As a company grows, so does its process, administrative and technology needs. Operations become more complex, and the company must adapt to remain efficient in this new environment. At some point, oil and gas companies must examine and decide how they should evolve to meet the company’s growth, and if it makes more sense to outsource work to a consulting firm or do this work in-house.
First, let’s distinguish the relationship between consulting and outsourcing. Consulting, in this case for strategic management, is “outsourcing” the work of designing a new strategy that meets your company’s future needs and vision to an outside firm.
Benefits of hiring a consultant
For companies pinched by shrinking margins, the benefits of outsourcing strategic planning are compelling:
- Realize results faster — Outsourcing specialized work to experts means faster completion on projects, such as technology implementation or process improvement, so operators can experience the benefits of the new processes and solutions faster.
- Improved focus and resource availability — Outsourcing allows oil and gas companies to focus on solving core business problems or gain more time to work on operations that directly influence the company. This is especially critical for smaller operators or operators that experience a reduction in staff — 18% of small businesses turn to outsourcing as a way to increase available expertise and assistance.
- Cost savings — Hiring consultants is generally more affordable than hiring a full-time employee because you avoid the added cost of taxes and benefits. Also, due to their expertise, they can identify the processes, strategy and systems needed, and implement the strategy faster and more efficiently. This efficiency potentially translates into cost savings for the company. According to a recent Outsourcing Institute Survey, companies reported a 9% reduction in costs through outsourcing.
- Knowledge of best practices — Consultants bring valuable experience from a variety of different companies, which can offer creative, more diverse ideas than you might get within your own organization. As a new “set of eyes,” they also bring objectivity to the process.
What to consider when hiring a consultant
After looking at these benefits, hiring a consultant to manage some of your business processes seems like a no-brainer. But there are a few things to consider when choosing a strategic partner.
- What is the consulting company’s track record? How long has it been around?
Make sure the firm has a positive track record. You can investigate this by contacting other reference customers to learn about their experience with the company.
- Does the company have industry specific experience and knowledge of the oil and gas industry?
There are several processes and regulations unique to oil and gas. For example, supplier management, increases in invoice volumes, managing massive numbers of contracts and making price changes are just some of the many activities finance and supply chain teams struggle to manage. You want to make sure the vendor you choose is well-versed in these nuances.
- Does the firm have the right network of business relationships to bring together multiple clients to collectively solve a problem?
Supply chain operations between upstream and midstream companies and their service providers is complex. At times, so are the business relationships. Yet these companies must be cooperative to bring the end product to market. Hiring consultants that have strong business relationships across the different organizations in these different segments ensures you will meet your goals faster and the process will be much smoother.
- Does the consultant’s experience align with your current and future technology strategy?
Make sure the firm understands your future vision and can make the right recommendations for your current and future business environment. They should have extensive knowledge in best practices to help you meet your goals. Also, make sure they can track the project’s progress and provide success metrics to demonstrate the impact of their work on your organization.
- Is their service pricing structure flexible?
If there is one thing that remains the same, it’s that the oil and gas market constantly changes. With such market volatility, companies need to be able to quickly shift strategy. Make sure your agreement with your consulting firm allows the flexibility to adjust to market shifts.
What are Enverus Professional Services?
Enverus Professional Services are consulting services provided by the internal Business Automation team of technology and process experts, and are designed to optimize customer usage and maximize ROI of their OpenInvoice solutions. Services include training, technology implementation and optimization, systems integration, data management and strategic analysis of a customer’s current technology stack and processes.
The team offers benefits to OpenInvoice users that other companies cannot offer including:
- Specific technology and expertise — Our knowledge and experience of process and solutions best practices allow us to recommend and deploy workflows and solutions that fit each customer’s individual needs faster, with less disruption. Also, unlike other vendors, our team members have strong industry relationships with operators, midstream and service providers in the Enverus network, which accelerates the onboarding and implementation of new technologies within organizations.
- Maximize the value of technology investments — Enverus expertise helps customers realize their goals faster, ensuring they get the most value from their technology. For example, the team can assist an operator increase its PriceBook coverage and compliance to improve spend management.
- Quantifiable Results — All OpenInvoice activity and data are tracked for each client, so customers can monitor the progress of their initiative and measure the results of the project overtime.
- Flexible, cost-effective subscription — Customers subscribe by hours and can choose the services they want to focus on. They have flexibility to pivot the services as goals, priorities and resources change.
- Assistance to navigate market transitions — Enverus experts have industry specific knowledge to guide your company through market transitions such as M&A and bankruptcy.
Watch this brief video to learn how Enverus Professional Services assisted Discovery Natural Resources in implementing PriceBook compliance and touchless invoicing automation.
If you currently use OpenInvoice solutions and want to increase the value you receive from your investments, or are looking to digitalize your AP process, book a free business review with our services team today be emailing [email protected] or call 1-800-282-4245.