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Customer Story: Oil & Gas

Actian Business Xchange: Fueling Efficiencies in the Orders-to-Cash Cycle at Pinnergy

Challenge
Pinnergy’s manual, double-entry invoicing process was hindering sales and billings to top customer accounts. Electronic invoicing did not seem to be an option because customers did not rely on any common back-office system.
Solution
Pinnergy turned to Actian and the Actian Business Xchange platform which enabled Pinnergy to present electronic invoices to all its customers, regardless of the systems they use. Actian Business Xchange supports Petroleum Industry Data Exchange (PIDX) standards, making it the ideal intermediary for Pinnergy and its clients.
Outcome
Actian Business Xchange has enabled Pinnergy to reduce invoice delivery times for onboarded clients by more than 80%. Automation has reduced invoicing bottlenecks and rework efforts (as well as time-to-resolution KPIs and onboarding times). Order-to-cash cycles have improved, as has customer satisfaction.
About Pinnergy
Pinnergy is a leader in diversified energy services and one of America’s largest regional independent oilfield service companies, operating in some of the most active oil and gas regions in Texas and Louisiana. Its portfolio of services includes fluid management, drilling, oil and gas waste disposal, and rentals. By offering this combination of services, Pinnergy enables its customers to streamline their processes and operate more efficiently and safely while reducing associated costs.

The invoicing process at Pinnergy was anything but a well-oiled machine, and everyone involved knew it. But it wasn’t really the fault of anyone at Pinnergy. A leader in diversified energy services and one of America’s largest regional independent oilfield service companies, Pinnergy’s customers represented a wide range of large and small oil and gas industry firms, few of which relied on the same accounts payable system. As a consequence, Pinnergy’s invoices moved from the dispatch system through customer signoff—and then had to be entered into customers’ online electronic data interchange (EDI) systems. It was a tedious manual process involving significant duplication of effort—and data—which increased the potential for errors and disputed invoices. It was also a process that took far too long to execute. It might take Pinnergy between 30 and 90 days just to get an invoice entered into a client’s EDI system.

As Pinnergy’s business grew, order management became even more complex. There were more customers to invoice and higher volumes of transactions to manage. The invoicing process became a bottleneck, resulting in high transaction costs and accounts receivable aging. Pinnergy officials knew that an electronic invoicing solution would dramatically streamline this process, but how could a single solution integrate so many diverse EDI systems?

Solution

Pinnergy’s IT and AR staff began exploring ways to standardize, automate, and, if possible, accelerate the entire customer invoicing process—from delivery to status tracking to collection. The team soon found Actian, the leader in trading-partner enablement and business-to-business invoicing for the oil and gas industry. Actian’s cloud-based Business Xchange platform provides B2B connectivity that links some of the largest oil and gas organizations in the world with their customers and suppliers. 

As a fully-managed B2B integration service, Business Xchange enables trading partners to exchange electronic procurement and supply chain documents regardless of format or enterprise system. This enables trading partners to reduce costs, inefficiencies. and friction throughout their electronic trading relationships—from onboarding to exchanging invoices. And because Business Xchange can work with the XML format specified by the Petroleum Information Data Exchange (PIDX), the platform would enable Pinnergy to move large volumes of data through the order-to-cash process far more quickly and efficiently than in the past. 

Pinnergy initially focused on using Business Xchange to deliver its invoices electronically to its top sixteen customers. Not only did these customers represent 80% of Pinnergy’s overall invoicing volume, but they also already relied on PIDX as their common EDI standard. Pinnergy would only have to create an invoice using data from its NetSuite ERP system and then use Actian Business Xchange DataConnect to upload the invoice to the Business Xchange platform. Once uploaded, invoices could be easily formatted to any customer’s requirements using PIDX standards. Extract, transform, and load (ETL) support built into Business Xchange facilitates seamless delivery of invoices to any customer, regardless of which accounting or other back-office systems they are using.

Benefits

By integrating its enterprise IT systems and workflow with Actian Business Xchange and Actian DataConnect, Pinnergy streamlined and standardized its invoice submittal process. Eliminating manual data entry has reduced Pinnergy’s per-transaction cost as well as the incidence of errors, which has in turn reduced the number of disputed invoices and the amount of rework those disputes entail. Automation has also reduced the average time to submit invoices for payment, which has reduced Pinnergy’s AR aging by approximately 10 days.

Actian Business Xchange has also enabled Pinnergy’s accounting and credit management staff to gain greater visibility of the entire order-to-cash process. Reporting is both timelier and more accurate, which helps Pinnergy deliver better customer service.

"Pinnergy’s success [with Actian Business Xchange] is a great indicator of how automation can level the playing field in the energy services industry, enabling independent businesses with lean IT, accounting, and collection staffs to be more agile and compete successfully with much larger organizations."
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