Women v Cancer | Esther’s Charity Bicycle Ride

S1-Esther-Hayes-150x150Our Operations Director, Esther Hayes, has recently returned from a grueling 450km bicycle ride from Vietnam to Cambodia, in which she managed to raise, with her twin sister, over £5,500 for Women v Cancer.

In this interview, Esther gives us a glimpse into the stunning journey across two of South East Asia’s most fascinating countries, and how she prepared for the mammoth ride.

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EnergySys Presenting at the ECIM Conference

“After reading over 57 published articles, and numerous websites and thinly-disguised sales pitches, and thinking about the different implementations and products, the conclusion I reached was, in the end, inescapable. Digital oilfield does not exist.”

EnergySys Managing Director, Dr Peter Black, is bringing his much-debated ‘Digital Oilfield: Ten Years On’ paper to ECIM this September.

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A Different Way

We run a cloud service for oil and gas. Our goal is to grow organically, and to grow profitability not staff numbers. We value a high degree of autonomy, and we operate entirely virtually. We’ve been extensively using cloud services to run our business for over ten years, and now virtually everything we do, from mail and calendar to accounting and document management, is done in the cloud.

However, we didn’t start out that way. Continue reading “A Different Way”

Demonstrating Simplicity

Automation is a tricky topic to cover. While we can provide evidence of the benefits, like the fact that our system allowed one of our clients to reduce a week’s work to two hours, there isn’t really an easy way to demonstrate how it works. Since our automation process is designed to make dramatic reductions in the time spent to carry out tasks, and reduce manual intervention, a demo might consist of nothing more than an email in an inbox notifying the user that the day’s processes had successfully completed. Not a great demo, but the goal of automation is to make everything simpler and more reliable. And the freedom that automation delivers can directly benefit your productivity.

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Can Saving Costs Cost You?

In my last blog post I mentioned performance improvement. It’s a buzzword that frequently appears when researching software systems for the oil and gas industry, but what exactly does it mean?

To me, Performance Improvement is a blanket term for a range of important issues, ranging from operational efficiency, to automation, and data integration.

However, the vast majority of software companies seem to equate performance improvement with “cost savings”, and define this as the primary benefit. Given the current climate, this is undoubtedly important, but is this the only thing we should be focussing on, and where do the other elements of Performance Improvement come into this?

What happens if a company focuses solely on cutting costs? Having had experience within the food industry, I have often seen companies focus heavily on cost savings, particularly when supermarkets continuously push suppliers for reductions. I have witnessed companies reduce their overheads by up to 20%, but still fail. Why is this?

Think back to the controversy in 2010, when Kraft took over Cadbury. Despite promises to the contrary, within weeks Kraft had closed a factory to save money. And it didn’t stop with factories. The US owner, now called Mondelez, tinkered with recipes, packaging and traditions, again in an apparent effort to reduce costs.

Following the important Easter period, it has now been reported that Cadbury lost more than £6m in Creme Egg sales after changing the recipe to include cheaper ingredients. Ultimately, all of the cost-savings have actually lead to cost-failings, by breaking the trust of customers and potentially ensuring that they never return.

If the entire focus of performance improvement is on saving money, a much bigger opportunity is missed. Clearly, the low oil price and volatility of the oil and gas market at the moment makes it inevitable that people are looking to cut costs. But instead of only looking at what they can take away, it’s probably time to look at ways to add value.