The Downstream COO: Getting Results. Keeping Results.

Craig Kindleman and David Shimbo

As a downstream COO, you are tasked with getting results – and keeping results.

You specialize in people management, going out into the field to meet with refinery operators, construction managers, logistics personnel, and maybe even the janitorial staff to see what they have to say. But you have to delegate to keep your operations in sync. You need your refinery managers’ boots on the ground. You can’t be everywhere at once.

The COO is the business-change champion of downstream oil and gas. As you collaborate with the CFO, you have a high ability to impact your company – the operations, the sales, the revenue – and the bottom-line financial results.

Operations as the intelligence center

The intelligence center is at the heart of your company and can provide a real-time view of your operations across facilities and performance of operations by product and asset. This enables you to have the ability to determine yield management values across geographies, assets, products, and business unit teams.

That way, you can instantly access accurate information to address ad hoc questions to stay ahead of operations. And you can remove costly and disruptive unplanned events and move to preventive and predictive strategies. You’ll also gain insights at the asset cost level – including costs, trend, downtime, and production rate.

You’ll have focused collaboration to leverage expert knowledge and reduced preparation time and offline discussion topics. And you’ll have one version of the truth from facility gravel to boardroom table.

Did you know that…

  • Only 22% of oil and gas organizations maintain real-time situational awareness throughout the operations
  • Only 20% of oil and gas organizations have real-time visibility across the entire hydrocarbon supply chain
  • You can reduce your capital project costs by 1-3%
  • Full lifecycle capital project management enables seamless transition from project management to operations/maintenance
  • 83% of organizations consider it important to have asset management processes and related metrics standardized across facilities and regularly tracked
  • Only 13% of organizations are able to drive asset performance based on analysis of real-time sensor data along with historical maintenance data
  • You can reduce your MRO inventory by 5-19%

Are you a digital mentor?

Oil and gas COOs are leading the transformation to digital.

For example, are you advising on focusing on asset utilization and operational efficiency? Are you providing all workers with accurate and timely access to cost and operations information? And are you mandating micro-detailed asset performance at each step of operations?

In other words, as a digital mentor, are you leading the charge in your company?

Your accounting and financial capability road map

Your road map to accounting and financial capability starts with centralized financial reporting and continues with digitizing core financial processes, AP/AR automation, governance and compliance and segregation of duties, and treasury and risk management.

For centralized financial reporting, you can make rapid financial integration of future mergers and acquisitions and enable real-time, transaction-level visibility in near-real time.

For core financial processes, you can drive updates to a single journal, general ledger, cost accounting, and profit center accounting. And you can enable increased hydrocarbon margin transparency and intercompany transactions and reconciliations.

For AP and AR automation, you can reduce invoice-processing costs related to integrated invoice routing, exception handling, and invoice management. And, you can take credit management, collections management, and self-billing to the next level. You can also integrate commodity transactions to reduce the need for daily bulk data transfers to third-party solutions and provide tighter management and enforcement of credit limits.

For compliance and governance controls (GRC) and segregation of duties (SOD), you can provide continuous compliance of SOD conflicts to eliminate manual audit work. And you can offer cybersecurity to prevent threats to the core transactional systems by bad actors.

For treasury and risk management, you can manage every activity associated with cash, payments, liquidity, risk, and compliance. And you can help finance gain more control over payment batches, foreign exchange, and commodity exposures.

Downstream all the way

We recently had a customer with 10,000 employees and $17 billion in revenue that needed to integrate its refining and manufacturing execution processes across its facilities – and increase coordination of production. In addition, it needed to increase adoption of IoT data.

We had the opportunity to work with the company on business intelligence and analytics and, although some may call us geeks, we were nearly as excited as they were when the results started rolling in. You can imagine how rewarding it was to see measurable benefits in decision-making, which improved with process-data insights. We also saw positive results stemming from immediate access to stock optimization and performance management across the facilities, products, and teams.

We could go on, but to wrap it up, it’s successes like these that keep us revved up to work in this industry. We’ve said it before, and you’ve likely heard it before, but business is changing faster than it ever has, but slower than it ever will. The oil and gas industry is one of the most exciting fields to be in right now, and the winners will have many reasons to celebrate.

Follow SAP Finance online: @SAPFinance (Twitter) | LinkedIn | Facebook | YouTube


Craig Kindleman

About Craig Kindleman

Craig Kindleman is a senior director in the Oil and Gas Industry business unit at SAP. He advises customer executive teams and leads priority shareholder value initiatives for the oil and gas industry at SAP. Craig has acquired vast knowledge in operations, asset management, marketing, and technology – all based on his experience designing global initiatives for multinational businesses and specializing in high-impact projects.

David Shimbo

About David Shimbo

David Shimbo is responsible for business development and value creation for energy and natural resources accounts at SAP. With a focus on upstream, midstream, and downstream oil companies and oilfield service businesses, he has deep expertise with upstream financials, asset management, maintenance, operational analytics, business case modeling, and benefits quantification. David has oil and gas industry experience with Exxon, BP, and Halliburton and technology experience with IBM, Oracle, and two startups. David is determined to make all SAP projects related to increasing productivity and reducing operating costs.