Summit Liability Solutions is an environmental consulting and services company that provides comprehensive liability management and environmental assessment services.
Summit services leading oil and gas companies in Canada, USA and Australia. Their portfolio of environmental assessment services includes reclamation, remediation, site assessments and drilling waste management services.
Robin Weseen, VP of Operations at Summit, started off managing Summit’s projects in Excel, but as the company gained clients they quickly outgrew their spreadsheets. With no formal site management system in place, critical information was lost, deleted or otherwise made inaccessible as the data grew in volume and complexity.
Summit knew they needed a better project organization tool. Fieldshare was selected because of the visual interface and ability to quickly provide near real-time access to managers, executives and clients.
Thanks to the efficient organization made possible by Fieldshare’s visualization, management, and collaboration capabilities, Robin has seen time savings of up to a year on some projects. Client relationships are stronger and Summit is now using Fieldshare to win new business.
“In our early years, we had entire folders go missing and we didn’t know where they could have gone. Maybe some summer student went in there and accidentally deleted them and didn’t really understand what he was doing”
Robin describes the problems Summit encountered: “In an Excel based system, there’s a greater possibility of deletion of information by accident or on purpose. Information was being painstakingly collected in the field, but then stored in a system where it might just get lost.
When turnover occurred, new trainees couldn’t just pick up where the previous manager left off. Entire project histories could just walk out the door. From Robin’s perspective, the cost was huge: “You might end up getting a site to its rec certification a full year later because information was lost when a project manager left.”
Without cloud or server storage, employees were left to their own devices. “We had a guy who always worked off his laptop and his information was just in there, not in any central location. Well he went to Hawaii for two weeks and the client needed his reports for a board meeting, and we had no way to provide the information.” The legacy software solutions had required too much training, and so went unused when they were needed most.
Summit started looking for better options to store and interact with project information. “We had to find a better system for cataloging the activity on our locations. We needed a representation of our location where we could put site information on top”. That need was one of the reasons we bought Fieldshare.”
“Out of the gate, one of the really early appeals was the visual representation of our location”. Robin tells us, “Fieldshare is used quite extensively throughout the company and even the very slow adopters from the beginning are now in there and committed to using it.” When information is visual, it’s immediately accessible for dissemination. The visual interface also makes the software easier to use, which leads to higher adoption rates.
With Fieldshare in place, Robin and his Clients can now see what’s happening on their projects in near real-time.
For Summit, one of their clients’ biggest pressure points is staying on-budget. “Fieldshare has been a huge help in not overshooting a client’s budget. Projects go over budget, that happens. There’s too much uncertainty not to, but it’s about letting the client know in advance and not telling them afterwards that you were $10,000 too high.”
The fact that Summit had the best and most knowledgeable users of Fieldshare became a new selling point for the company. “We used it as a marketing tool for ourselves; it’s unquestionable the value that was involved. Our clients liked that we had this system that would take care of their stuff. It drove business.” Summit was able to implement Fieldshare to solve their original organizational problem, and has gone on to reap greater rewards in the form of new business opportunities and greater overall efficiency.