Drilling Cost Tracking Software for Drill Contractors: Everything You Need to Know
Every drilling manager understands the importance of accurate cost tracking and billing for your drilling operations.
But as the cost of drilling rises, along with the pressure to reduce expenses, more and more drilling managers are turning to drilling cost tracking software to help them with this task.
Here is a brief overview of drilling cost tracking software and how drilling managers can use it to accurately track drilling, time activity and consumable activity costs for their exploration clients.
What is drilling cost tracking software, and who is it for?
Drilling cost tracking software is a digital solution used to track, manage and analyse the costs associated with drilling activities. It’s often used by drilling contractors, mineral exploration companies and mining operations managers to monitor and optimise their operations.
The software can track various costs, including billable metres, fuel, water and other consumables, minimum shift earns, chargeable time activities and more.
The cost data captured can be exported into an accounting package to provide a cost breakdown and invoice to the client based on the conditions of the drilling cost contract.
This kind of software isn’t sold as a dedicated standalone product. You’ll typically find it in digital operations software or drilling management software.
How does it work?
It creates a digital connection between the conditions and rate schedule set out in your drilling cost contract and the daily drilling data captured in a digital DDR, daily shift report or plod. This is typically configured in the back end of digital operations or drilling management software.
This means that every time a digital plod is uploaded into the drilling management software, all of the data captured in the plod is run against the cost contract to produce a cost summary report detailing all of the activity and associated costs incurred during that shift.
This includes a summary of all costs related to the drilling, including driller time, consumables, bit wear and more.
This report can then be provided to the exploration client for sign-off or imported into an accounting package for billing.
Is it accurate?
This is a complex question to answer because “it depends!’
The cost summary report is only as accurate as the data recorded in the drill plod. So it’s up to the drillers to record everything that happened during the shift.
But it also depends on the complexity of your operations and whether or not your contracts include conditional clauses like minimum shift or slow pen rates.
Suppose you’re only drilling here or there with one or two clients. In this case, it shouldn’t cause you too much of a hassle, but as the scale of your operations grows, so does the complexity of managing all of the cost data.
Regardless, can you really afford mistakes in the data at any size or stage of your drilling business?
Is all drilling cost tracking software the same?
The short answer is no.
The reason is that not all cost tracking software can process conditional clauses like minimum shift or slow pen rates.
If you are working with conditional contracts, it’s essential that your cost tracking software can handle these requirements. Nobody wants to go back to their exploration clients with revisions once the invoice has already been sent - or miss out on hard-earned income by mistake.
Did you know? CorePlan is one of the only drilling software with this functionality today.
Further, not all drilling cost tracking software has fail safes built in to minimise the chances of mistakes making their way into client invoices.
An example of a failsafe is preventing drilling intervals from overlapping and accidentally double-charging the client. Or generating an invoice for a client when the data still needs to be validated and approved by a supervisor and the client.
Where to learn more about drilling software, including which is best for drilling contractors and why?
Hopefully, this post has helped you better understand the capabilities of drilling cost tracking software for drilling contractors and how it can provide exceptional service for your exploration clients.
As a drilling manager, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest developments in the industry, especially regarding the availability of new solutions that can help improve efficiency and reduce costs.
To learn more about drilling software, including which is best for drilling contractors and why, our Ultimate Guide to Drilling Software for Drilling Contractors has the insights you need to find the right software solution for your team.