How Oil and Gas Companies Can Manage Remote Workers with Mobile Workforce Solutions

How Oil and Gas Companies Can Manage Remote Workers with Mobile Workforce Solutions

The oil and gas industry has a lot of moving parts. Your operations aren't all based in a home office; they're spread across the state or country. You have the challenge of monitoring remote staff, activities, and equipment with mobile workforce solutions.

Manual mobile workforce management (MWM) remains a core challenge in building a sustainable business in this industry. Therefore, you need custom software that meets all your business requirements. 

In this post, we’ll look at the mobile workforce landscape in oil and gas and show you the deficiencies of off-the-shelf products. We’ll also demonstrate the benefits of building custom software to manage your mobile teams. 

Mobile Workforce Challenges in Oil & Gas

According to the American Petroleum Institute, there will be almost 1.9 million job openings in the natural gas & oil, and petrochemical industries by 2035. Therefore, as the workforce in this industry grows, managing its mobility can be strenuous. Some of its challenges include:

  1. Communication: Communication plays a significant role in all industries. Through communication, employers and employees are clear on task requirements, deadlines, performance metrics, etc. However, a communication breach can be chaotic.

    Remote workers and their employers in the oil and gas sector must constantly stay connected to ensure being on the page on all activities. When the communication link is weak or disconnected, there’ll be unclear expectations, mismanaged tasks, unknown task status updates, less productivity, increased hazards & injuries, and disabilities.

  2. Data Security: With the rate at which cyber crimes skyrocket today, the oil and gas sector is not left out. In May, the Darkside Hacking Group launched a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. Several factors contribute to the successful launch of a cyber-attack, and compromising the security of mobile devices on remote sites is one.  

    If field workers lack adequate knowledge of cybersecurity measures, there could be a data breach. This data breach could be in the form of phishing, malware, virus, ransomware, etc. Consequently, there will be a loss of data, finance, damaged reputation, and delayed workflow. 

  3. Slow Adoption of New Technologies: Tech is aggressively growing, yet not every deskless worker keeps up with its latest trends and development. Many mobile workers are stuck with old tech practices and aren't embracing or open to new methods of executing tasks. 
    In this case, they grapple with collaboration through dedicated software solutions, adherence to digital work orders, etc. In the end, these lead to accidents, defying regulatory policies, and lawsuits. 

Where Mobile Workforce Management Software Falls Short

MWM solutions contribute to the success of remote work in the oil and gas sector. Yet, many of its existing software solutions are limited in functionalities because of their generic nature. Let’s examine areas in which the software solution falls short.

Customization and Flexibility

Generic software may be capable of various functions but ineffective in meeting a company's total needs. When employed in your oil and gas company, it may leave obvious gaps that’ll affect your workflows. For example, it may be unable to handle onboarding processes, safety protocols, reporting needs, supply chain, inventory, and field service management.

Integration Issues

Off-the-shelf software can’t integrate with existing systems and technologies in the oil and gas industry. These systems include Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and asset management systems. 

To connect mobile software with these systems, you need to contact the developers to add custom solutions that'll aid integrations. In most cases, this step will prove abortive. This off-the-shelf software shortcoming is where custom software leads the way.

Scalability and Performance

Statistics have shown that the oil and gas industry is the eighth largest in the world. Also, the United States Oil and Gas Industry has 10.3 million jobs available, while 218,996 Americans work in oil drilling and gas extraction. This data shows how massive the industry is and the number of mobile workers it supports.

Therefore, generic software is restricted as it’s unable to manage mobile workers or activities on work sites. In addition, the software can lag or crash when attempting to operate or scale. This could negatively impact operational efficiency, productivity, time to market, etc. 

Security and Data Privacy

Security has become a bigger deal for the oil and gas industry. This is due to processing volumes of sensitive and proprietary data and being a target for cybercriminals. Many developers may overlook strengthening their software’s security against vulnerabilities such as ransomware, malware, and hacking launched against the oil and gas sector, as seen in past years. 

Generic workforce solutions may not have security features like data encryption, access controls, 2FA, real-time scanning, automatic updates, etc. Also, the software privacy policy may put your company at risk of indiscriminate data sharing, storage, or use. As a result, you'll be flouting compliance regulations which can lead to lawsuits, huge fines, customer loss, or low sales.

Benefits of Custom Mobile Workforce Management Software

Generic or mass-produced mobile software is limited in functionalities. Your oil and gas company needs custom software to fill this void and achieve a lot more. Some of its benefits include:

Personalized Features

Custom software is designed with your industry in mind. The developer does not just pack several features that may not be useful to your company on the software. Instead, the software contains features that will serve all your industry needs regarding safety protocols, exploration, refining, marketing, transportation, and regulatory policies. It also aids scalability and improves performance.

Improved Efficiency and Productivity

When your company’s mobile app software is custom-made, it supports automation, clarifying the tasks to execute and issues to address. A custom software solution allows you to automate manual and repetitive tasks, prepare and distribute work orders, schedule tasks, allocate tasks & resources, and access team reports. 

In turn, you eliminate manual and repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and ease the back office’s burdens. Similarly, your company reduces human errors, optimizes time to market, avoids overlaps or gaps, and improves customer satisfaction.


Existing systems and technologies in your oil and gas company are connectible through custom software. Once connected, it prevents data duplication or manual data entry. Integration also improves real-time data exchange and accuracy.

Data Security & Policy

Custom workforce solutions handle all your data security and privacy needs. Your company is protected from cyber risks, vulnerabilities, and non-adherence to data privacy regulations. Also, you can capture data from various sources for analysis and insights. The insights from custom mobile workforce solutions aid decision-making for resource planning, facilitating predictive maintenance, and optimization strategies. 

How to Build Custom Software

  1. Define Business Needs: Assemble your team to brainstorm and list all challenges your oil and gas company encounters often. These could be onboarding employees, customer experience & retention, supply chain, field service management, organizing webinars, data storage issues, notifications management, profitability, and location tracking. 
  2. Outline Custom Software Features: After you have a framework of the business case your software needs to solve, your team should pull together a wishlist of custom software features and functionalities your application should have. Features you may list based on some issues we highlighted earlier can be interactive UI, cloud-based only software, accurate GPS, etc. Your development team can help you flesh out the details. 
  3. Get a Software Development Team: This is where you need to find a proficient development partner. Some companies have the internal capabilities to resource a project like this, but many don’t. When looking to outsource, make sure the company you choose has experience developing mobile workforce management software for the oil and gas industry. 

Our team of expert developers at EnterBridge will get to know your business, assess your struggles, and suggest the best custom mobile software solutions’ features and functionalities. 

Start Keeping up with Mobile Workforce Growth

With the growth of remote workforce in the world today, it is pertinent that your oil and gas company keeps up. To keep up with this growth, trends, and latest developments, and enhance productivity, your company should adopt custom mobile workforce solutions. Are you ready to start? Schedule a call today to see how we can help you manage your mobile workforce.

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