Standardizing Safety at Work

November 17, 2011 by Tim Clark and Brian Wasson

Baker Hughes implemented SAP EHS Management to standardize safety. (photo: Baker Hughes)

Oil exploration and related services is an inherently risky business with lots of “moving parts” (real and otherwise) to keep track of. With myriad regulations and data to monitor across multiple jurisdictions, the challenge is how to collect and manage data in order to best manage risk.

As a top-tier provider of oil and gas services with $13 billion in annual revenue, 51,000 employees and facilities in 72 countries, SAP customer Baker Hughes knew it had to standardize its process and systems. The company makes drill bits and advises oil and gas companies where to drill and how to maximize their reservoirs.

Process Takes Priority

According to Baker Hughes executive Monty Lynes, HSE manager, Performance Improvement, the company faces an enormous, self-imposed challenge of delivering “sustainable benefits to all stakeholders.”

Even though Lynes goal is to implement an IT system powerful enough to handle the company’s complex regulatory and compliance needs, he first spent a great deal of time examining the company’s process. “We had challenges with disparate information management systems,” he said. “We couldn’t thread things together properly.”

A typical Baker Hughes business report was derived from different sources and the data was confusing. These fragmented systems were unable to generate overall views, potential compliance risks, or increased support and maintenance costs, for instance.

As a result, Lynes knew he had to introduce a standard software solution, starting with Incident Management, that supports change in facilitating the company’s Health, Safety, Environment & Security (HSE&S) business processes to improve workplace health and safety.

“We have to simplify and standardize,” said Lynes. “We have to be fluid and adaptable to changes in our business environment, especially when buying, selling, and spinning off companies.”

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The oil and drilling industry is an inherently risky business. (image: Baker Hughes)

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Baker Hughes is a provider of oil and gas services in 72 countries (photo: Baker Hughes)

Seeking a Solution

Lynes sought out a comprehensive suite of IT solutions to support the company’s environment, health, and safety processes. It had to be innovative and user friendly, cost effective, with robust on-demand analytics, and able to leverage master data and keep pace with the business.

Not surprisingly, the most exhaustive step in the entire process was vendor selection, according to Lynes. “We looked at Gartner and identified 10 top-tier vendors. We narrowed down to five, then three, and then we took a close look at adaptability. We chose SAP EHS Management but not because we are an SAP shop.”

Lynes was impressed with SAP’s global outlook and ability to serve up multiple languages. He also found SAP to be cost-effective with licensing and support infrastructure in place. And he was also impressed with the analytics capabilities of SAP BusinessObjects.

“SAP offers more robust analysis and reporting than competitors. It’s superior. The things you can do and the graphics capabilities are amazing. You should also be able to hit any instance on mobile device to look at it. We are mobile.”

All told, Lynes said it took 10 months to build a business case, gain approval and hit enterprise deployment of SAP EHS Management. “Partnering with SAP you can do this.”

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