I recently had the opportunity to moderate an oil & gas roundtable at ServiceMax’s Maximize user conference. It was an eye-opening, 45-minute discussion that was intended for participants to network and share experiences.

I was thrilled we had a full table. Attendees included reliability and integrity engineers from a large, integrated oil & gas operator that has operations in both upstream and downstream market segments. These participants are users of Predix Asset Performance Management (APM) software from GE Digital. We also had participants from original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and service companies, who are Predix ServiceMax customers.

During our time together, everyone shared their experiences using Predix ServiceMax and Predix APM. The ServiceMax users shared how they scheduled technicians, how service work was executed using the mobile app, and how work was closed out and debriefed immediately following the work. The reliability and integrity engineers keenly asked questions around the number of work orders being processed, how far out work is scheduled, length of jobs, number of technicians, number of assets maintained, and much more. The other users talked with the oil & gas operator participants about how they used APM in their business.

The discussion was fascinating. Participants were from fundamentally different businesses in the oil & gas industry, yet they realized the work flows associated with maintaining equipment was very similar in nature. It was surprising how much everyone had in common.

Based on this conversation, I created seven points that I’m confident are key to the acceleration of digital transformation across the entire oil & gas industry:

1. Service is synonymous with “action on assets/equipment.”

No matter if it’s as simple as capturing a reading off a manual pressure gauge or as complex as overhauling a critical piece of rotating machinery, any action taken on a piece of equipment is service. “Service” is not defined, whether the action is a billable action or not.

2. Service is executed for a customer (external or internal).

It’s this focus on the customer that becomes the fabric of the organization to maximize business results and to enable digital transformation across the entire organization.

3. Operators want to maintain assets as if each action taken on any piece of equipment directly generated immediate revenue and customer satisfaction.

Operators are looking to build upon their strength and rigor of maintaining assets. There are best practices operators can take from OEMs and service companies using FSM technology that drive productivity and business outcomes associated with servicing equipment.

4. OEMs and Service companies want to maintain assets with the knowledge as if they owned and operated them.

There are best practices OEMs and service companies can take from operators using APM technology that drive insights to asset performance. These new insights can help develop new products and capabilities, and create new portfolio offerings such as product as a service (PaaS) that are focused around delivering business outcomes to their clients.

5. All service requires management, or in other words, “the execution toward business outcomes.”

The metrics of success may differ slightly yet will utilize at least four to five of the best practice KPIs in the Universal 9. Below is the list of service KPI’s that most often apply for each type of company.

  • OEMs: All Universal 9
  • Service companies: MTTC, MTTR/I/S, ART, RV and Utilization apply.
  • Operators: MTTC, MTTR/I/S, ART, RV, Utilization and MTBF apply.

6. Predictive maintenance is the future of servicing equipment in the oil & gas industry.

Out with the days of one human creating work for another human for reactive or preventative maintenance. It’s simply more efficient and cost effective to let the equipment tell you when maintenance is needed.

7. Start/continue your digital transformation.

The question is no longer should you impart on this digital journey, but where should I begin?

Here is a question to get you started:

Do you have robust, reliable, and repeatable service workflows and understand the direct impact they have on your business?

If the answer is no, your digital transformation may begin in transforming how you service, operate and/or maintain equipment.

If the answer is yes, your digital transformation likely will begin in turning your asset data into actionable insights.

If your business thrives on technological change, you may be ready for a full transformation.

If you’ve already begun your digital transformation journey with either Predix ServiceMax or APM, congratulations! The next step is to complement your existing application by adding the other, which will rapidly move your journey toward valuable predictive maintenance.

For more information please visit www.servicemax.com

About Phil Schwarz

Phil SchwarzPhil Schwarz is the Oil & Gas Industry Development Director at ServiceMax. Phil has nearly 20 years of experience in the oil & gas industry with oilfield service, industrial automation and SaaS companies. He is passionate about smart oilfield technologies and the economics of oil & gas. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Smart Oilfield Technologies from the University of Southern California and a Masters in Economics from the University of North Dakota.

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