Improving Natural Gas Scheduling Efficiency through Automation
The client’s natural gas schedulers were spending excessive time maintaining physical natural gas schedules in multiple ways (ETRM System, Scheduling Spreadsheets and Electronic Bulletin Boards). The team was maintaining both their scheduling spreadsheets and their ETRM system and manually entering schedules into EBBs.
The extraneous effort was spent triple-entering gas schedules, and reconciliation was constantly required to keep the ETRM system in-sync with the scheduling spreadsheets and the EBBs.
Schedulers were also burdened with the cumbersome ergonomics of the ETRM system and the slow processing time of the ETRM system.
MRE, together with the client, designed Natural Gas Scheduling Automation Solution (NatSAS) to address the needs of the natural gas scheduling team.
NatSAS consisted of a set of four customizations to the ETRM system and changes to several scheduling processes.
The customizations enabled the following:
- Automated the actualization process
- Automated the creation of scheduling spreadsheets each month
- Generated suggested pathing solutions
- Sped up the response time of the system
MRE implemented NatSAS in approximately 200-250 works days over a 5-month period at a cost of approximately $400,000.
- Following the implementation of NatSAS, data maintenance time was reduced by more than 50%.
- Based on the time savings alone NatSAS had a two-year internal rate of return (IRR) exceeding 15%
- Reduced PnL risk resulting from system miscalculations.
- Increased the percentage of a scheduler’s time available to spend on commercial activities.
- Improved the team’s morale and satisfaction with their roles.