SharePoint Online - Power Apps and Power Automate Solution for a Oil and Gas Company
Industry: Oil & Gas
Company: Oil & Gas
Our customer is a leading North American multinational Oil and Gas services company.
Our client had the following vision/requirement in the mind:
- The firm is large organization that wanted to implement processes that would improve efficiency without needing to increase staff, so simplifying and automating applicable daily business processes was a must.
- As an early adopter of cloud computing solutions, the company wanted to use the power of the Office 365 ecosystem of tools and applications.
- Management also needed to increase the efficiency of process to solve business problems related to inventory tracking and eliminate the physical back-and-forth within the warehouse.
- Currently the MRO (maintenance, repair and operating) supplies usage tracking which is done on paper and reported to the main office as materials are consumed.
- Even though the desire is to have JIT (just-in-time) replacement of certain critical items, the vendors/partners do not currently have any access to the ERP system and hence requires the main office initiating all such requests.
The customer is intermittently facing issues with MRO outage at critical items. In addition, there is no visibility of inventory levels to either field services or vendors since direct access of the ERP system is not allowed due to security reasons. This set of issues is leading our client to either having no stock of required materials or forcing them to procure the items in excess of required/reasonable quantity. On certain occasions the excess buying has led to expiry of some materials and additional cost/loss in their disposal. Resources were being used to manually recount which was extremely wasteful and inefficient, not to mention the amount of delay associated with these intermittent verification recounts was getting the attention of their management team.
The complete required solution had to address four items:
- Setup a connection to ERP inventory system to get full set of SKUs involved in MRO with relevant quantities including MOQ (minimum order quantity). In reverse, the consumed items information captured on this system was fed back to the ERP system.
- Provide real time information both internally (field personnel) and externally (partners/vendors) regarding MRO inventory
- Take MOQ (minimum order quantity) requirement for each item and directly notified the necessary vendor if the need to resupply (Note, the actual order has to be generated from the ERP. This was only a notification)
- Provide a mobile based application to scan the bar code of the consumed product. When an item is actually used, it is then automatically recorded into the system via a barcode scan. This information was fed back to the ERP inventory system
To meet these objectives Verinon engaged a series of processes that required a mix of Power platform inclusive of Power Bi, Power Apps and Power Automate to create visibility to the process while creating simplicity to the process. By deploying our services methodology and approach, Verinon’s delivery team was able to complete the solution development on time and within the budgetary needs of the client.
- Once the data was loaded into Azure SQL Server, the team was able to employ Power BI and bring visibility to this information on a set of reports. Courtesy of the reflexive capabilities of O365, the information was available on any platform including computers, tablet or mobile.
- Employ varying level of permissions provided in O365 to limit or allow varying personnel controlled visibility. This information was available to both field services as well as partners/vendors each with varying level of privileges.
- Using Power Apps was able to deliver an application that intuitive interaction regarding MRO stock and the ability to scan/record any consumed items real-time as they are used up in maintenance activities.
- If inventory is deemed at MOQ level, the system uses Power Automate simply to notify of reduced stock levels. Actual POs for the materials are generated in the ERP system
The combination of the Power platform allowed Verinon to deliver solutions much faster on a reliable platform. Verinon’s development approach has been used to delivery similar solutions across many verticals in both North American and Asian Pacific regions.
The solution has been successfully implemented using the Power platform to meet the client needs and requirements as per the client expectations of timeline.
Among the most important business benefits noted by the Customer are:
- Vastly reduced the amount of time necessary to getting a real-time, realistic overview of their available materials and stocks vis-à-vis what is consumed.
- Delivery of relevant information at the fingers of both field services and vendors/partners without compromising the need to open up ERP access external groups
- Automated MOQ notification where the vendor is alerted early of the need for replenishment. This early notification has significantly reduced outages of relevant MRO items.
- A combination of Power Apps, BI and Automate delivered the one additional step of efficiency that the client needed as quickly as possible.
Technologies: SharePoint Online, Power Apps