How Pivotal Helped Excel Midstream Improve Project Controls
EXCEL Midstream Solutions is a full-service provider in the midstream energy sector, offering solutions ranging from conceptual development to maintenance and fabrication for pipeline and facility projects. The 57-employee-strong company is an affiliate of EXCEL, an organization with multiple locations in the Gulf Coast region.
Chasing Tails: EXCEL Midstream’s Struggle to Manage Complex Projects
EXCEL Midstream routinely executes complex engineering projects, necessitating stringent project controls.
Their challenge was relying on a single project controller to ensure their engineering teams followed best practices. They historically used the Microsoft suite, which did not guarantee corporate standards were set and enforced across projects.
To further complicate their project execution processes, the company relied on Microsoft Excel to manage proposals and changes. Working with Excel often led to chaos when multiple engineers needed to access the same proposal spreadsheet, which led to each engineer adjusting it to suit their needs. A lack of internal coordination made tracking changes to their source difficult.
Department heads also had trouble gaining visibility into the project as a whole, which left managers unable to direct their teams effectively. Excel Midstream leadership described trying to finalize a proposal as being like "a dog chasing its tail." They needed a better way to manage project setup and reconciliation without investing in another full-time employee.
The Path to Streamlining Project Coordination
EXCEL Midstream began researching methods of improving project control and execution to allow effective collaboration across departments and projects. After extensive research, the company opted for Pivotal.
The software provided a single source of truth that allowed stakeholders to view project updates in real-time and ensure compliance with corporate objectives. Thanks to Pivotal's automated reconciliation process, engineer errors could be identified, enabling corrective action before mistakes resulted in extra costs.
Pivotal’s project controls platform optimizes workflow and speeds up the bid process by making it easier to access, review, and update bids. Instead of waiting hours or days for a response from a project manager, Pivotal introduced an ability for engineers to quickly access a bid directly from the platform and gain approval within minutes.
Pivotal: Empowering Engineers and Cutting Costs
For EXCEL Midstream, implementing Pivotal allowed engineers to take control of their projects and processes. The increased efficiency and automation eliminated bottlenecks in the requisitioning process.
Excel Midstream's current workload requires coordinating 20 engineers. Before Pivotal, it would take at least 20 employee hours to manage that load. Now, the work is reliably handled by software. As Excel Midstream grows, the company expects using Pivotal will save them the cost of two full-time employees.
Pivotal has also transformed the QA process, with the time needed to review and approve a proposal falling from a full day to just an hour. This efficiency level allows Excel Midstream to focus on more significant initiatives while maintaining control of their smaller projects.
The Future of Excel & Pivotal
EXCEL Midstream continues to use Pivotal and plans to expand its usage. With a comprehensive set of features, Excel is confident that Pivotal will continue to facilitate growth for their business and accelerate project execution. They are now poised to confidently move into new markets, knowing they have better visibility into their projects.
With Pivotal, Excel Midstream gained the agility to take on more projects without compromising control.