MeasurementSoftware 226334396

How Much Does Your Current Field Measurement and Operations Software Enhance vs. Inhibit?

Verifications, calibrations, and meter provings are not exciting, but they are a vital part of every measurement program. The measurement technician’s job is to get them done accurately, safely, and on schedule, while properly documenting the results.

But, the question is, does your field measurement software work for you or against you in the field? The answer should be that your field measurement software is aiding your work, but, as we know, this isn’t always the case.

While the right technology can be immensely helpful, technology that is designed for the office can be difficult to utilize in the field, especially when faced with additional pressures from the corporate office. You need tools designed for field use. You need an oil and gas field operations platform that should be an integral part of the measurement program. Here’s how software should fit in:

  • Training in the fundamentals of measurement to build understanding and competencies in what to do when testing.
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that define what tests should be performed, and how to do them safely and repeatedly.
  • A set of software tools that not only includes calibration devices and standards, but also a software platform that helps you manage the schedule, capture the results, and keep the office informed.

When the field operations software platform is integrated with other key aspects of the measurement program, then your team capabilities will increase and you will grow in confidence to use tools in a productive way, not an inhibitive way.

Make Your Software Tools Work For You, Not Against You

Remember the old way of doing work? Testing documentation was previously completed with paper forms. You drove the same meter route each month, tested every meter you came to, scribbled down the test results on a form, and the form was later (sometimes much later) turned in to the office. Maybe someone in the office took a look at each form before they were filed away — until it was time for an audit…then the panic started as you tried to pull all the pieces together.

In today’s computerized, digital world, those filing cabinets filled with calibration and test reports are a thing of the past. Overall, it’s a good thing. But, we know there are challenges with today’s technology because of the wide assortment of field measurement software tools that management has put into the hands of field measurement technicians.

Your field operations software should be a partner that helps you get the job done, not a necessary burden that slows you down. Unfortunately, what we have found is that there are a multitude of issues that result from field techs being asked to use the wrong software, or — even worse — multiple software apps to document tasks.

  • Some specialized software works with a single brand\type of flow computer, while some software is more generic.
  • Some software is used only for documenting values, while some software is capable of advanced functions, such as the speed of sound calculation, trend analysis, and fluid property calculations.
  • Some software includes scheduling capabilities — with schedules pushed from the corporate level — while other software allows the user to modify and adjust their own schedules.
  • Some software loads data directly into a corporate measurement software database, while some software generates a file that the tech must then email to the end-user.
  • Some software is designed to work without connectivity, while others require Internet access and/or high-speed data to function.

There are so many available choices, and rarely is the field measurement tech involved in selecting the software tool that they will be expected to use day-in, day-out for years to come.

All too often, corporate decision-makers select a tool — or a package of tools — that may have tremendous capabilities, but the toolset is too complicated, inflexible, or time-consuming when actually used in the field. When this happens, the productivity and morale of the field technician can be dramatically reduced. We understand your pain!

Common Issues With General Oil and Gas Field Software

Do any of these challenges sound like something you have experienced in the field?

– The time to complete tasks can greatly increase if the tools are too complex or too difficult to navigate. For example, doubling the time to complete a meter verification is very common.

– Generic software forms can lead to sections being inadvertently skipped, data being entered in the wrong place, or similar errors.

– Complex software requires lots of training time. Then, re-training may be required for infrequently performed tasks.

– Complexity increases the likelihood of data entry mistakes.

– Inflexible scheduling tools can leave the end-user with massive task lists that may not be relevant. Or, a task can be missed if schedules are not easily modified or added.

– The validity of the data gathered may become compromised if the complexity results in user frustration and lack of compliance.

– In the worst cases, techs are often forced to write down the results in the field, then go back to the office or home and enter data into the software. The time between performing the work and recording the work often leads to missing information.

All too often, the latest and greatest software tools end up significantly increasing the time it takes to complete each task. When you multiply the increased time for each meter verification, calibration, or proving by the number of tests that a tech needs to complete over the course of a month, it’s not uncommon to force techs into working longer hours in an attempt to stay on schedule. Overtime increases, or worse, more people are needed to do the same job, creating inefficiencies.

The Solution for Field Measurement Software

Whether you are a field technician driving the same route every day or a measurement supervisor looking to optimize your team’s efficiency, here are the keys to matching the needs of the field tech to the software tool being provided.

