Why refurbished legacy tools, generic field service management apps or in-house PoCs fail to equip oilfield workers to pump by exception?

Oil and Gas companies are increasingly warming up to mobility – it is now a necessity in oilfields. Oil producers are moving away from legacy, paper based systems that drag them backwards. Mobility solutions are thus mushrooming to meet the growing demands. The end of life tools that were so far making lease operators mount laptops on their trucks to gather data or carry the work home and pour over excel sheets, in what should be their family time – are also trying to reinvent themselves in a new mobile avatar.

Market today has a variety of apps promising ease, speed and agility to field workers. The trouble however is, everyone seems to be solving issues they do not necessarily understand or empathize with. A task allocation app, for example, used by call centers to assign pizza deliveries or dispatch technicians to fix household washing machines, when brought to oilfields, only frustrates both back office and field workers. Oilfields are not Manhattan streets; the nuances are far different and stark.

On the other hand, some oil and gas companies are trying to custom develop oilfield apps – investing a large amount of time and resource. The results are not too encouraging. Not just they lose out on speed of development – these apps rarely move beyond PoC (Proof of concept) stage, solving one issue at a time. These homegrown oilfield apps fall short of addressing issues of pump by exception, scalability and integration – ending up being one more disjointed tool. Also, developed within the confines of limited use cases, they miss the opportunity to incorporate industry best practices and proven technologies.

Mobility in oilfield does not simply mean putting an app in field worker’s mobile phones. Mobility is the first step to begin the pump by exception journey, bridging the last mile connectivity gap between field and office.  In my conversation with Operations Managers and field leadership in oil and gas companies, I find them constantly fighting resistance. The workers in the field already juggling a number of tools and interfaces do not want one more app thrown at them. This is not necessarily resistance to new technology. This is resistance to tools that do not empathize with their daily chores.

Oil and gas companies are better off not picking up apps that have not proven themselves in oilfields. Rather, try app built for oilfields, exclusively Empathy for oilfield workers is born of extensive understanding of their work and challenges faced every day. From Midland to Bakken, oilfields differ in their texture, expanse and navigability. Driving around hundreds of miles every day, maintaining high value assets, fixing critical equipment – pumpers coax oil from turgid ground on their sweat. Mobility is the least they can expect in making their day more productive. However, just about any mobility solution cannot match their toil. Give them what they need – ability to pump by exception. An app that makes every oilfield activity a task and equips them to access, execute, and update the status – all in one place. Anything less is a compromise.

JOYN 2 is the only pump by exception app, built for oilfield – that allocates tasks, integrates SCADA and connects field and office- on one platform to give 40% time back to every field worker.


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