W ith billions of dollars at stake, clear and efficient lines of communication between owner operators and their EPC partners are essential for successful execution of capital asset development projects. When these break down, owners frequently experience schedule overruns; budget overruns; manufacturing process setbacks; regulatory issues; and even safety incidents during design, construction, and subsequent operations.
Rapid, accurate, and verifiable exchange of enormous volumes of technical information between an owner and its EPC, and timely review of design information received from the EPC, are critical functions that require highly-specialized and experienced document control professionals.
Responsibility for document control operations distracted client from its core focus
Our client, a major energy company, operates both onshore and offshore assets around the world. Many of these assets are technically complex, incur enormous capital investments, and are located in remote and often physically challenging environments. With highly volatile energy prices and intense global competition, capital asset development is a high risk, high reward endeavor. In this environment, mitigating every possible risk is vital.
In 2014, at the successful completion of an unrelated project, our client asked Access Sciences to review its document control function, and what we found was far from surprising. As is common practice, our client used resources from multiple staffing agencies to operate its document control operation while managing the function internally. As the company and its document control needs grew, this model was not scalable and presented a number of issues:
All of these challenges proved to be a significant distraction from our client’s core focus – finding, extracting, processing, and selling hydrocarbons. There had to be a better way.
We have found that the most successful organizations stay laser-focused on improving their core products or services, reducing overhead, and maximizing efficiency and profit. This focus extends to mission-critical support functions such as document control – but a key challenge is that the competencies for operating and improving support functions rarely overlap with the core mission. Outsourcing part or all of a support function can add high value capabilities to the organization without the associated burden of hiring, developing, and managing employees, or the inherent challenges posed by staffing agencies. This client chose to bypass these issues by partnering with Access Sciences to outsource its document control function.
With the introduction of a strong Access Sciences’ manager, documented standards, repeatable processes, and a staff of qualified, vetted, and experienced professionals, the document control group quickly transformed into a highly functioning team. We were able to:
Our client’s satisfaction with Access Sciences’ outsourced document control service is BENEFITS 5 Client resources are now able to focus on their core business, losing the distraction of operating the document control function 5 With an Access Sciences’ manager as the single point of accountability, the client’s oversight burden has decreased significantly 5 The client enjoys a lower total cost of operations for the document control function evident as our team has grown as the client’s portfolio of assets and projects has expanded. Starting in 2014 with a staff of 8, our team now includes 18 highly (cross) trained document control professionals that support our client on projects around the world.