Sniffer dogs & mobile forms: how energy companies reduce costs

reduce costs

Energy companies are coming up with increasingly creative ways to reduce costs without compromising their quality of service. Here are some ideas your company may not have tried:

Adopt a mobile solution

Mobilizing field data collection helps energy companies reduce costs. Instead of paying your staff to type field data into your back office system, you can mobilize those forms so that your field data is collected on mobile forms, and instantly connected to your back office system once submitted.

Wolf Pack Energy Services has saved one month’s salary per field office every month by switching to mobile forms. Using mobile forms has also saved each of Tanknology’s inspectors an hour and a half every day.

Switch from preventative to predictive maintenance

Forbes Magazine has said, “One out of every three dollars spent on preventative maintenance is wasted.” And its not surprising. Preventative maintenance is costly because it involves routinely performing maintenance on equipment that sometimes doesn’t need it. Predictive maintenance allows maintenance managers to perform maintenance on equipment as required, using affordable technology to identify when it’s needed. That way, energy companies reduce costs by performing less maintenance and keeping equipment shut downs to a minimum.

Sniffer dogs

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that some oil and gas companies are using sniffer dogs to identify gas leaks instead of stripping insulation from their equipment. Identifying and sealing these leaks helps energy companies reduce costs through limiting waste and increasing production rates.

Use standard module designs

McKinsey & Companyreduce costs advised that building plant modules using the same design specifications can help energy companies reduce costs by up to 15 per cent, speed up project delivery by 20% and improve safety performance. Technicians are also able to be more productive through using the same problem-solving methods when repairing modules across their plants.

Companies can also design their sites with bulk purchases in mind. Through building different sections of your plant with the same materials whenever possible, your company can save money whenever they need to buy replacement parts. For example, building all areas of your plant using the same size and type of valve will allow you to buy that one valve in bulk and save money.

Improve field service productivity & streamline procurement

Bain and Company has identified four ways for utility companies to reduce costs, and specifically identifies field services as a good candidate to increase productivity, due to reactive scheduling, limited communication between foremen and planners, and simply showing up for a job without the right tools. The article states that “One utility in the US began its field-force improvement program with a diagnostic that revealed that less than half of its crew time was spent doing actual work and repairs.”

Streamlined procurement processes for non-fuel goods and services can also see tremendous cost savings simply by reducing the number of preferred suppliers and buying more items in bulk. One utility saw a first-year program price savings of about 20% across the board.

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