Case Studies

Conet-Tech Case Studies

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Murphy Oil Company Ltd.

Case Overview
Murphy Oil grew significantly after a successful gas find last year. This was good news for the Calgary-based oil and Gas Company. On the downside, however, Murphy Oil found that its procedures for tracking and reporting on project spending were no longer able to meet its needs. The company was using a paper-based system, which meant information wasn't readily available to everyone who needed it, and there was room for error   . 

Customer Overview
Murphy Oil Company, Ltd. a wholly owned subsidiary of Murphy Oil Corporation, is engaged in crude oil and natural gas exploration and production; extraction and sale of synthetic crude oil; and marketing of petroleum products in Canada. A Murphy subsidiary markets products at select Wal-Mart stores across Canada under the Murphy Canada brand. Murphy Oil Company's headquarters are located in Calgary, Alberta

Business Challenge
Murphy Oil was growing tremendously. With this growth came the realization that the existing procedures were no longer coping as well as they needed to in order to effectively manage project spending. Like most companies, Murphy develops a corporate budget each year, which must be tracked on an ongoing basis. To do this, the executive team uses a system called Authority for Expenditures, which consists of mini-budgets that record project spending and measure it against the corporate budget.

As the company grew, however, executives realized that the information they needed about expenditures wasn't coming to them quickly enough and they wanted to eliminate the possibility of discrepancies. They were a paper-based organization. Sending a paper document or using a fax machine wasn't the most efficient way to operate. After looking into a number of options including document management software programs but felt it wasn't enough to just manage images of documents; Murphy needed to manage real data in real-time.



Results
Murphy Oil has been able to improve the timeliness and accuracy of reporting, streamline the business process by automating manual procedures, and improve cost savings by reducing the amount of time spent on tracking a project. It’s a solid platform that could easily integrate with the existing infrastructure. In fact, Murphy Oil, the system should easily realize in excess of $500,000 per annum savings when the system is fully extended to all of the related documents involved in procurement

From Manual to Automatic Efficiency
Relying on a paper-based Authority for Expenditures system meant that Murphy Oil did not have access to real-time data, and staff in the field often had to wait up to a week to get the information they needed. Now, with the .NET-based tracking system, employees can easily access data immediately, dramatically improving efficiency.
It's a much more efficient process now. One click and the approval, filing and sending to another employee is taken care of. Our staff appreciates knowing the status of a document as soon as it's been approved, as well as any specific details about the approval. It eliminates the need to follow up which is where a lot of time can be wasted.



The technologies
- Visual Studio .NET and Microsoft .NET Framework .Net, C#
- IIS, Windows Server, Oracle, SQL Server
- Web Services



 

 

Solution
With limited in-house development staff, Murphy Oil turned to Conet-Tech that builds and delivers enterprise business software, to create a program that could track project spending and streamline reporting procedures.

Conet-Tech customized its NetCapital solution to meet Murphy Oil's needs. For this project, developers replaced ASP with ASP .NET and the Windows .NET Framework 1.1 using Visual Studio .NET 2003 which resulted in increased performance and scalability.
Typically, for each new capital project, an employee creates a document that outlines what the project will be, which could be exploration, drilling, facilities construction and production. The employee then adds the timeline, costs and economics. Added to that is the supporting documentation to aid in communicating information related to the project, including the approval process.

Since Murphy Oil was a paper-based organization, there was no way for people across the company to see where the approval process stood for each project. By automating the system, Conet-Tech's solution helps manage Murphy Oil's overall capital spend process across a number of departments including finance, exploration, drilling, production, engineering, and facilities. Conet-Tech helped improve consistency as well as efficiency.
Our solution allows Murphy to apply business rules in consistent manner, allowing the company to meet its policy and audit requirements. It also creates a collaborative environment where there fewer contentions because data is managed and maintained centrally.
Another important factor was that Murphy Oil could leverage the existing Oracle-based accounting system instead of replacing it.

The solution works by extending, not replacing, systems and infrastructure that are already in place. The .NET Framework integrates with Murphy Oil's financial system called Qbyte as well as their other Oracle systems.

We injected test code to inspect and interrogate the entire system to find any missing connections. We've built a module into the application so that if it detects a fault, it is captured and then sends an e-mail back to Conet-Tech. Then it resets the system and allows it to continue running as normal. It also sends a message to the user saying that the error has already been recorded and has been sent to Conet-Tech for analysis. That was a tremendous feature for Murphy Oil in terms of customer satisfaction.

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