In other words, energy is a niche market with a high learning curve when it comes to consulting companies, and it isn’t without its problems. Currently, the influx of big data is one big pain point. While it’s normal for retail and manufacturing companies to have a few operating locations, oil and gas companies often have thousands of wells, gathering systems, compressor stations, plants and accompanying measurement points. Operating costs are high and margins, especially now, are slim. Companies need to figure out the exact costs and revenues that these facilities generate and how to sustain them most efficiently. The current question for CIOs and CFOs is how do they give their management teams current, accurate information on the company’s operations and multiple capital projects?
Lumina helps companies understand the issues around finance and other business processes from the perspectives of objectives, controls, and efficiency. Some they have helped with mergers, others they’ve helped develop specific industry information solutions and good data design to pinpoint who is allowed to see what in a joint venture arrangement. They work with all forms of software and leverage process maps of how oil and gas companies in North America are run to effectively identify and solve a wide variety of problems.
There’s no trick to what Lumina does, 'if there is magic, it comes from spending 30 years focused on the market we know'
Lumina continuously updates their process maps as business requirements and solutions evolve. This makes their process-first approach an effective one.
An example of this approach involves a medium-sized North American oil and gas producer that Lumina worked with for 18 months. Senior managers in field locations were worried their operating decisions weren’t having enough impact on their bottom line. Lumina stepped in and developed a model that would allow them to present more than just financial reports to the people responsible for field operations. Taking a management accounting approach, Lumina helped the company manage their controllable expenses better and link the timing of their expenditure activity to the results and outcome of their operations. Using this approach, the producer’s operating margin improved by 4 percent over a period of just two years.
So, what’s next for Lumina? The company plans to stick to its roots, helping out the oil and gas industry and maintaining their competitive advantage of experience. They have no plans of geographic expansion. Their Calgary base allows them to focus on the North American market. “There’s no trick to what Lumina does, ‘if there is magic, it comes from spending 30 years focused on the market we know,’” concludes Davies. In the industry Lumina serves, that sentiment is among the most valuable a client could ask for.