Every project at Rocket Jones goes through our 4-Stage Process. It’s our way of making sure you get great software; with such a consistent process, nothing falls through the cracks, our team and yours will be on the same page, and it makes estimating timeline and cost more accurate. Our first two Stages, Stage 1: Explore + Imagine and Stage 2: Plan + Sketch, start the project off with discovery, research, collaboration, planning, and designing. A lot of work happens before a single line of code is written, and it’s one of the things that sets Rocket apart from other developers. Currently, we’re in the middle of Stage 2 with a really neat client, and we want to share that story with you.

East Texas Salt Water Disposal (ETSWD) is a company from, you guessed it, east Texas that contracts with oil companies to safely dispose of the salt water used in drilling. Their clients pay ETSWD based on the amount of salt water disposed. That means accurate reporting and data collection are critical for both the oil companies and ETSWD. Our work for them employs a web application, mobile app, and software integration to improve their data reporting and accuracy. Overall, the integrated software system saves hours for multiple staff members doing manual data entry, and it’s streamlined their billing process with a slick software API integration. The new software creates a consistent and reliable system that helps eliminate human error and reduce costs.

The Web Application

Before the software system, data reporting happened manually. Once a month, the oil companies would call or email ETSWD and report the amount of salt water used and disposed. Office personnel would manually record the information. Additionally, a tech from ETSWD visits each oil injection well daily to record well use and performance readings. These two data reports would be used to cross-check accuracy, and they would be reconciled for billing purposes.

Now, with the web application to manage all data, the oil companies each have a unique login, so they can simply upload a CSV file or do an entry themselves. This reduces potential user error—no accidentally deleted email or voicemail, no misheard or mis-written number over the phone, and one fewer step overall.

The office staff is able to quickly review the customer submitted data, checking the flagged potential errors that need to be corrected before reconciling with the ETSWD tech info. This is a critical step for the billing process, and this software feature replaces hours spent inspecting a lengthy spreadsheet to find and correct errors.

The web application also allows ETSWD to manage company profile data for each client and manage of their individual oil leases. Also in the project is reporting and raw data exports for company decision making.

The Mobile App

Before the mobile app, the field techs would take notes as they went, then call back to the office and report numbers to be recorded. (they actually had a crappy app, that worked most of the time but didn’t communicate with the rest of their system. It was a lot of copy and paste from excel reports. It also wasn’t reliable if they were in an area with no cell service) Now, with the integrated mobile app, each tech can record data on his or her phone while in the field. It’s fast and easy, and it eliminates two steps from the reporting process. The app’s other features include:

  • Offline data syncing (when out of internet connection)
  • Provides “look-back” data for easy comparison with previous days
  • Allows editing of data from the field
  • Manages well data by regions and users
  • iOS + Android
  • Syncs all collected data to the cloud-based web application once internet is available

The Billing Software Integration

After both the oil company and the techs have made their reports, the software flags any major discrepancies in the numbers. The staff does some work to see what caused it and resolve the issue. Then, when all the data is finalized, it’s pushed through to their cloud-based accounting software (Sage Intactt) and invoices are sent. The billing process is fully automated through a custom API, so there’s no copying data back and forth or uploading CSV files.

Next Steps

As soon as we’re finished with Stage 1 and 2, we’ll use the detailed designs we’ve created to start building the software. The web application and integration will be built first and then the mobile app. The project is planned to launch in April, so check back for another update on the finished product.