Oil, gas, and energy companies have primarily been focusing on applying automation technology to equipment and operations in the field and have seen great success with this method on the bottom line. But if the industry is turning to automation to save time and money out in the field, then why not implement similar technologies in back-office operations? Robotic Process Automation (RPA) applications are commonly used for assisting in cross-company functions like: Finance, HR, Supply Chain Management systems, and so on. They are successful in these functionalities, but when it comes to Oil, Gas, and Energy they can be applied to even more areas beyond that.
RPA bots are implemented to complete the mundane and repetitive tasks that humans typically perform. These processes are time-consuming, costly to pay employees to complete, and due to the repetitive nature, are prone to human-errors. RPA is a solution for these processes, it is implemented as a “digital workforce” that can complete these tasks quicker, cheaper, error-free, and unlike humans, can perform these tasks virtually 24×7. Another benefit is that the bots allow employees to focus on more important tasks and in-turn make the employees happier.
RPA can be implemented on top of the current, underlying systems, they are often referred to as a no code implementation. It is referred to this way because it operates at the user interface or “surface” level, meaning the utilize the business systems just as a human would. They also are made to seamlessly interact with several systems at once. They can copy and paste data from one system to another, extract data from documents and text, input it into the various systems, and even interact with customers via a Chatbot program.
RPA should not be overlooked as a bottom line booster; plenty of opportunities exist to employ it in areas such as: finance and accounting, payroll, HR and on-boarding, operations, exploration analytics and analysis, well production analysis and industrial automation integration, operational reporting, compliance, and optimized drilling performance. These areas and more in the Oil, Gas, and Energy Industries show great ROI after RPA bot implementation. For example, gas pipeline compliance is a rules-based process, it is a perfect place to implement bots because it allows companies to monitor all aspects from an operations standpoint and the bots turn to humans and raise exceptions when necessary. The ability to implement exceptions and trigger alerts for human approval are yet another set of benefits to consider when thinking about deploying an RPA program.