O&G Leader Ryan Lailey
Chief Technology Officer, WolfePak Software
WolfePak is excited to debut its new executive series: Q&A with Oil and Gas Leaders.
We’re fortunate to work with seasoned executives across a range of areas, including automation, accounting, compliance, cloud computing and SaaS, ERP and much more. Our aim is to share insights, ideas and tips from some of the brightest executives in the oil and gas industry.
Our first Q&A is with Ryan Lailey, who serves as our chief technology officer. Ryan joined our leadership team when WolfePak acquired DocVue, the oil and gas industry’s gold standard for document management. Ryan has more than 15 years of software experience in the oil and gas industry, as well as in operations, sales, marketing and investments.
Ryan leads the product strategy and development at WolfePak, delivering the product roadmap across all the company’s solutions, including ERP, mobile and the DocVue family of products.
As chief technology officer, you are responsible for the company’s delivery of its strategic roadmap. Has anything changed in light of today’s market conditions?
Our number one focus is taking care of our customers. We’re doing everything we can to help them adjust to the “new normal” of business. Product-wise, we adjusted to the new requirements and regulations as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, including helping clients get online, respond to the market turmoil and assist with the CARES Act.
WolfePak is offering our General Ledger/ACH Module for free to customers for six months. We work with our clients to navigate their specific market scenarios, helping them understand how this information is now flowing through their accounting systems and what reporting they need.
Oil prices going negative is something no one thought would ever be possible, so when this happened our team immediately began investigating the impact to our customers and what required changes were needed to our software to account for them. We investigated, programed and released this functionality within 2 weeks to make sure our customers were prepared.
What priorities are the WolfePak team focused on right now? For the rest of 2020?
In the last 30-45 days we’ve introduced five to 10 new or enhanced features to support customers as they move their back office operations online. Cloud adoption has rapidly increased in the wake of COVID-19, so this work is priority. Customers know that the benefits of cloud computing — reduced costs and eliminating onsite server and maintenance upkeep — far outweigh any fears or perceived risks. And our customers are happy to do it.
Outside of helping our customers, our biggest strategic priority as a product team is designing and introducing new advanced insights and analytics, as well as continued integration of the DocVue product lines into the WolfePak ERP solution.
Our customers are active in our roadmap planning. Oil and gas operations and data management are complex, even in the best of conditions, and this industry is in a constant state of evolution. As every company is unique, it is our job in product leadership to collaborate with our customers to learn how much of their workflow we can optimize through automation.
How is WolfePak helping its customers digitize their workflows if they weren’t online before?
In the current environment, manual workflows or physical file rooms are not ideal. People are unable to get into the office to pull a well file or approve an invoice, so WolfePak Document Management (formerly DocVue) is helping our customers with its digital repository and workflows.
Digitizing documents is exactly what Document Management does. Employees working from home can log into the system from any computer with an Internet connection and access the information they need to do their jobs.
Within the accounting world, if you haven’t made your workflows electronic, then something as simple as asking many people to sign off or approve invoices is difficult and inefficient. And then with the integration of DocVue into the WolfePak ERP, customers can automate this entire process.
When they go back to the office they will be more efficient in this environment, too, reducing their reliance on huge file rooms of documents and paper-based information.
What advice would you give to customers working through this kind of transformation?
Depending upon the size of the organization, companies store hundreds of thousands or even millions of documents in filing rooms onsite. If you try to digitize everything at once, you’ll get overwhelmed.
We advise companies to start with a “point forward” process, meaning that the company goes digital on an agreed upon date. This stops the influx of paper coming into the company as they move their workloads online. Then companies determine what documents they use and access the most and start digitizing from there.
What do you think is the biggest digital transformation challenge that business leaders face?
Technology is no longer the biggest issue, like it may have been five or 10 years ago. The introduction and adoption of cloud technologies makes setting up a digital repository very easy and requires no IT infrastructure.
The challenge shifts away from technology to change management. It is now about culture and getting everyone on board. The change that comes from holding a physical piece of paper to searching online and retrieving it can be scary to some, while others are quick to adopt. You have to plan for this transition and expect any changes or process shifts to accommodate it.
What types of organization leadership skills are needed to embrace digital transformation?
Transformation must start at the top with company leadership — they set the vision. Give employees an overview of how the digitized company will run and the resulting efficiency gains. This includes inputting, routing and retrieving all information required to run the business. It’s going to make everyone’s job easier. If employees can replace rummaging around a file cabinet with a Google-like search for the document they want, everyone will appreciate that.
In an oil and gas company, everyone understands the impact of pricing. Employees will appreciate and rally around an effort to make the entire company more efficient, saving time, resources and money.
If you can cut steps and save money then the learning curve is worth it. Everyone can get behind the idea that the company should do everything it can to operate enough within current market conditions and will be much better positioned once the market recovers. The sustainability benefit of removing paper processes is also understood to teams, and something people can support.
Want help moving paper to digital? Contact our WolfePak team and let’s talk.