As the oil and gas industry is in the midst of evaluating and improving business practices in order to competitively deliver products and services, the underlying drive is to find ways to improve processes and provide operational efficiency. Further, the pressure to deliver at an optimum level while maintaining cost effectiveness is greater than ever.
One of the growing trends for balancing reduced resources is the integration of technology, such as cloud computing, into operations. Simply put, a business subscribes to an application and accesses it over the internet. There are many advantages to using cloud-based technology especially when your talent pool has been downsized:
Due to changes in the industry and the demand to remain competitive in the global market, many businesses are adopting technology solutions to fill the void of talent and the mandate to do more with less. As a result, many businesses discover better business practices as they learn to operate according to a leaner, more efficient model.
For more information on how Accupoint’s solutions can help improve operational efficiency, contact us today.
All certified organizations must strictly adhere to and comply with regulatory guidelines and requirements such as the ISO standards. However, too many organizations seem to take a cavalier attitude towards internal quality audits. Failure to maintain proper documentation and records of the process may ultimately lead to loss of certification and clients.
Internal Audits are vital to the longevity and success of a business enterprise. Today, internal quality audits take a holistic approach leveraging powerful auditing software capable of monitoring systems in real time.
In today’s post, Accupoint Software will illuminate some of the benefits of an effective internal quality audit process.
Quality internal audits help an organization identify areas that need improvement. The software evaluates the effectiveness of a management system and highlights areas in its functionality that require expansion.
Agent of Change
Internal audits compare the documentation practices in the organization with standards in the real world. If your organization is lagging behind, an internal review will compel your team to evolve into newer, more efficient practices.
Quality internal audits highlight security risks in your organization. As more organization utilize technology in their operations, information theft is becoming an increasingly intimidating security threat. Internal audits will identify sensitive areas of attack and help develop procedures and action items to address vulnerabilities.
Internal quality audits help to identify inefficiencies and unnecessary waste. Identifying and correcting the source will lead to lower production costs and ultimately, higher profits.
Another benefit of the internal audit process is that a company can draft monitoring and assessment procedures. This involves guidelines of how and when to conduct routine assessments on the system.
For more information on how Accupoint can help streamline your internal audit process, please contact us today.
Sound communications management must be a top priority for any company in the petroleum industry. Not only is performance impacted by communication, but in our industry the health and safety of employees is directly affected by a company's ability to communicate clearly. That is why it's so important to understand the best practices in communications management.
Your company must design and implement procedures to communicate internally and externally. It is important to make sure that documents, both internal and from stakeholders, be processed correctly. While input from all departments is necessary in determining effective distribution of information, for example using direct emails or physical message boards, communications management procedures and implementation should be handled by top management. This will help avoid doubt and confusion. There are several methods of communication that allow information to reach people effectively including:
These methods of communication will help you meet Health and Safety requirements. Proper communication also helps improve performance and decrease mistakes. Most importantly, it will help to ensure that employees are well-informed. In the petroleum industry there is a lot of important information, including legislative changes, internal processes, fire muster points, performance metrics and first aid kit locations, just to name a few. All of this information must be communicated clearly and quickly, and following these guidelines will help ensure effective communication for employees and stakeholders.
For more information on how Accupoint can help with communications management, compliance or business practices, contact us today.
You have probably heard the term The Great Crew Change. It has been floating around the last few years as companies begin to recognize the generational change in the workforce. While this is a challenge (and opportunity) that every industry will face very soon, it will have a particularly profound impact on Oil and Gas. According to estimates the average age of employees in the petroleum industry is 60. The nearly 50% of workers over 55 will be retiring in the next 5-7 years. This is going to leave a huge gap in the knowledge and experience base of companies. With recent and ongoing downsizing due to lower oil prices, and the impending effects of The Great Crew Change, companies have to consider what it means for them and how they will prepare for the changes.
Several key steps should be taken to set your company up for success.
