Industry Survey Reveals Digital Field Tickets Save Time

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electronic field ticketing

The oil and gas industry continues to embrace technology as a means for innovation, especially in ways that allow companies to control costs and improve processes. Digitalization of data is a core component in most of this innovation. A recent survey by Oil & Gas Journal supports that assertion and highlights some interesting data points.

The survey focused on one aspect of data digitalization: electronic field ticketing.

Level-set: Methodology and current rate of adoption

Oil & Gas Journal decided to explore the adoption and impact of electronic field ticketing among both operators and service providers. They surveyed management and field personnel in the oil and gas industry and received 116 responses from 74 different operators and 42 different service providers.

When it came to electronic field ticketing, the survey found that:

  • 45% of operators had an electronic field ticketing system in place
  • Only 25% of supplier companies were using digital field tickets

For operators who were using an electronic field ticketing system, the majority of systems (55%) were purchased from a technology provider. About a third (32%) were proprietary and/or developed in-house, with the rest unsure if their systems were purchased or proprietary.

Looking at the numbers: Time savings is a key takeaway

The survey then explored the usage of those companies that had adopted an electronic field ticketing solution. It found that for operator personnel who were personally managing field tickets:

  • 41% were handling from 1-10 field tickets a week
  • 27% were handling from 11-20 field tickets a week
  • And almost a third (32%) were processing over 20 electronic field tickets a week

For operators, the positive impact and time savings from using the digital system was obvious – even with users with a high number of field tickets, the time spent on managing them was consistently low.

  • Half of respondents (50%) said they spent less than 2 hours a week on field ticket management in the digital system
  • 41% said they spent from 2-5 hours a week
  • Less than 10% said they spent more than 5 hours a week managing digital field tickets

For service provider employees who personally managed field tickets:

  • 60% were handling from 1-10 tickets a week
  • 20% were handling from 11-20 tickets a week
  • 20% were handling over 20 field tickets a week

The time savings numbers were still positive for service providers, with 60% of respondents saying they spent less than 2 hours a week on digital field ticket management and the remaining 40% saying they spent more than 5+ hours a week.

The other X factor: Familiarity and use of mobile devices, both at home and at work

Because the ability to use mobile devices as a primary means of replacing outdated paper field tickets is a key part of the innovation and advantages of digital field tickets, the Oil & Gas Journal survey went on to ask about the respondents’ attitudes toward mobile devices, both at work and in their personal lives (to see if there was a difference between the two areas).

The results were the same for both operators and service providers, with 90% of respondents saying they regularly used a smartphone or tablet on the job, and those numbers rising to 97% saying they regularly used a smartphone or tablet in their personal life.

Lastly, when asked if they thought being able to use a mobile device (a smartphone or tablet) to approve/manage field tickets would help them in managing field tickets:

  • 71% of operator respondents answered positively
  • 59% of service provider respondents said yes
Key takeaways from the survey

As oilfields continue to embrace technology to innovate in areas like controlling costs and improving processes and reporting accuracy, electronic field ticketing is an area that has seen success but also has a lot of room left for adoption.

Most operators who have a digital field ticketing solution in place elected to use a technology provider rather than use their own IT resources to develop their own system. This can help with future-proofing and resource control, as most providers will be able to integrate with multiple ERP and payment systems and will bear the burden of keeping up with standards and technology improvements.

The survey confirmed a main value proposition of digital field tickets: the time savings for field personnel. And it confirmed just how much mobile technology has become embedded in our lives… A surprising percentage of respondents are already using a smartphone or tablet at work, and that can be a huge help in overcoming the adoption hurdle.

What will be interesting for future surveys will be to go into further detail about the benefits of digital field tickets over the old, paper-based systems. This survey covered time savings, but that only hints at the myriad of advantages of digital field tickets such as more accurate data, better cost visibility and spend control, and much faster payment to vendors, which is a huge plus for everyone involved – not to mention other benefits like improved safety because you don’t have personnel making extra trips to chase down tickets or confirm information.

To see just a few examples of the concrete benefits that some Oildex customers have seen from OpenTicket™, our digital field ticketing solution, you can read some of our case studies:

To read more about Oildex’s OpenTicket, the digital field ticket solution created specifically for the oil and gas industry, click here.