RFID Talk Blog

Black Elk Energy saves $100K from RFID document tracking

Black Elk Energy specializes in buying under producing oil and gas wells, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, and applying capital and technology to make them profitable.

Black Elk is also a proponent of deploying technology within its internal operations, including an RFID-based document tracking system that allows it to locate documents quicker. The system will allow Black Elk to save more than $100,000 in salary cost avoidance over the next 12 to 24 months.

David Cantu, vice president of IT at Black Elk Energy

By deploying FileTrail for SharePoint, Black Elk Energy was able to extend all of its electronic content management efficiencies to its physical records. The company improved paper records handling efficiency by 25 percent. In addition to the $100,000 savings, Black Elk employees have faster access to the valuable data buried in paper folders and can more quickly determine strategies for extracting value from new oil and gas assets.

Black Elk installed RFID sensors in doorways and ceilings throughout its office, which determine when folders leave a room and capture their locations. “People don’t always comply with proper check-in and check-out procedures, and RFID helps with that,” says David Cantu, vice president of IT at Black Elk Energy. “With FileTrail for SharePoint, we have a complete check-in, check-out, and history of requests and movements for every file folder we own, which is really quite amazing.”

Black Elk also extended standard SharePoint Server rights management features to its paper files (through the RFID tags) so that it can better control the security of physical folders. If a file folder that is not authorized to leave the document control center is removed from the room, an alarm goes off.

The solution has been so successful that Black Elk plans to extend it to other physical assets, such as offshore equipment. By combining SharePoint Server with RFID technology, Black Elk can extend the content management capabilities of SharePoint Server to any physical object.

Click here to read the full case study.

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