Steve Slusarenko, Chief Innovation Officer
Several of ProStar’s Mid-stream Oil & Gas clients used our Transparent Earth SaaS product to document the inspection of a new pipeline under construction and experienced improved data quality, reduced data collection costs, and lower on-going document management costs.
Like most of their peers, for both of our clients, their legacy process was largely paper-based. Forms and reports were created on paper, submitted at end of day to a clerk in the field office for data entry into the system to record the information. These and other documents such as bills of lading, photographs, material certification documents, and red-line plans were placed into 3-ring binders called “Job Books” and kept on a shelf for safe keeping and records retention. Consider that that the paper process starts with blank forms having to be printed, shipped, and distributed to the end users and all of this cost does not add value. Then add the costs of every paper form where the information is manually entered, physically submitted, reviewed, sorted, and then keyed into the system of record, or copied or scanned to share this information with other users and stakeholders. Now you can envision a manually intensive time-consuming process with lots of opportunity for transposition errors, and loss or misplacement of paperwork.
For our clients, the elimination of paper has not only improved data quality and the ability to share the data with other stakeholders, it has reduced the cost and effort to get the data into the system and has virtually eliminated errors and freed up resources to do more value-added work. We read recently where a pipeline project in Alberta had the data collection performed using external resources in an effort to eliminate paper and create real time records. This particular job had over 40 persons provided to the Owner by a third party that were dedicated to collecting the construction data using GPS and data collection software running on mobile devices. Our clients performed this same data collection function using our PointMan field data collection application without hiring any additional staff by providing tablets to existing Inspection Staff. As the cost of a person in the field on a remote pipeline job can run upwards of $1,000 per day, employing existing personnel to do this work provides a huge cost saving to the project and provides all of the users of the system with unprecedented visibility of the project activities, progress and issues. In example, a user can take a photograph of an issue using the PointMan application and mark up the photo, make a notation on it, register its geospatial location, embed the compass direction of the photo, and save the photo to the database where it is immediately available to all Transparent Earth and PointMan users. When the photo is selected, if desired, the photo can be sent to any ProStar user by using the internal “Notification” function provided in Transparent Earth.
Using PointMan gave our clients full control over the data collection process and allowed them to obtain all of the benefits of electronic records while recording the location of every joint, weld, and valve in the system as it was being constructed. All of the documentation and records for the project, including daily inspection reports were saved to the electronic Job Book and instantly made available to all authorized users. In addition, all project staff were able to view project progress in real time in the map on the Transparent Earth desktop or the PointMan application to monitor job progress.
The result for both clients was that communicating project progress was easier, more accurate, and timelier… In addition, the project records were always up to date, secure, available to authorized users, and easily shared with stakeholders when required. When these projects were subject to a PHMSA audit, the owner’s staff were able to provide the auditor with the desired records immediately via the Transparent Earth application and the audits were completed in record time and without any issues as all documentation was available, traceable, verifiable, and complete.
We look forward to relating more success stories and sharing project enhancements in future articles in the ProStar blog.