Gas Certification Institute (GCI) is committed to helping gas pipeline operators and gas utility companies streamline measurement operations and improve information flow.
For some companies, the challenge is improving gas measurement in the field. For others, it’s elevating measurement capabilities in the back office. But in almost all cases, optimizing communications and data transfer between the field and the back office is near the top of the list.
Improving information flow will help technicians work more efficiently and allow them to share information with the back office seamlessly. The Muddy Boots all-in-one field operations platform helps companies achieve this goal, while speeding up data entry in the field.
Let’s further examine how we can help your measurement group and back-office team solve common gas measurement challenges and utilize Muddy Boots to create seamless information flow from the field to the office.
1. Gas Measurement in the Field: Increase Efficiency
Using Muddy Boots, companies can increase efficiency in the field by making it easier for technicians to perform their regular duties on a daily basis.
- Provide techs with intuitive, streamlined forms that speed up data entry for meter inspections and calibrations.
- Manage Calibration Equipment and track re-certification schedules.
- Make schedules easier to track and manage.
- Use one tool for meter calibrations, safety valve testing, and site inspections. No more multiple log-ins switching between multiple pieces of software!
- Manage and track repair Work Orders and MOC documents.
Improving measurement in the field will directly impact the quality of work in the back office. A platform such as Muddy Boots can help bridge the gap that typically exists between field measurement techs and measurement analysts.
– Typical situation: Due to high licensing costs, the standard field measurement software is only available to the measurement techs in the field. Meanwhile, measurement analysts in the back office do not have access to the full data that techs have access to. They receive a fraction of the information transferred to their back-office system… creating issues due to a lack of visibility and often requiring calls to the tech or making educated guesses.
– Muddy Boots solution: With Muddy Boots, there is no per-user licensing fee. This means the measurement analyst can have full access to the same software – and the same data – as the tech in the field. Field data is synced as soon as cell service is available. Everyone sees the same info.
Plus, technicians have the tools they need to follow measurement standard operating procedures (SOPs), apply their training on the fundamentals of measurement, and utilize software to reduce uncertainty.
*** Check Out Our Whitepaper: The Value of Measurement SOPs, Training, and Cloud-Based Software in Reliable Measurement ***
2. Solve Fragmented Duties in the Field and Back Office
Currently, many companies use field measurement software for scheduled testing and sampling, but this software does have Work Order management. Each tech knows their scheduled tasks, but they may not be aware of other timely issues happening while they are at a meter site.
The analyst will often see issues that the field tech is not aware of, but with Muddy Boots, the back-office analyst can submit WO’s directly. The tech is notified and can see the location of pending Work Orders on an interactive map. This leads to better tracking of issues, reduced windshield time for techs, and better communications for issues like:
- Meters not reporting accurately (e.g. missing data).
- Validation exceptions due to meter malfunctions or abnormal operating conditions.
- Low battery warnings on meters or other technology in the field.
– Typical situation: The analyst must notify the tech of these issues. But, what ends up happening is the back-office analyst plays phone tag or waits for an email response while techs are in the field. There isn’t a reliable process to notify a tech of an urgent manner.
– Muddy Boots solution: With Muddy Boots, the analyst can create Work Orders (WOs) directly in the platform and assign them to the appropriate tech. The responding tech can then work on the issue. Meanwhile, the analyst has access to the status of the WO at any time. There is no need to call or email the tech.
Additionally, the WOs are tracked and the information is captured. Once the matter is resolved, a record is created. Managers can then utilize the Management Dashboard in Muddy Boots to analyze the workload for each tech, see the completed record for each WO, and gain visibility into what is happening.
3. Better Management of Site Flow Diagrams
Site flow diagrams are an essential tool to help field operations, measurement analysts, managers, and accountants all stay on the same page when reporting system balances and troubleshooting balance issues. But, these diagrams can be out of date or inaccessible.
– Typical situation: Site diagrams are tucked away in a drawing flat file, saved on an engineer’s desktop computer, or sitting on top of a filing cabinet somewhere. Just determining if there are drawings can be a challenge. Or, if the diagrams are accessible, there is no record of the latest version, which creates wasted time and effort trying to track down the absolute latest record.
– Muddy Boots solution: The current version of every drawing is instantly available to every member of the organization. No more research projects trying to find the most current drawing. Using Muddy Boots for site diagrams, companies can avoid costly delays while hand sketches are sent to drafters.
- Site flow diagrams can be verified and maintained by the techs in the field!
- The last verification date is automatically recorded in the platform.
- An audit trail of changes to the site drawings is maintained.
All of this is critical to help the back office understand gas losses and to perform critical tasks updating balances when system changes are made.
*** Check Out Our Whitepaper: The Business Case for Maintaining Accurate Measurement Flow Diagrams ***
Learn More About Muddy Boots for Measurement Operations
In the July edition of the Oil & Gas Measurement Podcast, GCI General Manager Weldon Wright talked to Glenn Kelley of Muddy Boots about how measurement field operations can be improved through the use of the correct software tools.
Listen to the episode to learn more about how Muddy Boots can improve information flow, streamline reporting, and reduce windshield time for measurement personnel so that they can get more done in less time.
– Interested in scheduling a demo of Muddy Boots? Let’s set up a time to walk through the benefits of using the platform. We’ll show how you how to optimize the connection between gas measurement in the field and back-office measurement.