Lean principles for upstream data management: Using Winshuttle to do more with less

The prevailing oil price slump has challenged operators and service companies to sustain efficient operations within resource and cost constraints. With headcount reduction widespread, and cost pressures to develop leaner supply chains, North Sea teams are feeling the strain to achieve more with less.

The pressure is obvious when looking into the world of Master Data Management (MDM). Oil and gas companies are faced with processing and interpreting vast amounts of SAP data for safe, compliant and efficient operations, but with fewer and smaller teams.

How do oil and gas companies achieve more with less? One approach is to ‘work smarter, not harder’. With limited resources available to manage data, companies must equip and empower teams to handle burdening workloads, without investing heavily on a custom ‘Big Data’ solution.

Winshuttle® is an ERP data solution which personifies the concept of ‘working smarter’. With approximately 80% of oil and gas companies already running SAP ERP, millions of records are laboriously changed every year, by hand, in a labour intensive effort to keep systems up-to-date and fully operational.

Winshuttle provides the capability to apply lean principles to your data management processes. An easy and user friendly tool, framed in the familiar MS® Excel™ interface, allows SAP users to change business critical data, quickly and accurately. These tools allow users to download their data into an easy custom template, make changes directly to the spreadsheet, and simply upload the data directly back into SAP without having to leave the comfort of Excel. 

The benefits of implementing lean data processes however, stretch beyond simply improving the user experience in SAP. In high risk environments offshore, it’s fundamentally important to ensure data for safety critical equipment remains accurate and as up-to-date as possible.

Reducing the time taken to update data in SAP, Winshuttle can help ensure HSE requirements are met and that oil and gas companies continue to operate within the high standards expected from industry regulators in the UKCS.

Opportunities to improve SAP data management operations using Winshuttle are endless. I’ve highlighted three common use cases which I’ve encountered within my experience in upstream oil and gas:

  1. Consider calling off a large and new piece of equipment offshore. Its details need to be recorded in SAP. Rather than manually creating the new equipment record, Winshuttle automates the process directly from a vendor spreadsheet. In 2014, Winshuttle created nearly 150,000 equipment records in SAP and saved more than 1,400 man days in the process.
  2. Having successfully renegotiated several of your Contract Outline Agreements (OLAs), these changes need to be reflected in SAP. To achieve this is often a time consuming and manual effort to update hundreds of purchase records. With Winshuttle, you can extract every OLA in your system, make the required changes, and upload the results back into SAP, all within the same spreadsheet. 
  3. During acquisitions and mergers, companies will bring new asset data into their SAP ERP system landscape. To ensure all historic and essential maintenance information complies with master data standards, users must upload hundreds of thousands of SAP Plant Maintenance (SAP PM) records. As illustrated in the pie chart below, Winshuttle uploaded nearly 2.5 million records in 2014, and freed-up 8,278 man days. 

Absoft’s experience with Winshuttle runs beyond a referral partner relationship. Applying Winshuttle’s fast and flexible approach to ERP data operations, Absoft consultants, myself included, have enabled companies to streamline processes and achieve significant ROI whilst improving data quality in SAP. With Absoft’s upstream oil and gas experience spanning 24 years, and Winshuttle’s potential to develop lean data management solutions to help your company work smarter, our combined approach is uniquely positioned to help you do more with less.

We hope you've found this blog informative. It’s based on one of our consultants hands on experience of working with Winshuttle.  If you would like to share in your experiences, or discuss your big data challenges as part of this blog or offline - contact us via: info@absoft.co.uk