Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

Simplifying software selection

Save time and headaches by hiring an expert software consultant to assist in the software selection process.

THE CLIENT

Our client specializes in pipe unloading, handling and installation for the oil and gas industry. Because they are the stewards of all joints from mill to right-of-way, they received constant calls asking for status updates and information. As the company grew, this system was no longer scalable.

THE PROBLEM

Entrance created a custom software logistics support tool for the client that automatically tracks the status of millions of joints of pipe, providing customized inventory reports and creating a pipeline status history database. Not only does the software reduce time and effort spent on tracking pipe, it also provides accurate and timely data capture, as well as consistent documentation.

The application only tracked MTR (mill test report) documents, and these documents could only be associated with an individual pipe. Our client wanted a more complete solution that could track many different documents across the lifecycle of a pipeline.

As Entrance got involved with the vetting process for a solution to this problem, we also determined that they needed to be able to use metadata to link related documents. Offline document capture, OCR, and electronic forms for less error prone data entry were also priorities.

THE SOLUTION

After the client’s business needs were evaluated, Entrance began by researching good options to fill this need. Particularly as OCR capabilities were required, we determined right away that it did not make a lot of sense to respond with a custom solution.

Eventually three choices emerged as viable options, which we further narrowed based on a scoring system that weighed items like implementation and recurring costs, time to implement, and ease of use. Eventually a product called Laserfiche won out because it fit all of the client’s needs well, in addition to being flexible with licensing.

The Laserfiche solution was integrated with our client’s customer portal through an API. As a result of OCR and metadata, customers can now find documents, and those that are related to them, very easily.

Since the client spent the time to vet multiple options before moving forward, they are very happy with how well this off-the-shelf product has met their needs. Now that more information is available across the complete lifecycle of a pipeline, it has become more valuable. This is a real crowd pleaser for our client’s customers, particularly as the client looks to solidify their place in a competitive market.

For more on this custom software solution, check out this blog…


Carol Entrance Software Consulting making software better