3 key benefits of digital document management for oil and gas enterprises
First, let’s face it—nobody likes to deal with piles of paper. We sure don’t. And if you ask us, a document digitalization approach is the easiest way to innovate your operations. What’s more, it enables you to future-proof business continuity while remaining competitive 24/7/365. So, going paperless isn’t a mere whim for O&G companies, regardless of their size.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but let’s start with just a handful of advantages, shall we?
1. Productivity boost: helping your employees
Modern working environments are mostly fast-paced and mobile. Yet, The Paperless Project conducted a study that revealed workers spend about 60 percent of their time working with documents. Up to 40 percent of that time goes for searching for the needed data in emails and filing cabinets. Additionally, manual processing is always error-prone, which can damage your reputation. Can you imagine the stress when your staff deals with that kind of pressure?
That’s why you can use digital document management (DDM) as an instrument to increase your workforce productivity and efficiency. DDM software and AI-enabled bots alone can improve employee experience by scanning and routing documents to designated receivers. And hence, a paperless transformation saves up to 90% of their time. Your staff will be able to allocate, share, and process information faster, freeing time to focus on more high-level tasks.
2. Cost savings: yes, it is about money
American companies spend over $120 billion on printed documents annually. Meanwhile, most of these documents become outdated within three months. Printing, copying, storing, and disposing of papers is 31 times more expensive than purchasing paper, but poor document management adds to that even more.
That said, we live in the era of robotic process automation, clouds, AI, and IoT. So, why not use the full power of technology? The semi or fully autonomous document digitalization tools available can potentially save you $8 billion per year on paperwork management. Additionally, AIIM’s annual Paper Wars research stated 59% of business owners who opted for a paper-free approach achieved ROI in less than a year.
3. Corporate responsibility: protecting the environment
Diving deeper, an employee uses approximately 10,000 sheets of paper per year. Today, those numbers look unreasonable and irresponsible. Humanity shifts toward a sustainable future—embracing document digitalization is a huge step that allows you to support the environment on so many levels.
At first glance, adopting a document digitalization approach seems unproblematic. However, there are several aspects you should keep in mind to ensure a positive long-term effect on your business. We’ll talk about the most pressing ones.
6 tips for a smooth implementation of a document digitalization service
While digitization accelerates your business and unlocks new value streams, it may also hold you back. So, what should you know to select the best document digitalization service provider for you?
1. Look for a friendly user experience
We believe that digital solutions must be straightforward, meaning that they’re easy to set up and navigate for your pumpers. They already have enough on their plate. So, when shifting from paper to digital, they need a platform that will make tracking and evaluating well metrics easier. To sum up, a DDM solution should be stable, save time, and help your operators do their job efficiently.
2. Consider reporting options
You need error-free, carefully sorted, and highly accessible data to improve your decision-making. So, one of the most important features you need in oil and gas document management software is proper reporting functionality. It should offer you securely stored multi-level reports, for various aspects like different production tiers, along with varying access levels.
3. Seek a vendor with hands-on expertise
The O&G field is tricky in numerous ways, and there is much you deal with daily. Consequently, you might need a partner who’s been on both sides of production. So, opt for a platform created by people with a proven track record who have walked in your shoes and know what your typical paperwork situation looks like.
4. Don’t neglect safety and compliance
The energy industry enforces numerous regulations and standards. A top priority would be ensuring that the system you want to install is compliant with those requirements. It must follow all necessary confidentiality policies and possess a thorough cybersecurity strategy. It’s also crucial that a document digitalization service vendor handles automatic system backups and disaster recovery procedures. Finally, digitization solutions are supposed to optimize your paperwork flows, not add the headache of dealing with legal issues.
5. Make sure it is compatible with legacy systems
Do you already use other software in your daily routine? This includes ERP, CRM, field data capture apps, and databases. If the answer is “yes,” then your brand new DDM platform should connect with them seamlessly. So, double-check its integration capabilities and whether a provider requires special extensions or upgrades before you purchase anything. This’ll help avoid poor performance and additional investments for system customization.
6. Aim for post-launch support and reliable communication
Last but not least, you need a partner that offers training, ongoing maintenance, and 24/7 support. Honest and timely communication between you and a document digitization services team is essential. If something goes wrong, you should be the first to know it, while your partner does everything to minimize downtimes. Lastly, if you need a training library available for your workers, make sure the provider offers online materials, help desks, and video manuals.
Going paperless: is it a utopia or profitable business course?
The modern market dictates its own rules, most of which push you to focus more on critical tasks, leaving everything else to automation technologies. You may think document management is the least of your concerns these days. But a paperless office can become your first step toward business resilience and competitiveness. It’s nerve-wracking to implement new solutions; we know it. So, no need to rush things.
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for DDM. You need a thorough plan, a trustworthy vendor, and best practices for your transformation to reap the benefits. Sure, no one can give you a 100 percent guarantee that something won’t go wrong. However, with a sustainable digitalization strategy, you’ll streamline data processing, improve auditability, and achieve value for money in no time.