Still Doing Business the Old Fashioned Way_ Here’s how automation can transform your industry. .jpg

Still Doing Business the Old Fashioned Way? Here’s how automation can transform your industry.

Posted by 5th Method on 7/3/18 11:41 AM

One of the most compelling reasons that businesses pursue true digital transformation is the savings they see in the time, budget, and resources.

Today, we want to share a more specific example of how process automation can transform an established industry and save extraordinary amounts of time and money in one of its most critical business processes: drilling for oil.

Now, not every organization has the same pressures and requirements as an oil & gas exploration and production company. But most organizations we’ve worked with recognize that they have unrealized efficiencies in project management, paperwork, timely asset and staffing allocation. And, they all face pressure to realize revenue and complete projects efficiently. We’ve found the transformative benefits realized below are possible for every one of them.

Read on for a look at how a product like Velocity Forms could transform a new oil drilling project process from one that takes weeks and months to just days.

 Project Management

Up-to-date information is critical for successful project management. And that’s where the traditional approach of using manually updated Excel spreadsheets and email check-ins often falls short.

For oil companies, the time between receiving the contract and putting the drill bit into the ground is expensive. The faster companies can get from the first step to the last, the better. But there are simply so many tasks in between those mileposts – government regulations and mineral rights, leasing equipment and land, and more – that the process can be significantly delayed by manual activities like sending, signing, and returning papers by mail and email.

 Before Velocity Forms:

In the oil and gas industry, project management requires a high degree of coordination with an immense pressure to deliver within the dates of an oil well lease. At any given time, a team is coordinating the schedules of the site, equipment leases, travel time, staffing, and weather, among other factors. Each change to the process requires a series of updates and confirmations with each stakeholder; these changes can span weeks depending on individual availability.

 After Velocity Forms:

When everyone involved in a project has access to a single source of information and participates in a structured workflow, the coordination process becomes exponentially more efficient and accurate. Managing an oil drilling project becomes a process of observing and coordinating updates as they come through a team member’s inbox or task list rather than painstakingly taking ownership of every step of the process. Rather than budgeting large amounts of time to wait for updates and responses, project leaders can do several weeks of work in several days. They benefit from knowing that the work is being done on time, decisions are being made based on up-to-date, accurate information, and visibility into the process is available for all project stakeholders.

 Estimated project savings:

Increasing the efficiency of the processes that support oil & gas, lifecycle management has yielded regular savings of over $10M for individual oil & gas projects.


Another important benefit of digital transformation is how it enhances an organization’s ability to get the right information to the right person on the right device at the right time. From the ground up, this can revitalize a company’s performance and make it easier to onboard and manage new clients or projects, exchange information, and grow the business.

 Before Velocity Forms:

Paperwork plays a vital role in the traditional oil & gas drilling process. From environmental regulations and government approvals to locating and signing on the required equipment for a given drill site, every step of the process requires contract approval from multiple parties – sometimes just to simply move a single piece of drilling equipment 2.4 miles to the south.

 Without automated forms, paperwork can take months of printing, signing, and mailing back and forth between the oil & gas company and every stakeholder involved – from water resources to trucks to equipment to people – and then that paperwork must often be kept on file for months and years at a time to support regulatory requirements.

 After Velocity Forms:

A digitally transformed process takes the physical printing, approving, signing and mailing cycle online. It replaces  a PDF that’s emailed back and forth – with a structured best practices process that captures data in web-enabled forms instead of static documents, and securely allows different stakeholders to access it at the same time. This allows stakeholders to instantaneously sign and alert the other parties to the fact that a document is ready for the next step and completes a two or three week process in minutes, hours or days. The data is then securely stored online indefinitely to meet any government or compliance requirements.

 Estimated project savings:

In labor costs alone, one company identified eight hours of effort per week per employee simply managing and processing the email and paper driven process. With a staff of 40 back office personnel, that added up to a productivity savings of approximately 16,000 labor hours per year.

 Staffing and Sourcing

Any hiring process can require excessive paperwork, meetings, and resources, and the oil drilling hiring process is no different. Since many companies work with contract hires – non-full-time employees who are assigned to oil wells on a project-by-project basis – the process of identifying the skills needed, and who is available for the project can be complicated. The sourcing process, in which the Superintendent identifies which vendors will be used for a given project, can prove to be complicated, as well.

 Before Velocity Forms:

The manual staffing process requires the Superintendent to identify the team members she wants for the job and then individually check each team member’s availability and location. This introduces a lot of confusion into the hiring process, as the sponsoring company and Superintendent are not able to see which team members have viewed the emails or received the voicemails, or when those team members will  be able to respond. And even when they do, employers can add another few weeks to the timeline because of the employment paperwork that needs to be sent back and forth.

 After Velocity Forms:

In a digitally transformed process, a Superintendent can easily and efficiently identify which team members she’d like to employ, send them a link to the project paperwork – with the ability to see whether or not they've clicked on the link – and capture the required employment information immediately via desktop, tablet, or mobile. And the same goes for the water, mud, and equipment vendors a foreman would want to use onsite.

 Estimated project savings:

 In any number of lucrative industries, including oil drilling, the digital side of the business can make or break your profitability. Consider how digital transformation can streamline your approach to core functions like project management, paperwork, and staffing and sourcing so you can avoid the high price of doing business the old-fashioned way.

 One Source of Information

 Velocity Forms is a rapid forms development and automation solution that allows citizen developers to digitize and automate enterprise and department-level data collection forms quickly and easily and without developer skills. Learn more about Velocity Forms here.