Business Automation Operators

Digital Invoicing for Small- and Mid-Sized Operators

bySusie Yuill

“OpenInvoice saved my marriage.”

This isn’t a value point you’d see in a typical software brochure. But it’s something a customer shared with us a few years ago.

Turns out, this customer was the only accounts payable manager at her job with an independent oil and gas operator. Before her company had implemented digital invoicing with OpenInvoice, she’d been processing so many paper invoices every day that she would arrive home late at night, miss dinner with her family and not get to put her kids to bed. Her husband was not happy.

If you’re not familiar with OpenInvoice, it’s currently the best solution on the market to fully automate your AP/AR workflows with touchless invoicing, from invoice creation to approval.

We hear similar statements from other small- and mid-sized operators that make the move from paper invoices to digital invoices with OpenInvoice. They love the software because it saves them crucial AP hours by significantly shortening the time it takes to process invoices.

Is your upstream business exploring software to digitalize your operations? More specifically, are you thinking about making the leap from managing your AP on paper and spreadsheets to digital invoices?

If you’re an upstream business exploring software to digitalize your operations or thinking about making the leap from managing your accounts payable on paper and spreadsheets to digital invoices, this blog post is for you. In it, we will cover why OpenInvoice is the best solution for upstream operators and how it will improve your operations.

Why OpenInvoice versus other digital invoicing solutions?

1. OpenInvoice is built specifically for upstream operations of all sizes

Non-industry-specific accounting solutions are requisition based. Materials are a known quantity and spend is tracked via purchase orders. This might make sense for many industries, but oil and gas isn’t like other industries. Oil and gas is different, and it requires different solutions.

So much of the work that is done in upstream oil and gas is outsourced to service providers. In fact, 80% of upstream spend is on services. With services, you don’t know the time required and materials used until after the job is done. Suppliers document the completed work on a field ticket, and once the ticket is approved by the field supervisor, the supplier creates and submits the invoice for payment. Upstream spend is documented and tracked from the invoice, and this is exactly what OpenInvoice is built to do.

2. Enjoy quick onboarding for operators and suppliers

We’ve mentioned that OpenInvoice has features that are fit for purpose for oil and gas, like routing and approval workflows, and the platform itself is made to make communication between suppliers and operators easily trackable in system. However, we would be remiss to not address one of the most challenging things about implementing new software – training people on how to use it properly.

The great thing about OpenInvoice that is unique in the software space is it has been around for about 22 years and 38,000 suppliers across North America are already submitting invoices to their other customers on the platform, so it is highly likely that many of your suppliers are already using the system with other operators. For small- and mid-sized upstream operators, this means not needing to dedicate valuable (and, oftentimes, limited) resources to onboarding your suppliers. And for any suppliers who are not already on the network, the Enverus team has strong relationships across the oilfield so we can help get them onboarded quickly and with ease.

Often, when we run a vendor match for new customers, we see that an average of 70% of suppliers are already transacting on OpenInvoice. This means you can expect to only need to onboard 30% of your suppliers, so you can enjoy a quick implementation process and reap the benefits of digital invoicing, such as time savings, very quickly. For example, when Grayson Mill Energy, a private equity-backed exploration company, implemented OpenInvoice in 2021, the company reached a 97% digital invoice submission rate in only two months!

As you can see, access to the OpenInvoice network of suppliers significantly speeds up the invoice process for oil and gas operators. Other digital invoicing solutions are not connected to such a robust supplier network, so if you go this route you can expect to experience a longer onboarding and implementation period before you’re up and running.

3. Set your business up to scale

For some operators, keeping operations small is a purposeful and strategic business decision. For others, the goal might be to scale the business over the next five years.

If your goal is to scale your operations, OpenInvoice is a great option because it is a fully cloud-based SaaS solution, meaning it easily scales according to your changing business needs.

We often see operators grow overnight via mergers and acquisitions. These operators realize that the only way to successfully scale for such rapid growth without slowing down field operations or losing track of spend is to fully digitalize their procure-to-pay processes, from order to invoice, so they can start automating time-consuming and error-prone manual work.

Enverus offers other source-to-pay solutions that are purpose-built for oil and gas that integrate with OpenInvoice so you can easily digitalize and automate additional back-office processes, such as procurement and ticketing. This means that as your business grows, you can continue to expand this technology footprint.

In fact, this is exactly what happened to Grayson Mill Energy (GME) when they acquired Equinor’s assets (242,000 acres and ~48,000 BOE/day) in the Williston Basin.

Recognizing that automating manual processes was a key driver to scale quickly, GME implemented OpenInvoice and OpenContract PriceBook first, digitalizing their price books and invoices at the same time. Since OpenContract PriceBook automatically validates the pricing on invoices, this removed the need to manually compare pricing.

Then they added OpenTicket, which allows suppliers to create and submit digital field tickets for approval. Using OpenTicket together with OpenContract PriceBook and OpenInvoice enables pricing on field tickets to be validated against the corresponding digital price book, making it easy for a production foreman to approve tickets quickly and accurately. This enables automatic invoice approvals, meaning AP personnel no longer need to approve every invoice because the price has already been validated with the approved field ticket. This automatic invoice approval option is used by many operators to speed up the invoice approval process and remove the burden of time-consuming manual processes.

Check out the full GME case study today to learn more about their experience and results.

4. Get more done in less time

This goes back to the story we shared at the beginning of this blog post about OpenInvoice saving a marriage. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a supermajor – the time saved by going from paper invoices to digital invoicing is a game-changer. Period.

Discovery Natural Resources is a prime example of this. They automated 40% of their invoice volume with digital invoicing and estimate a weekly time savings of 30-50 hours thanks to automatic invoice approvals. Check out the customer story here for all the details.

Conclusion

We’re not saying that we can solve all your marriage woes, but we can get you to a point where you’re spending more time with family and less time tracking down invoices or sweating over rogue spend. 

In case you needed more convincing, here are a few additional points to consider:

  • Leverage an unmatched (and growing!) oil and gas supplier network. In addition to thousands of active suppliers already using our platform, we’re adding around 5,000+ new suppliers per year.
  • Streamline your accounts payable workflow with software specifically made to meet the needs of the energy sector. Unlike other solutions, OpenInvoice manages service callouts, material purchases and purchase orders on the same platform.
  • Embrace a cloud-based solution, customized to your business. OpenInvoice integrates with 30+ ERP and digital field ticketing platforms, allowing for unparalleled customization and seamless integration into your current product stack – all facilitated by our dedicated customer success team.

Taking the first step toward fully digitizing your AP workflow has never been easier – some of your suppliers might already be using OpenInvoice! So, if you’re ready to join the 400+ E&P and midstream companies and 38,000+ active suppliers using OpenInvoice today, schedule a free demo by filling out the form below.

Susie Yuill

Susie Yuill

Susie Yuill is Director of Product Marketing at Enverus. She specializes in bringing SaaS software products to market and creating and implementing high-value marketing programs to reach and convert target accounts. Throughout the years, she has led the marketing product launches for several SaaS products for various industries. Susie is a proud, fightin' Texas A&M Aggie and earned an MBA from Texas State University.

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