaborate and drive value for the business.

This year’s event showcased innovative approaches to these challenges through industry thought leadership, customer-led sessions demonstrating solution impact for companies of all sizes and new product launches from Enverus Business Automation. If you weren’t able to attend the conference, or you missed some sessions, you can access the on-demand sessions here.

Below is our summary of the top five highlights from this year’s SPARK Conference.

1. Success in this new environment requires energy supply chains to shift to a to proactive, data-driven approach to make the supply chain a source of strategic value.

The environment of volatility in commodity markets and the macroeconomic situation created by COVID-19 have thrust the importance of a strong, strategic supply chain to the forefront of everyone’s awareness. Historically, the energy supply chain has been viewed and treated as tactical and reactive. Now companies look to transform it into a strategic value chain through improved processes and cost efficiency. Accurately forecasting expenses in a volatile price environment is critical for capital discipline. Access to accurate, current spend data filterable at the category and attribute level empower supply chain organizations to implement a data- driven strategic sourcing strategy.

During the customer-led session, OpenInsights: A Customer Perspective on Supply Chain Analytics, Enverus customers Matthew Morrow, Manager of Finance and Treasury at Spur Energy Partners and Ellen Heflin, Strategic Sourcing Manager at Endeavor Energy Resources, shared how their organizations are shifting their supply chain mindset.

“There’s been a shift in supply chain on the operator side. Where before, supply chain organizations weren’t as common, now supply chain organizations have become more formalized. At Endeavor we work hand-in-hand with operations to try and find areas of opportunity for strategic negotiations and work those negotiatons for the betterment of operations overall.”

Matthew weighs in on Spur Energy.

“After we made some acquisitions, our operations team started looking for ways to lower service costs and more accurately predict that. But operations needs to focus on drilling good wells. So at Spur we are excited to put focus on the supply chain side to assist operations. Across the industry, investors are pushing for stronger hedging in portfolios. This is good because it keeps companies being disciplined with capital. But that only locks in one side of your income statement. If we aggressively hedge our revenue that’s great but our service costs are fluctuating due to commodity pricing and prices go up as they have recently, your forecast is thrown off. That’s why we’ve put focus on our supply chain, because we are locking in our revenue side but we need to make sure we are accurately forecasting the expenses that go with it.”

When asked how Spur Energy’s supply chain is using Enverus OpenInsights spend analytics, Morrow replied,

“For us, we’ve focused in on a unit basis, trying to compare per truckload or a specific part, has been very helpful. It takes a process that’s very manual and makes it not manual. The low hanging fruit for us is being able to pull data historically by AFE or job and see how prices are fluctuating, if a service provider is more expensive are we getting a benefit somewhere else. We love to compare our spend numbers to the OpenInsights market price indices by basin. We are excited about comparing pricing for the Permian Basin to understand is our pricing above or below the market average.”

automation and operations excellence in energy five things you should know

2. Managing the source-to-pay process on the Enverus platform that runs on the connected buyer-supplier network allows companies to realize the benefits of automation and data visibility much faster than other platforms.

In the session, Building Source-to-Pay: A Digital Transformation Story, Mary Atkinson, Director of Supply Chain at Grayson Mill Energy, discussed how the private equity backed company put a focus on automating processes via digitalization after acquiring Equinor assets in the Williston Basin.

“We had to think through a strategy of moving from a small company with manual systems and processes with low automation to more presence in the digital space. The driver – lean, efficient operations. That’s why we decided to implement the Enverus Source-to-Pay solution. It includes OpenInvoice, OpenTicket, OpenOrder and PriceBook.”

Mary highlighted the value of the Enverus buyer-supplier network by confirming that from day one of go live on OpenInvoice, Grayson Mills was able to transact with 210 registered vendors that were already on the OpenInvocie network, 63 of which were also registered on OpenTicket.

Grayson Mills was the first client to issue a purchase order with the new OpenOrder solution. They are using POs for inventory items and engineering services. Their main driver was to capture procure-to-pay and automating the three-way match.

