An interview with Camino Natural Resources, LLC and GeoSouthern Energy Corporation
The energy industry is cyclical — the price of oil, supply and demand and M&A activity … all ebb and flow.
It’s crucial your company equips itself to maintain business continuity during ups and downs, seasonal events (hello 1099s!), M&As or divestitures.
One way is to accomplish this is by outsourcing business services, such as royalty owner support. In this post, we wrote about surviving a downturn by outsourcing certain business services.
For some firsthand insights into the importance of outsourcing business services, we interviewed Kelly Davis, controller at Camino Natural Resources, LLC, and Teresa Quinn, controller at GeoSouthern Energy Corporation. Both operating companies outsource owner support with Enverus call center services and print and mail services, helping maintain lean internal operations while providing outstanding owner support.
Enverus: Camino Natural Resources is a privately held operating company that focuses on running lean operations for maximum efficiency. Can you talk about how outsourcing your owner support helps your internal team align with the company’s strategy of being efficient?
Kelly Davis: At my prior company, also privately held, we attempted to handle owner calls in-house. It didn’t go very well. So we really sought out a service provider that could give us this added support with the call center. It has helped us out tremendously.
Over the last four years, we’ve grown by taking over management and acquisitions internally, even during COVID. We have thousands of owners. Our call center acts as the first point of contact, preventing our internal team from fielding a tremendous number of inquiries.
They can field basic owner inquiries, or they know exactly who to send the inquiry to. Whether it’s a collections issue, a question about a royalty check, a 1099 issue or a division order inquiry—it goes straight to the right internal contact, and they’re able to respond to it quickly. It helps the owner because they’re not getting sent from voicemail to voicemail to get an answer. We believe it helps our owner relations.
Enverus: GeoSouthern Energy recently acquired new assets. They’re going to increase your inquiry volume and mail volumes quite significantly. How do you plan to leverage these services to aid with integration?
Teresa Quinn: These new assets will be under their own operating company. So, it does generate a lot of extra administrative duties, because the wells won’t fold into an existing company.
We called Enverus right away to get set up with the call center and the print and mail services. Right now, we’re in the testing phase for our AP and revenue checks and JIB statements. The call center is already up and running.
When we do an owner mailing, we let the call center agents know, so they are prepared for the spike in calls. Recently we sent out an owner letter to all the owners introducing ourselves and asking for new W9s and ACH forms. We gave the agents a list of in-house contacts that handle different types of questions, so they direct those questions to the correct person. The call center handled those calls and that went really well. It’s really helpful being able to onboard new owners with the same services that our other operating companies use.
Another thing I like is that we’ll get a log of all calls, so we can see what type of calls come in and which calls are outstanding. Documentation is centralized, so we can see if something is stuck somewhere. Things don’t fall through the cracks.
KD: One thing I’d like for people to know is the extensive call log is tracked from first call to follow up to resolution and gets sent to you every week. As a controller, it’s nice that I can track that log and see how many open cases we have and what they’re related to and figure out what’s going on. It is something that I don’t believe you would get if you were trying to maintain support in-house. That’s the stuff you don’t have time to do.
For example, we had an owner that went all the way to our CEO. We were able to evaluate his experience because we had all the documentation. The relationship was mended, and I was incredibly grateful for the thorough documentation that you might lack when your company is busy.
Enverus: How do you measure the success of your own relations department?
TQ: That log I talked about is what we use to track how things are going. We have someone within each department who handles things that can’t be handled by the call center. We give the call center read-only access to our accounting system and land system, so they can handle a lot of the issues for us.
Enverus: Can you talk about how you’ve been able to configure the call center services to meet Camino’s specific needs?
KD: One thing I’ve been really happy with is the consistency of the call center staff. I’ve had the same manager for quite some time, and we work well together.
You have your normal protocol, answering calls and sending them to the right contact in our company. But with special instances like acquisitions or disposals, we’ve been able to let the agents know what’s going on and provide contact information for specific wells if it needs to go to a different call center. The call center can quickly transition that owner to the right call center if we have disposed of some properties and vice versa.
If we send acquisition letters, we always put the call center phone number. The agents are good about knowing effective dates and what we should answer versus the predecessor. The agents also help us on side projects, like ACH campaigns or 1099s. It’s plug-and-play.
Enverus: How has the call center enabled the scalability and flexibility for Camino during times of acquisition and growth and during the decline in production, like during COVID?
KD: That is the nice part. You can deal with the ebb and flow easily with outsourcing as your volumes go up and down. There doesn’t need to be internal downsizing.
About Owner Relations Management Services
Outsourcing owner support allows internal teams to focus on the most important tasks at hand. Enverus is the only company that provides online revenue and JIB data exchange, phone and email support, division order analyst services and print and mail services focused solely on the energy sector. Our experienced team understands the nuances and challenges associated with providing data to stakeholders, printing and mailing revenue checks and statements and providing call support for operators. By outsourcing support, operators can strengthen owner relationships, reduce costs and increase the productivity of internal teams.