Gas Field Specialists

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A Fast-Growing Business Contends with Complex Regulations


About the Company
Gas Field Specialists, Inc. (GFS), provides a wide range of services and resources to the oil and gas industry, including well site construction, equipment rentals, transportation services, well maintenance, roustabout services, reclamation, and pipeline fabrication. Owned and operated by the West family for 50 years, GFS has undergone rapid growth over the past decade with booming production on the Marcellus Shale, the second largest natural gas reserve in the world. Forward-thinking management and a high level of organization have enabled the company to thrive in this fast-paced industry, expanding from 40 employees to nearly 300, and attracting business from major industry players.

Challenges
GFS must keep all of their equipment in optimum condition and fully compliant with both government regulations and the stringent demands of over 50 clients. At any given time, they must be able to show complete records of the maintenance and inspections that have been performed on any given asset—down to the smallest nut and bolt—and must ensure that all required certifications, registrations, and inspections are current. In addition, they must track data on critical internal operations, such as maintenance and inventory.

Solutions
In order to better organize, track, and analyze their expanding operations, GFS partnered with ManagerPlus to achieve the following objectives. + Improved Scheduling GFS must schedule and track thousands of maintenance services, inspections, registrations, and certifications, for a wide variety of assets, including dozers, wheelie tanks, trucks, cranes, air compressors, boilers, pumps, excavators and everything in between. These crucial tasks must be variously performed at yearly, bi-yearly, monthly, weekly, and “every time in” intervals, as well as on the basis of log readings/progressions such as hours.

By creating schedules in ManagerPlus for these mission-critical tasks, GFS is able to see fully customizable, easy-to-read list and calendar views of everything that needs to be done. Schedules can be automatically prioritized according to due dates and log values, and automatic alerts and notifications can be set to help ensure that crucial deadlines aren't missed. This way, the system is doing the work of tracking deadlines, and work orders are centralized and standardized, ensuring that all required services and inspections are included.

“ManagerPlus' Schedules Due module is just an absolute beast as far as what it can keep track of. We have 6700 schedules in there and it just purrs, it runs really, really well. It's the life force of our entire maintenance company here.”
—Tim Haley, GFS Project Analyst

On the fleet side of their operations, ManagerPlus has helped GFS improve their Inspection Selection System (ISS) rating, which is used by DOT officials to deter.mine which vehicles should be stopped for inspec.tions. By targeting specific areas of their fleet maintenance operations for improvement, GFS has managed to cut this rating in half, helping them avoid unplanned inspections and minimizing the risk of losing their legally required DOT number.

+ Detailed Record Keeping
Liability is a major concern for GFS and their clients. Oil and gas companies must be certain that all equipment and services provided by GFS will be safe and reliable. This is why it is vital that GFS keep detailed records on maintenance, inspections, services, registrations, and certifications in one centralized, easy-to-access place. Prior to implementing ManagerPlus, GFS had to dig through overflowing paper records in manila folders, sometimes spending hours trying to locate information requested by a client. And after all that work, they still couldn't be completely sure that everything needed would be there. With ManagerPlus, this information is now just a few clicks away, and can be organized in clear, easy-to-read reports that can be delivered directly to clients from the system.

“Our customers, if they don't see evidence of the work they need done, they won't do business with you. It helps us dramatically when we can show all the work orders and the history.”
— Kurt McDowell, GFS Safety Director

+ Calibration
Quality control is a critical process in the oil and gas industry. For example, gas companies must be able to accurately meter the amount of gas flowing through a pipeline in order to calculate proper quantities. GFS is responsible for ensuring that their pipelines and equipment meet the exacting specifications of their clients, which means that they must regularly calibrate some 140 pieces of measuring equipment, including torqueing pressure gauges, ultrasonic thickness gauges, spring micrometers, hydro chart recorders, hydraulic torque wrenches, etc. In addition, GFS must also maintain employee qualifications for gas metal arc welding (GMAW), shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), submerged arc welding (SAW), and other certifications required by the industry.

To efficiently manage these demands, GFS created a separate entity in ManagerPlus devoted entirely to Quality Control. Now they can easily see the status of all calibrations and certification renewals, and ensure that there is enough time and resources available to complete them on time.

Organizing all of this information in one centralized place also helped them identify bottlenecks in their scheduling that were causing these tasks to pile up toward the end of the year. With ManagerPlus, they have been able to spread these calibrations and certication renewals more evenly throughout the year. Creating a separate entity also made it easy for GFS to manage permission to access and change this sensitive data, and audit trails in ManagerPlus have made it easy to see who is making changes in the database, what changes were made, and when they were made.

+ Operational Insight
The oil and gas industry moves at a fast pace, and downtime is extremely costly. Because of this, GFS must get machines up and running as quickly as possible, and needed an quick and easy way to accurately track important data on internal operations such as inventory and asset utilization.

With ManagerPlus barcoding and inventory solutions, GFS was able to perform a full inventory audit. The results were striking: previous valuation estimates of their inventory of 1,700-plus parts had been undervalued by as much as 70 percent.

And with ManagerPlus mobile solutions for phones and tablets, GFS can now easily track usage hours on trucks, including idle time, and reconcile worker hours by comparing the amount of hours listed for a given employee on work orders with their overall clocked hours.

Conclusion
ManagerPlus has helped GFS streamline maintenance and regulatory workflows, create a database of detailed historical records of work that has been done, and gain insight into their internal processes.

“It's an excellent system, and it's an easy system to use”
— Tim Haley
 
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