“On other systems, a three-way match is hard to execute. With OpenOrder we had all the back info – well id, supplier info. Etc. When you have a PO with approval and coding up front, its much easier to validate with the goods receipt, when the supplier submits the invoice there’s your match all in the same system in one place. It really automates your approval process.”

3. Enverus’ OpenContract, a new Smart Contracting solution, will transform contract management for the industry

At SPARK 2020, Enverus announced a collaboration with Marathon Oil. The vision was to remove the manual work around contract management by co-developing an e-contracting solution that reduces manual touchpoints, speeds execution and improves data accuracy.

This solution would allow a workflow between the operator, and the supplier and keep that contract up to date, ultimately shortening the turnaround time from agreement initiation and ready to invoice. And because open contract leverages the existing platform and network, there’s no more converting and uploading the pricing agreements. You can do the entire thing in the tool, and it allows customers to leverage the protection of price book without all the overhead administration.

automation and operations excellence in energy five things you should know 1

The new solution will provide more clarity to operators on what they are spending, ensuring that the spend matches the contractual structure. It will require less effort from suppliers to create invoices and will speed up payment cycles.

At this year’s conference, Tracy Sloan, VP of Supply Chain at Marathon Oil, gave an update that this solution will be a reality in early 2022.

“In a matter of less than 12 months, we really have gone from concept to almost reality by the end of the year and into early to actually have a full functioning system that will be able to start trialing in that collaborative commercial environment. I think as we think about where this front-end source concept could take us, too, I really do believe if you can get an environment that’s easy to use for both the operators in the industry, as well as the suppliers in the industry, that translates these negotiations and commercial terms into a living systematic document. It does create a foundation that I believe will allow the industry for the first time to truly be able to do Real-Time ticketing, Real-Time Price ticketing, real time conversion of ticketing to payable.”

You can watch the session Building Source-to-Pay: Smart Contracting for details on this exciting development.

4. New OpenTicket Mobile app shows how IoT will drive new automation, in the field and the back office

The new OpenTicket Mobile app, showcased during the session Transforming Source-to-Pay: Verfied Tickets with OpenTicket Mobile, allows operators to see, in detail, the route a supplier takes and track the movement of goods. The app is included in the OpenTicket subscription and is free for suppliers to use. The mobile solution will focus on visibility into field operations and capturing digital ticketing.

OpenTicket customers will now be able to see the route that a supplier trip took, the time that it took to complete the route and a list of geofence locations that they traveled. This solution will support general tickets, everything from complex services for DNC to LWE operations and also for hauling tickets, tracking the movement of goods and in particular, fluids produced water and fresh water and diesel, and focusing on contract labor equipment and materials. This is going to be included at no charge for suppliers, and we’re including it to existing open ticket customers.

automation and operations excellence in energy five things you should know 4

5. Enverus is solving major challenges with joint venture accounting and minerals management

Sessions like, JIBFlow: Highlights of Customer Success, Owner Relations Managed Services: Outsource Solutions to Drive Growth and Next Level Owner Relations with MineraliQ, demonstrated the innovation and investment Enverus is putting behind solving challenges for joint-venture accounting.

The acquisitions of Oildex, EnergyLink and MineralSoft three years ago brought together platforms that were competitors. Enverus has since migrated all former Data Exchange joint venture data to EnergyLink. Owners now have a single portal to get their statements. This single platform also makes data delivery in MineralSoft faster.

Finally, EnergyScan, a new solution, allows customers to be able to upload data and a system automatically checks for duplicates. It provides visibility into the job progress with status updates, and it allows that to be such a seamless process and the one network.

The global pandemic couldn’t dampen the excitement and anticipation the Enverus team felt around hosting this year’s conference. As Chris Dinkler shared during his Executive Kick-off session,

“This year’s SPARK is the most exciting yet we’ve done. We rebranded this event a couple of years ago, and you remember the acquisition of Oildex and EnergyLink and Cortex was about three years ago. We’re rolling out more innovation this year than some of those companies have done in 10 or 15 years. It is truly the most exciting time to be a part of business automation.”

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