  • Ease of use and speed to perform the most frequent tasks should be the focus of the selection process.
  • The techs doing the work need a tool that helps them achieve consistency, which leads to accuracy.
  • If your measurement needs are primarily to load trucks, witness meter tests/proves performed by others, capture density and S&W results, and manage analysis data, then a tool that excels in swift data entry is likely the answer.
  • Don’t burden every tech every day with complex functionality that may only be needed a few times per year.

If you have questions or want to set up a discovery call to learn more about Muddy Boots, call us at 281-598-7100 to speak with EnerSys General Manager Ross Adams or VP of Business Development Dale Schafer. You can also contact us via email at sales@enersyscorp.com or complete our website contact form.

Our tools provide a system to capture “what was done.” This is accomplished through scheduling meter calibrations, creating and recording measurement reports, communicating measurement changes, and documenting regulatory compliance — all in one software platform.

Plus, the software tools can be utilized in the palm of your hand. Techs can perform tasks on their mobile device and measurement supervisors can run the entire measurement operations from a smartphone. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Advanced Connection Between Control Room and Field Operations

The Muddy Boots module of the POEMS CRM Suite delivers advanced pipeline control room software capabilities and efficient communication between the control room and field operations.

The Muddy Boots toolset enables control room personnel to initiate call outs, MOCs, and work orders from the control room, track responses from the field, and record activity as it happens to provide supervisors with real-time visibility.

These validations and exchanges are recorded in the software as control room and field personnel perform their tasks. Then, managers and supervisors can validate activity or follow up to ensure that both sides have a clear understanding of what is happening in the field and what is being presented to controllers in the control room.

Benefits for Control Room Managers

  • Improve documentation of alarm investigations and field callouts.
  • Initiation, dialog, and resolution are timestamped and become part of the controller logs.
  • All data is searchable, saving time and promoting compliance.
  • Achieve line of sight into all areas, making operations visible.

Benefits for Controllers

  • Reduces telephone tag with hard-to-reach field personnel.
  • Improves Controller focus by reducing call-backs.
  • Open issues are visible at a glance and tracked for shift handoff.
  • Low priority WOs stay in the background, without excessive notifications.

Benefits for Field Operations

  • Integrations Dashboard provides a window into your measurement operations.
  • Import Export Utility makes operations data visible across the enterprise.
  • Industry Access Manager allows service companies to work in the same system
  • Learn More

Muddy Boots Features To Support Efficient Operations

Initiate Callouts from the Control Room

Controllers submit and track Alarm Investigation Callouts, as well as lower priority work orders, without leaving the ALMgr screen. Field personnel receive the request in Muddy Boots on their mobile device. Supervisors and managers are aware and can monitor open issues on their Muddy Boots dashboard.

Improve MOC Documentation

Management Of Change documentation is initiated from the control room, then worked and documented in Muddy Boots. Notifications, approvals, and workflow are managed and documented. Multiple approval levels, risk matrix, and complex workflow are supported, facilitating compliance.

screenshot muddy boots ComDemo

Network Diagrams

Publish and share SCADA topology diagrams across the organization, and with service providers, to facilitate troubleshooting and training. The control room, SCADA techs, and providers have instance access to the information they need.

screenshot muddy boots Callout after MuddyBoots completion popup

Review Results

Support training and corrective action by reviewing results of call outs and responses from the field.

screenshot muddy boots Improve controller focus callout documentation

Improve Controller Focus and Callout Documentation

Callouts and Work Orders are initiated from the console. This reduced the number of phone calls, especially leaving messages and call-back from difficult to reach field personnel. The log file shows exactly what information was transferred and when.

screenshot muddy boots Track Work Orders Callout Status

Track Work Order and Callout Status

Open Callouts and Work Orders are visible in AlarmMgr and easily identified. Shift handoff is simplified. Open Callouts and their status are visible on the AlarmMgr. Lower priority Work Orders and completed Callouts are moved to a different area, to reduce clutter and nuisance notifications.

Schedule an Educational Demo of Muddy Boots

Schedule an Educational Demo of Muddy Boots

muddy boots full color logo

Integrate the Control Room and Field Operations

EnerSys and Muddy Boots Online have partnered to deliver advanced pipeline control room software capabilities between the control room and field operations.

The Muddy Boots toolset enables control room personnel to initiate call outs, MOCs, and work orders from the control room, track responses from the field, and record activity as it happens to provide supervisors with real-time visibility.

These validations and exchanges are recorded in the software as control room and field personnel perform their tasks. Then, managers and supervisors can validate activity or follow up on activity to ensure that both sides have a clear understanding of what is happening in the field and what is being presented to controllers in the control room.

Leverage Our Partnership With Muddy Boots Online

Schedule an Educational Demo