Tilley Pressure Test, Inc.

Few industries produce as many critical business documents as exploration and production operations. This is especially true with recent regulation changes, economic uncertainties, and supply disruptions.

Today, a document management system is a key investment for any organization striving to be competitive and remain in business. Specific to the oil and gas industry, each company has different documentation requirements regarding the safety of the iron at its location. For most companies, being able to quickly pull customer records and certifications is imperative when dealing with clients’ and regulators’ demands on a daily basis.

Tilley has thousands of units with unique numbers that get tested over and over. SAFE makes it possible for users to manage all of these units, and their individual test records, in a very efficient way.

Tilley Pressure Test, Inc. has been providing safe and responsible Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) processes to clients in the aerospace, defense and oil field services since 2003. NDT is a wide group of analysis techniques used to evaluate the properties or a material, component or system for its integrity, safety and reliability, without causing damage to a client’s products. Because NDT does not permanently alter the article being inspected, it is a highly valuable technique that can save both money and time in product evaluation, troubleshooting and research. Specific to the gas and oil industry, Tilley recertifies iron that is used in high-pressure jobs at drilling locations across the U.S.

Because each piece of iron must be pressure tested and recertified every six months, Tilley’s business is very paper intensive. With six locations across the U.S., Tilley was having a hard time physically moving documents between its locations and needed to tie all of their test files to their invoices via a system that would allow them to find tests for specific pieces of iron very quickly. In addition, they were running out of physical office space due to a growing number of paper files. They desperately needed a way to keep their internal records secure, but searchable and available to anyone at any of their locations.

Tilley hired its current manager, Brian Stewart, who within two months purchased the SAFE document management software as a strategic component in expanding its business. Since that time, Tilley has grown from doing less than $100,000 per month to over $1,000,000 a month and attributes this growth to its management and documentation capabilities.

Tilley has thousands of units with unique numbers that get tested over and over. SAFE makes it possible for users to manage all of these units, and their individual test records, in a very efficient way. Tilley also keeps electronic copies of receipts and invoices which drastically cuts down on the large amount of paper used on a daily basis. This also saves on real estate since they no longer have the need to keep rooms full of paper files, as well as payroll since they don’t need to hire additional file clerks.

“If we tried to keep paper documentation, not only would we have rooms full of file cabinets, but because of the instant necessity of documents, our clients would also have rooms full of files. Keeping the documents available electronically minimizes paper use at both ends,” said Kimberly Tilley, owner of Tilley Pressure Test.

Shopping for a Document Management System (DMS)

Below are just some of the main features that you should expect when shopping for a document management system. Tilley says to make sure to identify what general requirements you want your system to meet before reaching out to various vendors or resellers.

Ease of use – simplicity is paramount; if staffers aren’t tech savvy they might be hesitant when trying out new technologies. Be sure to look for a system that will be familiar to users even though there still might be a slight learning curve. If a DMS mimics the physical filing environment, users will feel more at ease with a system that is similar to something they already know.

Integration – look for a system that can integrate with your existing software, general business/office applications, billing system, etc. Linking systems together dramatically improves operational efficiencies, reduces data entry errors, and improves return on investment.

Workflow – the efficient flow of documents through any organization is essential to remaining competitive. Misrouted, misplaced, or lost documents can cause a number of problems that impact productivity and cash flow. An effective workflow system has the following characteristics:

  • A central repository where documents are stored and indexed.
  • A security system that allows only the appropriate personnel to view cabinets, folders, and documents.
  • A flexible workflow methodology with rules that mirror manual processes, and can adjust the flow of information dynamically based on logical criteria.
  • The ability for knowledge workers to have anywhere, anytime access to the documents they need to get the job done.
  • Integration with popular office applications; for example, it might have the ability to view supporting documents for a transaction from within your accounting system.

Security – controlling access and user rights on every single document is a must. Regulations are in place to ensure the privacy of customers’ and employees’ personal information. With a paper-based filing system, there is no efficient way of securing files, beyond locking the cabinet. With a DMS it’s easy to specify who has access and what they are allowed to do with a document, such as a view, edit, and/or delete. In addition, document retention allows you to define how long a document must be kept in the system. Setting document retention ensures an employee will not inadvertently delete or alter a document for the designated period.

Training – The quality and availability of customer service and technical support during the first weeks and months of implementation is invaluable. Does the vendor offer on-site or off-site classes and web training? What happens when new employees are brought on, or if someone needs a review of the system? Make sure you have the support in place for when you need it, because you will. “Cabinet helped us setup our electronic filing cabinets and taught us how to use the system. They provide ongoing training and have helped us to alter our filing cabinets to make them more user friendly as we become more involved with the system,” said Tilley.

ROI – Increasing business efficiency is the most compelling reason for investing money in any project and demonstrating a financial return on the investment should be fairly easy to do since many companies spend tens of thousands of dollars annually on file folders, paper, offsite storage and file clerks. The system should make a meaningful impact on reducing cost and storage space in the office within a year. Labor savings, as a result of improved efficiencies, will be a major contributor to the total ROI.

Looking towards the future

A document management system is a key investment for any growing organization striving to increase productivity and responsiveness to clients and regulatory agencies. Transitioning to a paperless office requires an investment of time and resources so selecting a product that best meet’s your company’s needs is vital.

Since implementing SAFE, Tilley has seen some remarkable changes. Not only do they now have quick and easy access to their files, but heading towards a paperless office has brought the efficiency level up throughout all of its locations. “We have been able to consistently surprise and please our customers in the amount of time that we can pull test files for iron as needed for them while out in the field. This capability is one of the customer service points that has made a huge difference and resulted in the opportunity to take a one shop operation to a six facility and still growing service organization,” added Tilley.

In the future, Tilley plans to integrate SAFE with QuickBooks using a Cabinet plug-in called Cabinet Books. With Cabinet Books, the user can identify scanned documents for entry as a QuickBooks transaction. When the document is filed using Cabinet Books, a corresponding transaction with the appropriate amounts and transaction information is automatically created in QuickBooks.

This case study originally ran in the Oil & Gas Financial Journal.