DSI Blog


Why TETRA Technologies Calls the Mobile Supply Chain ‘Key’ to Industry Survival

Posted by on February 3, 2015 3:00 pm

Throughout OVCS, supply chain conversations were a dominant theme as attendees and presenters explored challenges, best practices and next steps. Several Oracle users shared their own stories, including Elijio, who shared details about TETRA’s mobile supply chain journey to help give attendees insightful context around which they can begin to think about their own mobility strategies.

Here are some highlights from Elijio’s presentation, from the initial identification of challenges to the results that are now being recognized just a few short months after implementation.

Identifying the Challenges

Before you tackle any sort of solution implementation, you not only have to identify the solution—you must also start by identifying the problems you want to solve. TETRA focused their mobile-optimization on one particular division of the company, CSI Compressco, which faced a number of challenges.

“They had their own separate IT and accounting team, separate from the rest of TETRA,” Elijio says. “They were using internally developed field data capture systems for the mechanics, an internally developed CRM and sales order system and an outdated legacy general ledger system. None of these systems were integrated and therefore required a significant amount of clerical labor to move data between systems.”

Other challenges included limited data for critical business processes like inventory tracking and management, invoicing, P&L visibility and the measurement of key performance metrics.

Adds Elijio, “Our smallest division was operating with almost as many IT and accounting employees as much larger divisions [of TETRA].”

tetra technologies oracle value chain summitThe Search for a Solution

Once you’ve identified the challenges, the process naturally flows to an identification of goals—that way, you can select a technology solution that will help you achieve those goals. Here’s a look at what TETRA outlined as their solution needs:

  • Bridge the gap between the company’s inventory and billing systems, as well as vendors
  • Create visibility into company operations in all locations and eliminate discrepancies between departments and job sites
  • Offer one centralized platform that’s device-agnostic and scalable
  • Seamlessly integrate into existing system of record (JDE)
  • Features on- and off-premise functionality (on- or off-line)

“Our intent was to use the small Compressco division as a proving ground to find, test and implement a field data capture system that we would then roll out to the other divisions, 10 times the size of Compressco with global operations.”

Once the game plan was finalized, TETRA began evaluating solutions, a process that led them to DSI for a number of reasons including seamless integration with JDE, a user-friendly development environment and on- and off-line functionality

The Results Are In

TETRA took a bit of a risk with the implementation timeline and went live on September 1, a decision Elijio says would make most CFOs cringe.

“Most CFOs and controllers would be deadly scared of going live with a new system the last month of the quarter, especially if you have to file a 10Q with the SEC and publish earnings on predetermined dates,” he says.

Yet TETRA went live with the DSI solution “without a hitch,” and after only five months, the Compressco division has started to reap a number of benefits, including:

  • Increased efficiency and streamlined processes led to reduced support resources and consolidation
  • Significant improvement in financial visibility with P&Ls by unit, mechanic, area, etc.
  • Intangible cost and productivity savings by eliminating manual data entry
  • Replaced obsolete or internally developed systems with a scalable solution
  • Created a technology link to vendors that allows for real-time orders, improved work capital and increased forecast accuracy.

And these results couldn’t come at a better time.

“When we started this process, the price of oil was near $100 per barrel,” Elijio says. “Today it is less than $50 per barrel. The need to reduce costs, reduce inventory levels and improve visibility is even greater today than it was 18 months ago.”

Now, TETRA has P&L’s by geographic area, by mechanic, by unit and by customer, data that lets them easily spot where they’re profitable—and where they’re not. Data flows seamlessly from one system to the other, vastly improving data integrity. And because the solution is scalable, it can now be deployed to TETRA’s other divisions, a roll-out that’s now underway.

Most importantly? With a fully integrated and mobile supply chain solution in place, TETRA is now in a stronger position to succeed amid a high level of industry volatility.

“We’re getting constant pressure from our oil and gas customers to reduce pricing, which means that becoming the most cost-efficient organization with real-time data to make decisions rapidly is key to survival in our industry,” Elijio says. “If we know what the mechanics are doing, what parts they need, what issues they have, all in real-time, we can manage our parts warehouses and our suppliers, we can distribute workloads accordingly and we can accelerate our cash flow cycle to more quickly generate cash.”

Interested in learning more about TETRA’s mobile supply chain evolution? Take a look at the presentation deck or feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. A big thanks to Elijio for sharing the TETRA story at the Oracle Value Chain Summit. We’ll check back with an update as TETRA’s mobile supply chain journey continues.

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