Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Help for Battered Women

In the spirit of giving, Pittsburgh Senior Operations Analyst, Terri Moore found a way for ABARTA Energy to help members of our local community.  With an abundance of outdated cell phones and unused mini-laptops on hand, Terri contacted the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh to ask if they could make use of our cast offs.  The response was a resounding, “Yes!” 

The Women’s Center sends gently used phones to the Shelter Alliance Program which results in a monetary donation to the Women’s Center to help defray their operating expenses.  Terri spent several days cleaning seven cell phones and restoring five mini laptops to an “out of the box” state for the shelter residents to use to find employment, alternative housing and further education.

Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center provides shelter for abused and battered women and their children.  They also provide a 24-hour hotline, children’s programs, support groups, legal and medical advocacy, a men’s group and education.  Take a look at their website (http://www.wcspittsburgh.org) to learn more about domestic violence, the risks, the warning signs and the resources offered to make a change. 

Performance Improvement Process Gets Results

Reduce, Improve, Simplify, Eliminate (RISE).  This is the criteria used when the PIT Crew (Performance Improvement Team) considers submissions for performance improvement.  In 2014, managers were required to generate ideas that incorporate the RISE technique and the result was 18 submissions, 7 of those being generated during brainstorming sessions.

Some examples of those submissions include:
  • West Virginia used flex time (4 – 10-hour days) to reduce overtime by 39%.
  • The gas plant moved turnaround up three months when the Martha refinery unexpectedly shut down for 30+ days to avoid further production loss.
  • Field offices replaced ATVs with newer, safer models.
  • We built treated wood steps by the Altela meter in Clarion, PA to improve footing at the meter site.
The system is working, so keep those submissions coming! 

Monday, August 19, 2013


What is the “RISE” Technique?

“We will encourage people to learn, innovate and take risks…”  Innovation is a core value at ABARTA Oil & Gas Co., Inc., and ABARTA is rolling out an updated innovation program to encourage employees to share their ideas for change.   The acronym RISE Technique has been created to represent the focus for your creative suggestions: 


These terms have been selected to make it easier to submit ideas using the “Performance Improvement Suggestion Form” which will be reviewed by a Performance Improvement Team (PIT) crew member.

Reduce is to bring down, as in extent, amount or degree.  Consider ways to reduce the time it takes to set up, reduce the amount of time spent in down time, reduce maintenance and utility costs, reduce waste and reduce shipping and delivery costs.  There might be better, more efficient ways to handle these tasks and costs.  The goal is to streamline your workload.

Improve is to rise to a more desirable or more excellent quality or condition; make better.  There may very well be ways to improve the speed and efficiency of a machine or to improve the design, delivery and quality of a product.  There are always ways to improve the way we communicate with customers and vendors.  Other places to look for ways to improve include methods and procedures and inventory turnover.

Simplify is to make less complicated, clearer.  Most every employee would like to make their workload easier.  Share your ideas to simplify jobs, methods, handling and forms.  ABARTA’s goal is to work smarter not harder.

Eliminate is to get rid of; remove.  Every ABARTA employee should be trying to eliminate unnecessary operations, duplication of work or unnecessary reports.  Complete the suggestion form for review and submit to Manager via email innovation@abartaenergy.com 

Our goal for using the RISE technique is to improve the work life of our employees.  Your ideas, if approved, will be rewarded and recognized by upper management and will also be shared across all of ABARTA’s business units.  So please submit your suggestions because you can make a difference.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

SharePoint Changes Data Management

SharePoint Will Change the Way We Manage Data
Written by Ken Fleeman

ABARTA Oil & Gas is about to roll out Microsoft SharePoint as our company wide platform for digital document management.  Coupled with Microsoft 365 licensing, AOG employees will be able to securely access their email, calendars and documents from any internet browser.  Document creation and editing can also take place online without a local MS Office Suite installation.

SharePoint is web based so it provides instant familiarity for browsing and searching company datasets. SharePoint uses a social media style homepage for every user.  From that homepage you can communicate with coworkers, set up RSS feeds, tag and comment on documents and set specific alerts so you will be notified when something changes that you need to know about.  Alerts can come instantly or you may opt for either daily or weekly summaries.

SharePoint is also a powerful collaboration and project management tool.  Project sites are created using existing templates.  Team members are added from your contact list and in minutes the team starts working with a calendar, to-do list, file storage and discussion board dedicated to the new project.  As teams are forged and projects develop so can SharePoint.  Users will ultimately add workflows, forms and dashboards in their project sites to improve efficiency and accountability.

We are excited about the opportunity SharePoint offers to better connect with our field offices and eventually our venture partners.  Access to data across departmental boundaries is currently limited by the traditional roadblocks of licenses, proprietary data formats, non-indexed directories, network storage and bandwidth.  We will continue to use the legacy systems (Excalibur, GeoGraphix, Petra, Aries) to create work product.  The shareable output, however, will reside in SharePoint.  Imagine access to Geology, Operations, Engineering, Land and Accounting data in a consistent and familiar environment.

The benefits are numerous and game changing.  Improved group interaction and idea sharing, indexed, searchable files, customizable website format, standardized datasets shared by legacy software, secure world wide access and the concentration of corporate knowledge will transform the way ABARTA Oil & Gas does business.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Filing Can Be Fun!

High Density Filing System Makes Filing Fun!

AOG’s summer interns, Erica Taylor and Maddy Mulert, along with Shelly Kerr, Michele Frederick, Ruth Miller, Sandy Doyle, Denise Bombalski and Tracey Mulert, have been working steadily to re-label, fill and organize the new high density wheelhouse filing system at our new office at 200 Alpha Drive. This system, much like what you see in a doctor’s office, allows for compact storage, combines the contents of 38+ filing cabinets and houses nearly 8,000 files used in our previous location.  Many of our files are digitized, but original documents must be retained and kept on site indefinitely.  So the volume of our files keeps increasing.

A hand crank makes moving each carriage easy.
The high density filing system is comprised of eight double-sided shelving units that are installed on tracks in the floor and can easily move and lock with the hand crank located on the end of each unit.  When fully loaded, each carriage may weigh as much as 4,800 pounds.  By using the locking mechanism, several people can be working in different sections of the system simultaneously.  The filing system offers great flexibility, easy access and a seamless integration for new files.

Looks kind of like a hospital, right?
Instead of viewing file tabs from the top, new tabs were inserted into every stored file so the tabs can be clearly visible from the side and provide easy access. The new system is more convenient and well-organized with the color-coded labels extending from each file.

The Land Department uses the new storage to house all of their 3,400 legal documents, including lease files, venture files, right-of-way files and title leases. Geology utilizes the space to hold log files for over 2,300 operated and non-operated wells. Lastly, the Engineering Department uses the storage to hold their 2,100 well files.

With plenty of room for growth, the high density filing system reflects the positive outlook AOG envisions for the future.