Drilling Companies: Do these 3 questions ever haunt you?


BHA Report, Run Summary, Surveys, Slide Sheet, Mud Report, Motor Report, Safety Reports… etc. etc. etc. Data, data data. Report, report, report.

Directional Drillers generate and record a whack of data – important, mission-critical data needed to make decisions, create invoices, respond to issues, provide good service and to consistently improve the business and the bottom line.

Unfortunately in many cases some or all of this is captured, stored and communicated using and old friend… Mr. Spreadsheet.

If this is sounds like your business you are not alone. According to Forbes.com “1 in 5 businesses are using spreadsheets as the main tool to communicate data internally”. In their article Excel Reporting: 5 Reasons Why It Is Bad For Business they also point out the big problem with them, which you already know:

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with spreadsheets; they’re excellent tools for many different jobs. But data visualization and data communication is not one of them.” Forbes.com

Why? Because spreadsheets are like magic. They can do anything and even non-techies like me can create powerful reports. But you make one spreadsheet, then two and before you know it your business literally runs off of spreadsheets. And like those 80’s movies where powers fall in the hands of the wrong person – things inevitably go sideways.

1. Is this spreadsheet I’m looking at accurate?

This is perhaps the biggest problem with spreadsheets: how can you ever really know that what you are seeing is accurate? How can you trust that the formulas and calculations are correct? Unless you are willing to triple check every time (not sustainable) you have no choice but to cross your fingers and hope for the best (not enjoyable).

Sure you have “controls” in place. You have a spreadsheet ninja (Bob) in your office who manages the sheets. He track all the changes (kind of) and “locks them down” (not really) and ensures that everyone gets the newest one and destroys the old one. And of course Bob has nothing else to do and will be around forever right?

2. Is everyone using the same version of this spreadsheet?

If you email spreadsheets around every day, how do you know it’s up-to-date? If you routinely make changes to them how do you know it’s the most recent version? Or that everyone has and is using that exact version?

Again, maybe Bob has have some “controls” in place – like a shared drive where people grab the latest version and drop in their completed ones. But at the end of the day you know (because you and your customers have caught errors in the past) that problems are inevitable. You just don’t know when and how big they will be.

3. When are we going to fix this?

You know that there is software out there that can fix this. You have had discussions with your team. It comes up every time there is a problem. You have had some demo’s and seen some cool things, but at the end of the day they raise more questions than answers. Questions like – how are we going to fit our unique process and data needs into that system? Where does our weird label, report, calculation etc. fit into that program? How are we going to roll this out to the field? Will it stick – or will we end up with some in the new and some in the old and even more uncertainty?

Result: This sounds worse, my brain hurts, I’m busy, let’s talk about this later.

If this sounds familiar here is the good news: Technology has improved, costs have come down and today companies like FieldCap (hey that’s us!) are making tailored, responsive solutions to your specific problems.

In fact – we now have a web-based DD paperwork module for our oilfield business platform that reduces these fears big time. No more waiting for spreadsheets to get emailed and distilled into useful data. Instead you have it as soon as its entered in the field – complete and accurate the first time.

“FieldCap has allowed us to capture field data in real time and manage jobs more efficiently”
Mike Buker – President, Phoenix Technology Services LP

“FieldCap’s solution has allowed our company to streamline multiple major business functions, including operations, payroll, and revenue. I highly recommend FieldCap’s solution for paperwork automation and to help bridge the gap between field operations and offices.” Chad Macumber, Scientific Drilling