Success in the time of Covid
After enduring the challenges of 2020, for Approach Controls, it was refreshing to start 2021 with the successful deployment of an innovative Frac unit control system, tighter travel restrictions notwithstanding. I have been involved in projects like this for many years but must admit that the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment in a successful solution never gets old. Deploying a new system on new equipment always comes with challenges, which we look forward to solving. As we transitioned into a support role for our customer, I had the chance to reflect on how we got from the drawing board to successful deployment in less than a year.
First off, I have been fortunate to bring together and work with and a steadfast team of industry veterans. Together we have filled out the team with junior engineers, who have added energy and enthusiasm and a healthy disrespect of the impossible to our core team. We enjoy working together, and ensuring people are developing skills, is a priority.
When it comes to product development, people like to throw around buzzwords like “lean” and “agile.” At Approach, this means learning from mistakes and moving forward. Also, engaging with the customer early and often. Based on experience, we know that integrating with real equipment in the field and responding to feedback from operators requires our system to evolve – so we made that part of the plan upfront
We took an unconventional approach to reimagining the pump operator user experience. We engaged a designer from the video gaming and movie industry to help develop the human interface. In conjunction with input from customer stakeholders, we have been able to create a revolutionary user interface, which has created a sense of ownership amongst the end-users.
Of course, none of this would be possible without a solid partnership with our customers. Our history in this industry has earned us a high degree of mutual trust. This has allowed us to focus our collective energy on providing a world-class solution rather than managing contracts.
A fundamental reason we have the opportunities we do is that we stand behind what we deliver. That means we had a multi-disciplinary team supporting remotely and onsite before and after field deployment, providing 24/7 coverage. We also instrumented our product with logging and visualization tools that facilitate rapid hardware, software, and mechanical troubleshooting.
These days, everybody works hard in this industry – and even then, success is not guaranteed. Providing people with the tools they need to reach their goals, makes it all worthwhile.
“A fundamental reason we have the opportunities we do is that we stand behind what we deliver.“
About Approach Controls
Approach Controls is the premier automation, control products and applications solutions partner for Frac Fleet Operations. We empower our clients to control their equipment through customised solutions and world-class support to maximise their fleets’ life cycle. Our offering includes a comprehensive suite of products that support the complete automation, project management, strategic advisory and training for fracking operations. Approach Controls has helped some of the most recognizable names in the fracking industry and has a global presence with service hubs in San Antonio, Houston, Weatherford, and Calgary.
Chief Executive Officer