Western Midstream delivers safe, sustainable energy that helps to improve people’s everyday lives. Operating in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado, the company processes and transports oil and natural gas via an extensive network of plants and pipelines.
Ted Tomes, director of spatial data and document control at Western Midstream, explained, “We bridge the gap between upstream energy production and downstream sales and distribution. Documentation enables us to plan, manage and optimize our operations—from schematics that help us maintain our processing facilities to work permits that outline our obligations to communities that live close to our pipelines.”
To manage documents, Western Midstream relied on several systems and departmental archives, plus many boxes packed with paper files. For employees reliant on quick access to information for their work, this decentralized strategy carried major drawbacks.
“Information was heavily siloed, creating efficiency challenges when searching for content in our paper archives,” added Tomes. “Users spent much of their time trying to find the latest version of documents, which hampered productivity and process efficiency. As a result, our content team devoted many hours to costly remedial work, vetting and consolidating documents to provide consistent data.”
The previous content strategy also reduced the efficiency of important compliance-related tasks. With documents scattered across multiple repositories, Western Midstream personnel spent significant time sourcing information required by regulators.
“We looked for a smarter approach that would break down information silos and simplify the way our users interact with content,” noted Tomes.
OpenText will be so useful during audits, helping to minimize time burdens that could severely disrupt our operations.
At the start of the project, Western Midstream had a clear set of objectives but was unsure of how to turn its vision into reality. The company launched an in-depth evaluation of potential partners, and ultimately selected OpenText.
Gregg Greene, Digital Technology Engineering Advisor at Western Midstream, explained, “We wanted a partner with real expertise and experience in content management, and the OpenText Professional Services team fit the bill perfectly. From our first discussions, their team clearly understood our business goals. And their solution offered excellent document management capabilities and ease of use.”
Western Midstream is now working with OpenText Professional Services to implement the new solutions.
“We’ve run several multi-day workshops with OpenText Professional Services, which helped us to accelerate the deployment roadmap,” added Greene. “The OpenText team has been great—they are really committed to our success.”
Using Extended ECM, Western Midstream is building more robust document workflows, backed by full version control. Seamless integration between OpenText and the company’s core business solutions will enable users to access up-to-date documents within their chosen application, with any content changes captured and tracked.
“The integration capabilities of OpenText Extended ECM are excellent, eliminating the need for complex customizations,” commented Greene. “OpenText Extended ECM makes a huge difference to the user experience, too. Our teams can pull up the content they need, without having to go back and forth between different interfaces, which will help them work more efficiently.”
In addition, Western Midstream will harness Magellan to gain deeper insights into its content. The company plans to use the AI and machine learning platform to analyze and classify large volumes of paper and electronic documents—identifying key attributes and search terms and determining the business value of the content.
Tomes continued, “We’re very excited about using OpenText Magellan. The platform will let us search for an exceptionally wide range of attributes to enrich our understanding of our content. And being able to automate this process will save countless hours of manual work.”
With OpenText, we are well on course to building smarter document processes that will help us to deliver safe, sustainable energy to our customers.
Working with OpenText, Western Midstream is breaking down information silos and moving towards a more agile, consolidated document management model. Rather than multiple versions of documents scattered across different locations and storage repositories, the new model will provide faster access to consistent, accurate and up-to-date content.
Tomes added, “Having one source of trusted information will make retrieving specific pieces of data much quicker and easier. Already, our business and operations teams have offered very positive feedback about the document search capabilities in OpenText Extended ECM, which far exceed those of any other platform we have used.”
When the OpenText solutions are fully implemented, Western Midstream expects they will deliver huge time-savings. Having a single, easily searchable archive will enable business and operations teams to work faster, while content specialists will no longer spend hours travelling to office locations to perform remedial work on documents.
Tomes explained, “Early in the project, we prepared a study that showed in some cases an employee could spend between 50% and 80% of their time trying to piece together the right information for their job. With OpenText, they will regain that time for more productive and valuable work rather than trawling through archives.”
The move to OpenText will also make it easier for Western Midstream to meet compliance targets. Detailed document classification will enable the company to quickly pull information for external regulators.
“OpenText will be so useful during audits, helping to minimize time burdens that could severely disrupt our operations,” Tomes confirmed. “The entire OpenText team has been great, from our account manager to their product experts. They are always willing to go the extra mile for us. With OpenText, we are well on course to building smarter document processes that will help us to deliver safe, sustainable energy to our customers.”