While The Great Crew Change does mean new challenges, it also presents opportunity. Companies need to find a balance between experience and embracing the inevitable changes. Investments must be made in both employee retention, and utilizing new technology. Companies need to focus on efficiency, accuracy and spending in areas that may not have been the main focus 10 years ago. Those companies that are able to operate at optimal performance will be in the best position for success no matter which direction the market turns. For more information on how Accupoint can help you navigate The Great Crew Change and optimizing business practices, contact us today.
Companies handling potentially dangerous or sensitive materials, like chemical treatment plants and oil refinement corporations, put a premium on safety. Implementing safety protocols and verifying them during operations is essential. The following are a few safety management ideas and tools for cultivating a safety-oriented atmosphere.
1. Constant and Dedicated Safety Training
A workforce requires precipitous safety training reminders, no matter how much extensive training they have had in the past. This may seem like an obstacle to productivity; however, each worker having a comprehensive understanding of safety standards and protocols saves time and money in the long run. Conducting dedicated safety training courses helps employees realize their active roles in maintaining safe operational standards.
2. Use Safety Management Technology
Technology can play a vital role when it comes to increasing safety at places like oil processing plants where standards and process are strictly documented. Programs like the OpX Process Safety Management system helps by creating a safe working environment by operating intuitively to delegate critical tasks systematically to essential personnel. Any management software should easily scale, have a simplistic roll-out and implementation procedure and reduce the need for burdensome training. With this software, you can address and eliminate compliance gaps as they are discovered.
3. Develop an effective Safety Program
Every processing or refinement plant should have in place or be developing, a safety and health program with policies, a budget, and procedures tailored to their location. This shows an appreciation for the workforce and will help to ensure the security of your resources and their adherence to OSHA standards and guidelines, reinforcing your company’s bottom line. In fact, modeling your intra-company safety guidelines after strict governmental standards, while tailoring them to suit the dynamic of an oil processing firm better, will keep employees hard a work help to avoid daily hazards.
4. Be Active and Pro-active
Taking charge and actively applying safety protocols conveys the fact that you take safety management seriously. You should develop safety initiatives that require the participation of executives, you, and your bosses to take part. Part of implementing your safety program must include the cultivation of a culture focused on safety, which can only be accomplished with the involvement of leadership. Work closely with the team utilizing training sessions, applying technology and work site analyses whenever possible.
To find out more about how Accupoint Software can help you reach a new standard in production and safety, contact us today.
Petroleum products and supply chains possess the potential for failure at every stage of development. When new products are being launched, mitigation of these mishaps depends on quality protection control flows already in place. In this post we examine the Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) method for creating a structured process for ensuring customer satisfaction and better products.
Customer Needs Come First
Consultants commonly use customer stats and profiling techniques to determine how their needs translate into product characteristics/requirements, and before APQP can be implemented, these needs are identification goal #1. With a new focus on sustainability and industry wide collaboration, customer specifications will steer the product development process clear of too much indecision and mistakes along the supply chain path. Don't hesitate to use customer feedback and validation to complete design reviews as well.
These methods have been around for decades, under the name advanced quality planning (AQP). This process can enhance product planning efforts, making the primary goal of product quality planning collaboration and communication between different engineering teams. This interaction will rely on a Cross Functional Team (CFT) planning that combines marketing, procurement, product review, manufacturing and distribution expertise to create a quality product.
Design within process capabilities. The first several sections of APQP mandate intense planning and prevention objectives, making up 80% of the APQP process. It is in this way that the APQP process supports the never ending pursuit of consistent improvement. The fourth and fifth parts, support the remaining 20% of APQP and focus on validation and evidence.
One of the key advantages of APQP is identification of change early on the in process and avoidance of late changes. Design reviews are formal reviews conducted during the development of a product to assure that the needs, concepts, and product process satisfies the requirements of that stage of development.
For more information on how Accupoint can improve your product quality planning process, contact us today.
Your company's ability to promptly respond to your customers' needs hinges in great part upon your suppliers' efficiency. While price should always be a key consideration when evaluating suppliers, there are other factors that also should be considered. Below are five supplier evaluation best practices to help ensure that you select a capable, top-notch supplier.
1) Assess the supplier's resources and scalability. A supplier should have the manpower, tools, and facilities to support your company's continued growth. Additionally, the suppliers you choose should be able to handle large orders or requests without significant delays.
