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NEWS AND INSIGHTS

Managing regulations, integrations, and automation. A use case in the oil and gas industry.

Case Study

VNDLY’s client, a Texas-based company in the oil and gas industry, uses non-employee labor for wide-ranging positions such as IT, land research, and oil-rig workers. They operate pipelines, storage facilities, natural gas processing plants, fractionation, and import/export terminals. The broad scope of workers and outsized number of regulations resulted in a need for a highly-complex vendor management system (VMS), one that could automate the categorization, tracking, and reconciliation of multiple levels of information and data.

Challenges

Our client was facing significant challenges when trying to reconcile the rapidly-changing business and regulatory requirements established by their industry and state and federal regulators. Communication with workers in the field was also a complicated matter, in large part due to the use of manual recording and tracking procedures to communicate daily work needs. These issues were costing the company thousands of hours every year across departments, with existing technologies functioning separately from one another. There was no sharing of data, no coordination of processes, and no technology-based way for workers to interact with other company counterparts. The spreadsheets and legacy computer software were proving inadequate, even though there were competent, committed people doing the work.

To solve the multi-faceted problem, the company was seeking a configurable VMS solution that could integrate with their current cloud-based business systems, pulling data from various departments and platforms to incorporate their custom charge codes requirements, complex time sheets, custom invoicing, and specific miscellaneous adjustment requirements. There were also local, state and federal tax considerations; regulatory compliances from various organizations and entities; and internal and external audit issues to be managed—and all of this had to be rolled into an easy-to-use, fully automated VMS tool that could seamlessly integrate into they worked with a legacy VMS provider for more than two years,
eventually giving up because the provider never presented a workable configuration.

Solutions

Their Problem:  The VMS had to integrate seamlessly with the entire business eco-system for complete process automation and a rich user experience.

Our Solution: We delivered 24 integrations, which fully automated business processes including user management, cost-code management, access provisioning, invoicing, and business intelligence reporting. The data flows, which incorporate master and transactional data elements, exchange millions of records daily between systems.

Their Problem: The VMS had to provide a simplified, automated way to manage dynamic cost codes while capturing time worked against individual work orders on timesheets, all in real time. Cost-code functionality had to integrate with Oracle E-business suite.

Our Solution: We created a rules engine connected with the source system to maintain accurate work order information and validate cost codes in real time. Hundreds of thousands of work orders can be valid at any given time, with rules applied to break out smaller sets of contractors. The rules engine allowed time entry without any restrictions allocated to contractor assignments.

Their Problem: Our client needed to create and process complex timesheets with multiple sets of cost codes, with some departments working with more than 15 cost-coding components across more than 50 lines and rows.

Our Solution: We collaborated with the company to configure a unique timesheet that would meet complex needs for multiple stakeholders including contractors, supervisors, vendors, program teams, timekeepers; multiple levels of timesheet approvers; and auditors.

Their Problem: The VMS had to offer an automated function to reconcile and process more than 8000 weekly invoices incorporating cost coding that can vary on an hourly basis.

Our Solution: We automated invoice generation, reconciliation, and delivery with full integration to incorporate all necessary data. Beyond the hundreds of validations set up for time entry, VNDLY created new capabilities to auto-swap cost codes if there were changes. The system can also accommodate manager overrides.

Their Problem: The VMS had to accommodate complex approval rules based on organizational needs and spend authority.

Our Solution: We provided a complex automated approvals engine that connected with the company’s HR system; the VNDLY system inherited the rules, which allowed for multi-layered approvals in key business processes.

Their Problem: The VMS had to manage a wide variety of stakeholder needs.

Our Solution: We delivered a comprehensive solution that works for all stakeholders. The platform is now used by directly-engaged key stakeholders across the company, from departments including operations, engineering, IT, finance and accounting, HR, internal audit, supply chain management, internal controls and compliance, support center, network operations, security, legal, and tax.

Their Problem: The VMS had to support internal audit, external audit, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance requirements.

Our Solution: We provided a secure application with necessary access controls for custom roles; internal and external audit needs could be met using the audit report and other support functions. When running financial audits, users can log in from Oracle, open up VNDLY, and incorporate necessary details.

Their Problem: The company had to be able to manage direct-pay companies with the necessary certificates when taxes are sent directly to taxing authorities instead of vendors.

Our Solution: We easily set up managed taxation as part of the direct-pay company rules.

Outcomes and Benefits

Simple, yet robust built-in platform configurations gave us the ability to customize within existing options, creating a specialized tool that met the majority of our client’s objectives. There were a few areas where we created unique functionality, some of which have been used across VNDLY for other clients since development.

Now that our solution has been live for several months, the company is seeing distinct hard and soft dollar savings benefits. Process efficiencies continue to be realized across the organization, and our automated solution has dramatically cut the daily manual-input work hours of the procurement staff, making them available for more strategic work.

Our client was significantly impacted by the coronavirus only a month after their VNDLY platform went live, revealing unexpected needs. The improved visibility gained into their contract worker and financial information has allowed them to track and communicate with workers much faster as circumstances change quickly. In response to the resulting dramatic economic shifts caused by the pandemic, the company is also relying on us to help them identify and manage costs.

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