Interview with Zach Marshall, Vice President of Operations, Mangan Software Solutions
The ARC Industry Forum 2020 was held in Orlando, Florida, and Digital Transformation was a topic on which many speakers presented their views. One of the speakers was Zach Marshall, Vice President of Operations, Mangan Software Solutions. In an interview with Peter Reynolds of ARC Advisory Group, Mr. Marshall talked about his views on digital transformation, mining data from oil companies, and the factors that affect growth in the industry. This blog focuses on the highlights and quotes of the interview. The full interview can be viewed here and/or on YouTube.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies into business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet the changing business and market requirements. Data analytics is an integral part of digital transformation.
Digital Transformation at Mangan Software Solutions
Mr. Marshall mentioned that Mangan Software Solutions has been able to leverage the digital transformation trend to help its clients in a collaborative way with building fit-for-purpose solutions. A lot of these clients, within the past year, have been focusing more on these digital transformation efforts, and Mangan Software Solutions has been able to help clients such as Shell and Chevron in those efforts with the help of its Safety Lifecycle Manager (SLM) software.
How is Mangan Software Solutions helping oil companies mine the data that is in siloed form?
SLM provides operational analytics, from process hazard analysis, to the design and verification of those systems, to the actual operation, to tracking the performance data, such as tracking demands, failures, and failures of verification tests. The analytical tools and associated key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used for re-evaluations, for new plants, or for new units to give the company actionable decision-making and improve safety.
One such example is Mangan Software Solutions’ Tier 3 KPIs, which are essentially the challenges to a safety system. API 754 is a standard for lag measures and leading measures. The leading measures help companies prevent process safety events by tracking when there's a demand for the systems, when they're on bypass, when they’re available, or if they're failing tests. This helps the software correlate actual calculated demand rate or test rate and highlight if they are not meeting the required performance metrics.
How is innovation influencing the R&D budget in Mangan Software Solutions?
According to Mr. Marshall, Mangan Software Solutions always tries to stay very innovative when it comes to developing its products and even the research and development of where the products are going. The company’s mission has always been to drive innovation into providing solutions. The futuristic approach of the company, seeing where it is going to be in the next five years or 10 years, helps it to develop solutions for clients before they even know they need them.
Today, process safety standards have evolved to a level that requires the effective management of safety systems using advanced software. Process manufacturers are turning to software to be compliant.
Mangan Software Solutions’ Customer-centric Approach
According to Mr. Marshall, Mangan Software Solutions is a “hybrid software company.” While some companies are just focused on products and some on services, Mangan Software Solutions provides the full package. He also said that the company’s services are more centered around the implementation of its product, from training, to installation, to data migration from the current tools, systems, or spreadsheets the clients are using, as well as creating processes and procedures for using the software.
Mr. Marshall has observed that the industry, and the company, will be concentrating on integration in the near future. Mangan Software Solutions has had successful integrations with multiple companies. The digital transformation efforts were around how the tools are going to work together in order to create a total package of lifecycle management of data. So Mangan Software Solutions has been focusing on utilizing its R&D toward integration – building custom APIs to pull in data, push data to other platforms, as well as work with other third-party companies that have experience with certain third-party tools and have already developed these APIs. The company’s interest lies in utilizing and leveraging the technologies that have already been created and building and expanding upon those to create a better solution for its clients.
The Most Important Economic Headwinds for the Market
Mr. Marshall said that headwinds give the company information on what's slowing it down in the market. A big, global economic headwind would be the volatility of the oil and gas company. The oil and gas industry has always been volatile, but the frequency is starting to increase. There's less time in between the good times and the bad times. This has enabled Mangan Software Solutions to look into other vertical markets, whether it's the railroad, pharmaceutical, or the automotive industry.
The automated motive industry is heading more toward self-driving cars, and the technology and safety systems that need to be managed to ensure that these cars can safely drive down the road are going to be high integrity because there's such a high risk and consequence if anything goes wrong. So not only are these manufacturers going to need to make sure that they're utilizing reliable devices, whether it’s the sensors or the programming logic, but also how often it is going to be tested and how to track all the different tests currently being done on the cars that have been running on the road for five to 10 years, and help them design better and safer solutions for the future.
The Biggest Tailwind Pushing the Industry Forward
A tailwind would be the digital transformation efforts that a lot of companies are now not only talking about but also actually committing to. Mr. Marshall was appreciative of seeing that happen at the ARC Forum. He said that how much companies are now investing in making sure that they have these complete solutions when it comes to their digital transformation is a big tailwind that's going to help Mangan Software Solutions’ products and services, for its clients. He concluded by saying, “For us, it's to not only look at what other companies are doing, but also predict where the markets are going. So what I've always said is – the best way to predict the future is to create it.”