“We strive to develop software tools that are as intuitive as they are innovative.”
In the Oil & Gas industry, capital projects and maintenance events (turnarounds) have a long history of poor predictability, with project and turnaround outcomes often characterized by excessive cost overruns and schedule slippage. Asset Performance Networks (AP-Networks) has developed a set of web-based tools and industry comparison benchmarking capabilities that ensure readiness is optimized, leading to a significant improvement in project and turnaround performance. This is not only logical and intuitive, but more importantly, it is rooted in data and predictive analytics: Better readiness results in better event outcomes, and readiness has been quantified by AP-Networks.
The digital toolset developed by AP-Networks is supported by the unrivaled project and turnaround databases. These databases contain an ever-growing set of hard and contextual data from events executed across the globe. The data are analyzed by benchmarking models that are continually refined by the AP-Networks team. This constant refinement enables AP-Networks to identify emerging trends and best practices, and the company’s digital tools allow AP-Networks’ clients to benefit from these analytical insights. The purpose of these tools is to allow teams anywhere to apply tried and tested best practices to their own planning and preparation efforts, effectively using these tools to create a road map to successful outcomes.
Now, after a 20-year history, AP-Networks supports a global client base, with 80 percent of major refineries in North America alone utilizing a combination of their tools, data analytics, and expertise. “Our clients have seen a tremendous return on their investment in our tools, in many cases returning more than 30 times our cost,” says George N. DeBakey Jr., the co-founder and Managing Director of AP-Networks.
When George and Managing Director Brett Schroeder founded AP-Networks, the industry at that time neglected the effect these events had on the overall bottom line of the business, viewing them as a necessary evil to be endured, rather than a competitive opportunity. AP-Networks has driven a recognition throughout the Oil & Gas sector of the importance of improving performance in these areas. The company has helped Industry embrace turnaround management as a professional discipline to be valued and cultivated.
The company has compiled the largest, most robust project and turnaround databases in existence, with thousands of events represented in the data. These databases are growing constantly as AP-Networks works with companies across the globe to benchmark performance. “That means that every time a client works with us, their performance is being compared to the current industry landscape,” says Brett. “Our analytical modeling capability is second to none. The models we use are themselves continually refined, and then applied to this robust collection of practices and outcomes data. This allows us to identify emerging trends and effective practices associated with Industry-leading outcomes.”
The company’s online software portals—the Turnaround Network, the Capital Project Network, and the Upstream Network—drive event success by offering a powerful suite of tools tailored to deliver predictable, competitive outcomes. As a technology company, AP-Networks is always focused on identifying opportunities for new tools that will aid their global client base in achieving consistent, competitive outcomes on their project and turnaround events—that’s the company’s mission. In the first quarter of 2020, AP-Networks is introducing an extremely versatile risk management application called PYXIS. This application will allow for integrated evaluation of individual risk items, and creation and tracking of action-based, individually assigned mitigation and contingency plans. Additionally, PYXIS users will have the ability to pre-populate the event register with industry-observed risk items from AP-Networks’ databases, as well as process-unit-specific risk concerns. Alongside PYXIS, AP-Networks is introducing a comprehensive action item tracking application called acXis that will prioritize and merge all activities—whether they are risk management activities, work process preparation activities, or even action items coming out of team meetings—into one place for every single team member. “We strive to develop software tools that are as intuitive as they are innovative,” adds George.