Pittsburgh-based natural resource company CNX has served as an energy leader in the region for the better part of two centuries. In recent years especially, the company has had to draw on its deep history of innovation and growth to drive the industry forward — as sustainability concerns around responsibly sourced gas and methane emissions have continued to grow.
However, in order to do so effectively, CNX needed to rethink its approach to enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology and business management. It needed to work to reduce overall risk, centralize and streamline its data, and modernize its company-wide processes. It needed to go to the cloud.
Today, through RISE with SAP, the company’s productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness are steadily increasing, giving CNX more time to focus on its mission: delivering quality, sustainable energy solutions for its customers, today and well into the future.
Cloud Transformation in a Transforming Industry
CNX has made significant sustainability investments for decades, a necessity to keep pace in the contemporary natural resource industry landscape. In fact, the company has been net-zero since 2013. Continuing to move forward, though, required CNX to invest in intelligent business management technology that could push it even further onto the cutting edge.
Its transformation plans mainly revolved around three key considerations, according to CNX Vice President of Information Technology Al Jones:
- De-risking the company’s ongoing technology road map
- Building a stronger support model
- Lowering costs
“Those things really resonated as we were evaluating RISE with SAP,” Jones said. “Once we saw the value, we saw a way forward, and then we were able to really get things moving.”
“RISE-ing” to the Challenge
RISE with SAP is designed to adapt and change, so that companies like CNX can use it to get to where they need to go. For CNX, cloud transformation on its own timeline and its own terms was an appealing proposition for managing its significant projected cash flow in 2022.
“Technology is like air to the business that we run,” Jones said. “To be able to embrace it at our own pace while continuing to deliver our product to market is invaluable and vital to our business’ continuous growth.”
CNX’s ERP technology supports over 180 applications and seven main value streams, turning previously disparate systems into a cohesive data warehouse and a single source of truth.
“We’re now poised for a successful future in the cloud,” Jones said. “We have a more structured and disciplined approach, and it is one that offers reliable visibility into our data and enables us to both effectively strategize and execute on our company’s goals going forward.”
System to Support a Sustainable Future
The lower total cost of ownership in RISE with SAP also equips CNX to pursue other organizational sustainability goals, including two areas of significant investment for the company, according to Jones. Both revolve around the company’s continued push past net-zero when it comes to methane emissions.
“We’ve invested heavily in a data project designed to track and report our emissions with far greater accuracy,” Jones said. “In the process, we plan to replace pneumatically controlled valves with electrically controlled ones, and our technology systems will serve as the backbone.”
The company is also embracing drone-based and satellite-based technology to track its methane emissions — as well as maintain and strengthen its role as a responsible supporter of natural gas.
What’s Next for CNX
Opportunities now abound for the leading natural resource company.
CNX’s upgraded approach to ERP provides it with not only a better understanding of its data and decision making but with more time for its people to focus on strategic projects that can bring in greater revenue. Projects previously in the background — such as the creation of an energy incubator — can now take center stage as proficiency increases across the entire company.
“We are on a journey to do good for our customers,” Jones said. “This brings us further along on that journey, a journey that’s possible because of the technology we have and the system we’ve built to support it.”
Lloyd Adams is managing director of the East Market Unit at SAP.