Since the 2014 crash, upstream oil, and gas (O&G) operations have borne the brunt of diminished profitability. Despite the recovery of prices in 2018, revenues have not increased proportionally. As a result, increasing margins has emerged as the only option to increase profitability in upstream operations. Given the financial and safety implications, modernizing suboptimal field service operations has proved critical in increasing the profit levels of upstream operations.
Likewise, our client, an O&G upstream multinational, wanted to modernize its field operations, as it was faced with multiple challenges arising from legacy processes, inefficient data management, and inadequate digital infrastructure to support its field technicians. It was looking for a field service management solution that would help it overcome these challenges. To this end, it partnered with Birlasoft to leverage our industry experience and technology expertise, and to select and implement the right tools and process flows.

Through this engagement, we helped our client streamline field operations across six countries with an industry-leading field service management solution, delivered up to 40% productivity gains, and significantly elevated the experiences of all stakeholders – including technicians, field service managers, and customers. See how we did it in detail.

The Challenge
1. Suboptimal data management practices
Upstream operations employ several complex assets that must function in perfect condition in high-risk environments. Ensuring this entails capturing readings and calibration data from devices and assets in the field. Unfortunately, field operations suffer from significant productivity losses without the right digital platform to capture and maintain this data. In the case of our client, this data was maintained in excel sheets, which led to complicated data management workflows.
2. Lack of standardized data validation workflows
It is well known that maintaining critical data in excel sheets can lead to significant data quality and reliability issues, in addition to tampering with the audibility of data, which is of paramount importance in highly regulated industries such as O&G. In addition to posing these risks, disintegrated and nonstandard processes further exacerbated data consolidation and validation challenges for our client, especially as field technicians manually recorded the data from the field, which was then to be synchronized in spreadsheets.
3. Cumbersome technician experience
In the O&G industry, field services must be carried out at rigs and wells, usually in areas with poor network connectivity. In such cases, digital applications that interface the technician with the enterprise systems cannot rely on network connectivity. This was a key concern for our client, as their technicians needed to be able to record field data in the offline mode.
4. Outdated digital infrastructure
Our client's digital infrastructure was burdened with technical debt – it relied on manual processes to create and maintain contact data in the CRM. Moreover, field operations lacked visibility; therefore, obtaining project-level details on field data was difficult. Lack of visibility into field operations further heightened the difficulty of improving field service KPIs, whereas manual processes made simple, automatable processes time-consuming.
Observing these challenges as we collaborated with our client’s teams, we realized that a field service management solution would be critical to overcoming these challenges, and to drive field services profitably.
The Solution
1. Implemented bFSM D365 to digitize field operations
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an industry-leading, customizable solution leveraged by multiple industries to digitize their field operations and gain complete visibility into every movement on the field. For our client, Microsoft 365 would enable us to automate multiple aspects of their field operations, thereby resulting in efficient utilization of assets and resources in the field. For example, it helped automate technician visit schedules, dispatch timings, routing, and ticket assignment, thereby bringing significant productivity gains to field operations starting from day one of implementation.
2. bFSM D365 paves the way for efficient data management
Microsoft 365 enables organizations to transform their operations from reactive to proactive mode, and to this end, it brings extensive asset definition and data capture capabilities. By implementing it for our client, we could standardize capture and validation processes for calibration data. Now, field service managers have access to real-time calibration data on a single pane of glass through the newly implemented field service management solution and can also visualize it to unlock high-impact insights.
3. Reinventing the technician experience with the RescoTM mobile app
In field services, the technician experience is a key contributor to field operations KPIs. Our clients' field engineers previously operated through paper-based processes in remote environments, which led to a suboptimal experience. To mitigate this, we designed a Resco mobile app for technicians, which helps them capture calibration data from field devices even when offline. This data automatically synchronizes to the cloud platform when the app comes back online, thereby improving their experience and injecting precision into the process.
4. Bringing it together with integrations to key systems
To help our client truly reap the benefits of digitized field operations, we realized that it was crucial to integrate the bFSM D365 into their ERP system to achieve the requisite visibility that field service managers needed. By customizing the Project Module in bFSM D365, we were able to capture project-level details, and ERP integration helped us build a project status tracking functionality. Finally, we also integrated a business card scanning solution to help capture customer contact details directly into the CRM.
Now operating in digital mode, the client's field operations stood streamlined and brought major gains to the bottom line.
The Impact
Digitizing field services in upstream operations can bring significant productivity gains while improving the bottom line for the business – especially when it is achieved through a well-architected field service management solution. We have digitized field service processes for our clients across six countries of operations so far. In the process, we have delivered the following impact on their business:
  • Implementing bFSM D365 has brought up to 40% productivity gains through improved scheduling, resource utilization, and streamlined, standardized digital workflows.
  • Cycle time is a key metric in field service operational efficiency, as it indicates the time a technician takes to close a work order – for our client, digital operations have resulted in 45% reduced cycle time for field service work orders.
  • Assimilating calibration data in real-time from different assets on a single pane of glass enables field service teams to make faster decisions regarding the maintenance of assets. This, in turn, contributes to better uptime and more profitable operations.
In addition, the customer reports improved client satisfaction levels, and all stakeholders are now enjoying a better user experience. Building on these gains, we are now spearheading field service modernization across more areas of presence for our client.
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