The Client: Leading Energy Services Company

Overview

The nature of the client’s work in the energy industry makes it absolutely crucial for them to manage and resolve all quality and Environment, Health, and Safety (EH&S) issues in a timely manner. Otherwise, the issues can quickly snowball into larger problems with far-reaching consequences. Take the example of improper ventilation or inadequate fire extinguishers at an oil rig. If these issues are not addressed in time, they could result in a devastating fire. Similarly, if an employee sustains an injury at a drilling station, and the organization does not immediately implement controls to prevent such injuries in the future, the health and safety of all their employees are in danger.

Fully aware of these risks, the client has implemented several innovative initiatives to maintain high quality standards, provide a safe workplace, and minimize the impact of operations on the environment. Any issues that arise are immediately captured, investigated, documented, and resolved. However, the company faced several challenges with regard to the efficiency of their issue management processes.  The manual, paper-based approach to handling and tracking issues proved to be time-consuming and laborious.

In their search for a better issue management system, the client came across MetricStream solutions which offered the potential to automate, streamline, and integrate enterprise-wide issue management processes. The solution was also able to meet the client’s requirements for a cloud based system. It offered the flexibility to be deployed over the state-of-the-art MetricStream Cloud, thereby accelerating time to value.

These capabilities, coupled with MetricStream’s proven expertise in strengthening issue/ incident management, risk management, and compliance management at some of the largest and most well-known energy companies prompted the client to choose them.

Today, MetricStream’s cloud based solution is helping the client reduce overheads, optimize the efficiency of issue management, and improve enterprise-level visibility into the status of all issues.

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The Solution

MetricStream offered the client a comprehensive solution to manage end-to-end issue related processes across quality and HSE functions. The solution, which was deployed over MetricStream Cloud, helped the client transition to a more streamlined and consistent approach to issue management across the enterprise. Automation of workflows improved cost-efficiency, while powerful reporting tools increased top-level visibility into enterprise-wide issues, enabling stakeholders to proactively identify and address areas of concern.

Below are the capabilities of the MetricStream solution:

Issue recording
Every time a quality or HS&E issue occurs in the client organization, the complete details of the issue are captured and stored in the MetricStream solution’s central database. For instance, if there is a quality issue such as sub-standard drilling equipment, the solution enables managers to record why the equipment didn’t pass the quality test, what it was replaced with, who replaced the equipment, and how long the replacement took. The solution also helps record critical data such as what time the issue occurred, what time action was taken, who took action, what the severity level of the issue was, and what the consequences could be. These details are essential for managers to understand each issue, and ensure that it is resolved effectively.

All issues are automatically assigned a unique ID/ case number so that they can be easily identified and tracked as they move through various stages of the issue management lifecycle. The issues can also be categorized based on their severity level and other such parameters. Managers can quickly correlate the issue with past data to support analysis and decision-making.

Issue review, investigation, and analysis
The MetricStream solution helps route each issue for review and root cause analysis to the responsible business units. Managers can easily assign investigative tasks to an individual or a team with due dates based on the severity level of the issue. Automatic notifications and alerts keep the process on track, and help ensure that the issue is investigated in a timely manner.

After the analysis has been conducted and documented, the solution enables users to decide on the appropriate course of Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA), and route this plan for review and approval.

Issue remediation
Through the MetricStream solution, CAPAs can be assigned and closely monitored till completion. Once a CAPA is initiated, the case remains open till the action plan is carried out, and the results are verified for effectiveness. If pre-defined deadlines for CAPA completion are not met, escalation emails can be immediately sent out.

Time management
As soon as an issue is logged, the MetricStream solution records the elapsed time. Therefore, managers can view how much time went by from the moment the issue occurred, to the moment it was recorded, to the moment it was resolved. The system also throws up a predefined window of time for each phase of issue management (e.g. 48 hours to report the issue in the solution, another 48 hours to attend to the issue, and the last 48 hours to ensure that the issue is effectively resolved and closed).   This capability helps ensure that each issue is investigated and remediated in a timely manner.

Observations of potential issues
Some activities or areas of the business need to be checked or monitored at regular intervals to ensure that an issue doesn’t arise. For instance, a well-running machine might need to be checked after three months to determine if the oil needs to be changed. If this isn’t done in time, it could result in a major issue. The MetricStream solution captures these observations, and provides automatic alerts when action needs to be taken.

Learning from issues
Every time an issue is identified and resolved, the MetricStream solution helps record the lessons learned. It summarizes all the remediation actions taken, and more importantly, helps outline preventive steps to ensure that the issue does not recur.

Issue reporting and tracking
The MetricStream solution provides an extensive range of issue management reports such as action list reports (list of actions taken for all issues), issue list reports (list of issues logged by users across the company), and cost-center based issue reports. In addition, powerful dashboards with drill-down capabilities provide enterprise-wide visibility into the issue management processes, as well as statistics and other key metrics across quality and EH&S functions. The dashboards also highlight high-priority incidents that need to be addressed immediately. Thereby, the client can closely track high risk issues, and also monitor the status of each issue as it moves from one stage to the next.

Cloud-based deployment
The client deployed the solution over MetricStream Cloud - a cutting-edge virtualized infrastructure with flexibility, security, control, and agility. This cloud-based deployment enabled the client to get the solution up and running quickly, while also ensuring that it could be quickly adapted to their specific requirements.

Challenges

Before implementing MetricStream’s solution, the client faced the following challenges:

  • All issues were documented and tracked manually, involving extensive paperwork.
  • The process of gathering data on each issue and putting together trend reports was cumbersome and time-consuming.
  • Managers had to painstakingly sift through multiple spreadsheets to understand the details and status of each issue.
  • Issue management was a costly effort that deviated resources away from core business activities.
  • The company lacked a common database for business functions to collectively share information about the lessons learned from each issue in order to prevent their recurrence
  • There was no single system of record to track and maintain observations about potential issues – this increased the risk that an observation might be overlooked or forgotten, causing it to develop into a major issue.

Why MetricStream was Selected?

MetricStream solutions are widely used by some of the largest and most reputed energy and utility companies.

The issue management solution provides a single point of reference for managing the whole issue lifecycle.

The solution’s easy-to-use but secure interface helps users get comfortable with it quickly.

The solution offers the flexibility of being deployed either on-premise or in the cloud.

Being extensible, the solution has the potential to go beyond issue management, and support other activities such as quality management, EH&S management, risk management, and compliance management.

Benefits

  • Greater cost-efficiency
    By automating and streamlining issue management processes, the MetricStream solution has reduced overhead costs, minimized redundancies, and improved the overall efficiency of issue management. Deployment of the solution over MetricStream Cloud has also helped bring down costs, and accelerate time to value.
  • Integrated issue management
    The MetricStream solution has replaced multiple siloed issue management systems with a single, integrated framework. Up to 200 managers can use the solution to capture, manage, and track issues across more than 90 operational locations, including oil rigs, drilling stations, administrative offices, and the corporate office. The solution has also improved communication, collaboration, and information-sharing on issues across departments and functions.
  • Centralized visibility into issues
    The MetricStream solution acts as a “single source of truth,” for all quality and EH&S issues. It enables each issue to be tracked in real time at any point of the enterprise through a Web-based interface. It also minimizes the recurrence of issues through consistent and closed-loop processes for issue investigation, monitoring, and remediation.
  • Faster issue resolution
    While the client already had a strong and robust approach to issue management, the MetricStream solution adds value through automated alerts and time management tools which help ensure that each issue is resolved as quickly as possible. Issue recording, review, and approval cycles are also accelerated as each incident is automatically moved from one stage to the next.

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