The American Oil & Gas Reporter Tech Trends: ERP Systems Designed for Upstream Improve Efficiency, Flexibility

W Energy Software’s Chief Revenue Officer, Mark Hill, authored a featured article in The American Oil & Gas Reporter’s January 2021 digital publication. Titled ‘ERP Systems Designed for Upstream Improve Efficiency, Flexibility‘, Hill discusses how the choice of accounting software could be holding companies back from significant cost savings and efficiency. 

By Mark Hill

TULSA–Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, or more appropriately, the elephant in the datacenter. When it comes to enterprise resource planning, the energy sector is stuck in a rut with companies falling into one of two categories: Those that still manage their business on old, broken technology and spreadsheets; and those with the resources to adhere to an ERP approach that offers broad capability, but strands them in a high-cost structure that puts their business agility in chains.

ERP software is one of the most important technology choices an oil and gas operating company can make. It impacts all facets of corporate health and wellbeing, including general and administrative, operational expenses, employee satisfaction, vendor relations and competitive advantage. It is also central to an organization’s ability to pivot and adapt to our industry’s ever-changing market conditions.

For a decade, operators in the oil and gas industry have pinned their hopes largely on “big box” ERP initially developed for non-oil and gas applications, but traditional ERP software ultimately leaves energy companies with a million-piece LEGO® set and the joy of assembling it. And with every piece assembled, yet another link is forged in a chain that ties down the organization with unrestrained costs, making it impossible to move quickly. It’s not what the oil and gas business needs in today’s evolving world, and it’s also not what investors are looking for.

Enterprise resource planning is a concept that grew out of large-scale manufacturing and high-volume transaction industries such as building passenger jets or selling a smart phone worldwide, where complex supply chains and multinational accounting must be automated and optimized at every moment spanning hundreds of business processes. Despite our industry’s unique complexity, the supply chain and accounting requirements for drilling and operating wells (which may span 30 discrete business processes) really are not that complicated in comparison. Their complexity is more in the physical nature of the industry’s products and the locations where they reside.

For larger energy companies, the ERP concept tends to be well known in the C-suite as a method to manage assets at scale, gain visibility into financials, and optimize capital and operating expenses. Instead of dozens of point solutions, larger energy companies have gravitated to ERP software developed decades ago as an on-premise suite of applications. While the technology undeniably has created robust and reliable capabilities to manage the digital and physical oil field under a steady-state market, it also can require an army of consultants to deploy and comes with a bloated box of building blocks, providing cost and complexity overkill while still leaving the industry with underwhelming capability and being disconnected from the most important physical commodity capabilities that address the industry’s challenges.


To read more, click here to visit the featured article in The American Oil & Gas Reporter’s January 2021 digital publication.


About W Energy Software

Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, W Energy Software (formerly Waterfield Energy) offers the oil & gas industry’s only unified ERP solution built for the cloud that is relied on by more than 100 upstream and midstream companies to accelerate business performance, improve operational efficiency, and drive costs down.  W Energy Software combines precision-built software in one extendable cloud-based workspace with an intimate understanding of the oil & gas business to deliver solutions that offer flexibility, affordability, and continuous upgrades. Unlike other ERP software that loosely ties together a mix of legacy solutions and fragmented technologies, W Energy Software designed a unified upstream and midstream ERP platform to seamlessly track oil, gas, and NGL from the wellhead through transportation and marketing, eliminating data silos as well as the burden and costs of maintaining multiple systems.  With W Energy Software, oil & gas companies stay lean and agile with the tools they need to adapt to market changes and meet evolving customer needs head-on, all while gaining the confidence that their business is running on the latest technology. For more information, please visit



Mark Hill, Chief Revenue Officer, brings nearly 30 years of experience as a senior executive, sales leader, and technology thought leader to W Energy Software.  Prior to joining the company, he was Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at P2 Energy Solutions and served as Vice President of Sales at industry-leading Commodity Management provider Allegro Development.  Hill has also held leadership, sales, and technology positions at Ikon Science, Divine (formerly Sagemaker), and leading energy companies including Calpine and Dynegy.
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