2) Visit the supplier's operations. A live visit to a supplier's headquarters can be an eye-opening experience. Ideally, you should choose suppliers with clean, well-illuminated, organized facilities. Equipment should be well maintained and employees should demonstrate keen attention to safety protocol.
3) Ask suppliers to outline their quality control procedures. Quality control procedures are vital to ensuring that products undergo a thorough inspection prior to dispatch. A good way to assess a supplier's commitment to quality control procedures is to find out if the supplier conducts internal audits on a regular basis.
4) Request references. A robust collection of glowing references from legitimate clients is a great indicator of a supplier's ability to meet your needs. Make sure that you contact each reference provided and ask whether the supplier was able to deliver products in accordance with cited promise dates.
5) Verify the supplier's certifications and accreditations. Industry certifications indicate that a supplier demonstrates a commitment to continued quality improvement and consistency in operations. Ideally, suppliers should possess ISO 9001 certification and Accredited Company Training Schemes (ACTS).
We invite you to contact us to learn more about our supply chain management solutions. We can help you separate the most accomplished suppliers from those that may not have the resources to promptly respond to your needs. We look forward to helping you expand your supplier network!
In today's world of data that shifts more quickly than any one person can keep track of, document control is a pre-eminent concern. Oilfields need to keep track of equipment inventories, data on personnel, and all information related to operations over various spans of time. Losing track of this information can range from problematic to catastrophic, but potentially even worse is a situation where multiple versions of the same data exist without the ability to easily tell which is most recent, or most relevant to the situation at hand.
Thus, a well-run oilfield needs a control of documents program to help keep everything in line. With proper document control, companies don't need excess worker-hours to keep all their paperwork in order. Is there an endless string of spreadsheets due to constant updating? The most recent one is always available, with clearly dated backups available as well. Are documents with necessary information shifting and changing as they pass through the hands of people who keep including further data? You always know which one is the latest, and who has had a chance to alter it as well. Relevant personnel files getting juggled as workers move on and off the field to start or finish their work periods? You'll always know who's coming in and leaving with a strong system of automated document control, eliminating the human errors in small matters that are so easy to make but so troublesome when they happen.
If you need better document control at your oilfields, contact us for more information.
With the changing landscape of the oil and gas industry, companies are under increasing pressure to improve operational efficiencies as prices continue to remain low and margins are narrowed. In order to reduce costs and improve efficiency, many organizations are adopting a structured quality management system (QMS).
Health & Safety
Due to the hazardous environment that many oil and gas companies operate in, the federal government along with the International Organization for Standardization developed a standard for Process Safety Management procedures and protocols. While this addresses the procedures to prevent major chemical accidents and occupational safety hazards, it is limited in encompassing the operational aspects of the industry.
The goal, is to develop an oil and gas compliance solution that includes industry best practices for all systems such as service quality, risk assessment, employee training, document control, corrective actions and preventive maintenance. A comprehensive solution may seem difficult for our complex industry; however, incorporating common standards of practice is essential to realizing integrated operational excellence.
Clients and Stakeholders
Both clients and stakeholders, are becoming increasingly demanding regarding the standardization and regulations that those companies they do business with must comply with. As an example, many customers are now requiring that their service supply organizations comply with the API Spec Q2 requirement. Using a system designed specifically for this standard streamlines the administration and reporting of said requirements.
A quality management system increases efficiency and collaboration. It ensures compliance and provides metrics reporting to prove such compliance. It defines strategies, goals and best practices and the means to secure them. A good quality management system is, however, only as good as the team behind it. Ensure that policies and procedures are in place that clearly communicate expectations and requirements.
The Bottom Line
Planning and control of critical tasks is required to minimize risks and improve operational efficiency. A comprehensive management solution can connect multiple locations with secure, real-time communications, thus providing instantaneous performance feedback. Furthermore, deployment of an effective quality management system tells your customers that you are at the top of your class and aiming for the best in products and services, ultimately ensuring customer loyalty through operational efficiency
For more information on how Accupoint Software can help you implement a quality management system specific to your needs, please contact us today.