Grayson Mill Energy (GME) is a private equity-backed exploration company focused on the acquisition and development of unconventional oil and gas. The company is headquartered in Houston, with assets in the Williston and Powder River Basins.
In April 2021, the company acquired Equinor’s assets (242,000 acres and ~48,000 BOE/day) in the Williston Basin. To properly support this dramatic increase in production, the company sought new efficiencies to maintain lean, efficient operations.
Automating business processes and digitalization of traditional paper documents were essential to supporting the strategy. GME believed that digitally transforming its entire procure-to-pay process, from purchasing to invoicing, would be a major step in supporting its growth goals.
One main goal for GME’s digitalization strategy was automating the three-way match. Due to the many services GME sources, purchase orders were not always fit for purpose but are often necessary for supply chain and accounting governance.
Managing the order-receive-invoice process in one platform ensures consistency for cost objects and GL codes. This means orders can be referenced to field tickets and invoices, saving significant time with automated compliance checks and three-way matches. Also, automated three-way matching allows you to automate invoice payments without manual intervention.
Mary Atkinson, GME’s director of Supply Chain, said:
“One of the things that I’ve found is while the three-way match is an easy concept, it’s very hard to execute.”
After a review of technologies on the market, GME chose to implement Enverus solutions that allow them to manage ordering (OpenOrder), receiving (OpenTicket) and invoicing (OpenInvoice) on one platform.
GME saw significant value in the Enverus OpenInvoice network – the large network of connected suppliers already using OpenInvoice and OpenTicket. This was important since the plan was to go digital as soon as possible. This would mean virtually no paper invoices as part of the process and as few paper field tickets as possible.
“With OpenOrder, we have all the information: your cost centers, chart of accounts, your supplier information, your well ID, your AFE number, etc. That information is in the platform already, and it all matches.
When you have a purchase order with approval, with coding upfront, it’s much easier to validate as a goods receipt. Then when a supplier submits an invoice, there is your match right there, all in the same system with the same information.”
With the agreement signed June 30, 2021, and a go-live date of Aug. 1, the company had two months to expedite the implementation – a very aggressive timetable. For OpenInvoice, the focus was to ensure that all suppliers were paid with the right approvals and internal controls.
The company also wanted to move from manual stamps and paper to digital tickets to automate the process and gain visibility into operations. While many people in the new organization used OpenInvoice in the past, most operations personnel had not used OpenTicket.
A hands-on approach to training and user acceptance was critical to the success of the project. The initial training took place in Williston, North Dakota, with an onsite visit by the GME project team and the Enverus solution consultant.
From a visualization and user experience standpoint, the requirements to enter information into OpenTicket are very similar to OpenInvoice. This helped shorten the learning curve.
“We asked a lot of the questions to our guys in the field about enhancing the experience. I think that was really, really helpful to get hands-on training and to have a person there in the field with me.”
GME experienced the tremendous value of the OpenInvoice network immediately. With 210 of its suppliers already submitting invoices to other operators, the company immediately began receiving digital invoices. 63 suppliers already used OpenTicket. During the first month of using OpenInvoice and OpenTicket, the company received 980 invoices and 611 tickets.
Within two months, the company had processed 4,200 invoices, achieving a 97% electronic submission. Within three months, nearly 100% of invoices were being submitted digitally. This significantly speed up the invoice process.
More importantly, ticket submission in the field allows them to handle ticket approvals upfront, so the invoice process moves much smoother downstream. Within two months, the company had reached 230 suppliers using OpenInvoice, 85 submitting digital tickets and issued 14 purchase orders in OpenOrder.
“I think the important thing for procure-to-pay is ensuring good governance from the start to payables. There’s a lot of people involved in that entire process, including third-party suppliers. That’s not always the easiest thing to do because they do work for a lot of other clients who have 100 different ways for them to do things.
One thing I’m very cognizant of beyond internal automation is trying to make it as easy as possible for the suppliers. Most of our suppliers were already a part of the OpenInvoice network. It was just a really natural flow. So, I think from a holistic supply chain view, this works really, really well,” said Mary.
As of December 2022, GME has maintained a 97% electronic invoice submission rate with 621 suppliers having already submitted an invoice. As for digital tickets, GME has submitted 84,439 digital tickets through 255 suppliers and 388 orders with 56 different suppliers.