Mobile Apps and Field Ticketing
‘”The most effective way for 90% of oilfield service companies to increase cash flow is by reducing the time it takes to invoice the customer. This process is maximized, not by a mobile field ticket app alone, but by a highly adaptable back office billing system and mobile app that fits the company’s business process and quickly transfers relevant information from the field to the billing office.”
Paper field tickets and other manually written field data take up too many resources that should be focused on higher value work that produces more profit for your business. A lot can go wrong when the traditional paper field ticketing is utilized in the oilfield service industry. The process alone is prone to missing, inaccurate, and illegible information. Paper tickets tend to get lost. Paper tickets tend to get damaged and torn as they travel their route. Paper tickets are expensive to route from person to person along the entire process. These reasons and the delay in the speed of the business caused by the slower paper process puts these companies in a competitive disadvantage compared to those who have automated this process.
ofsERP Mobile Apps and Field Tickets can enable users to record any information when in the field or away from the office. Our entire ofsERP and Dynamics NAV modules work online on mobile devices making information available company-wide in real time. Some can work offline and store data on the mobile device, later connecting online in real-time and synchronizing the data when within range of cellular or Wi-Fi internet service.
Additional key benefits and features include:
- Eliminate all the paper process-based problems (loss, readability, pricing mistakes, incomplete forms, etc.)
- Increase real time visibility to operations, improving decision making.
- Replace spreadsheets with an easy-to-use system that works anywhere.
- Invoice customers faster, with less errors – improving cash flow.
- Your Tickets, Your Way! Mobile tickets forms can mimic the forms in use today, or be adjusted to speed data entry.
- Approvals via electronic signature, email, & more.
- Ease of use, calculations of time, usage readings, etc. can be performed by an app more accurately than with manual entry.
- User Permissions – allow users to see only what their job function requires they need to know.
- Choose or mix different device types: tablet, phone, laptop or computer.
- Choose or mix different O.S. types: Apple iOS, Android, and Windows.
- Completely configurable menus, screens, and choice of data collected.
Verifying and signing off on the service work performed is the easy part of the paper-based process. It’s the traditional paper itself that creates most of the problems. Approvers need to ensure the work performed matches the information on the paper ticket including codes for invoicing. It takes time to review paper tickets. During the review or invoicing process your accounting department has the exhausting task of deciphering hand written information, ensuring the invoices match the associated field ticket information, pricing, etc. After the lengthy guesswork-filled review process, exceptions need to be dealt with. This means consuming even more man hours and valuable resources to correct errors.
The hidden cost: Paper data collection inhibits accurate decision making.
How can you make the most informed decisions for tomorrow if you don’t have access to accurate data until weeks later?
A big, not-as-well-hidden impact of slow paper process can be found in cash flow.
With paper tickets and a manual invoicing process, the time between the service you provide and the time you receive payment from your customer for those services is longer since the payment term (example net 30) does not start until the date of the invoice. Thus, your outstanding receivables is larger, and your cash collected is smaller, than with an automated invoicing process.
With many oilfield service providers, the secret to a healthy cash flow is in how fast you can get an accurate invoice to the customer, and the customer’s terms can be left alone. The increase in cash flow can be significant. In fact, just by invoicing 10 days faster, cash increases $273,972 for every $10 million in annual revenue. We’ve found that companies can often justify the purchase of a full back office ERP solution with mobile field data capture based on the improvement in their cash flow alone. Calculate the impact on your cash flow with our Financial Impact Calculators. Strong cash flow is critical to oilfield service companies to effectively compete and grow.
Avoid the band-aid approach mistake.
The good news is the improvement in cash flow. The bad news is that, in their haste to leverage the advantages of electronic field ticketing, some companies often forget about the problems associated with using two different systems that are bolted together or that utilize some kludgy interface to talk to each other. These companies end up simply exchanging one set of problems & inefficiencies for another set.
For example: Consider that an invoicing system that can’t hold all the information captured by an mobile field app, is still not providing you with all the information you may need to fully automate the invoicing process. Or imagine a mobile field app that can’t capture all the information needed to automate the process and manual or duplicate entry is still required. This is just the beginning of the potential challenges when using two (sometimes three) disparate systems and forcing them to try to talk with each other. Often, even if all the data can be delivered from the mobile app to the back office system, the back office system is incapable of combining or processing the data to completely automate the invoicing process. Data validation, batch corruption, and upgrades that create incompatibilities help to make it even worse; and this is just for the invoicing process. The list goes on and on…
A flexible system such as ofsERP and our mobile apps avoids these problems and helps you realize the maximum efficiency, visibility, and cash flow for the oilfield service industry.