US Gulf Coast Refinery Leverages ClayWorks for Shipping Business Process Improvement: A Case Study

Shipping and cargo management can be a complex and daunting task, especially when dealing with crude oil transportation. A refinery operating in Texas and the Gulf Coast region faced a significant challenge in managing crude oil shipping to and from its refineries. To overcome this challenge, the refinery turned to ClayWorks, a trusted partner with a proven track record in helping utilities streamline their operations. ClayWorks’ solution involved leveraging the Microsoft Power Platform, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and real-time video collaboration to automate and optimize the refinery’s shipping and cargo management processes.



The company had to deal with multiple carriers, each with unique procedures, making it difficult to ensure that deliveries were made on time and with the right quantity and quality. There were also significant communication barriers between the carriers and the refinery and between the different departments within the refinery itself. These issues often led to delays and inaccuracies, which in turn impacted the company’s bottom line.


To address these challenges, the refinery turned to consultants delivering ClayWorks, the leading provider of Business Process Automation solutions. Through an in-depth consultation process, the consulting team identified several key areas where technology could be used to streamline the refinery’s shipping processes. This included implementing a centralized system for tracking shipments, providing real-time updates to carriers and the refinery personnel, and integrating video conferencing capabilities to facilitate communication and collaboration.


One of the main KPIs that the refinery was interested in was the on-time delivery rate. Before the implementation of the new system, the company was experiencing significant delays in deliveries, which impacted its overall operational efficiency. By implementing a centralized tracking system and providing real-time updates to all parties involved in the shipping process, the refinery was able to improve its on-time delivery rate significantly. In fact, the company saw a 30% improvement in on-time delivery, which led to increased customer satisfaction and improved profitability.


Another key challenge that the refinery faced was accurate inventory tracking. With multiple carriers involved in the shipping process, ensuring that the right quantities of crude oil were being delivered and received was difficult. This led to discrepancies in inventory records, which in turn made it difficult for the refinery to manage its operations effectively. By implementing a centralized tracking system, the refinery was able to improve its inventory accuracy by 20%. This improved the company’s operational efficiency and reduced the risk of inventory discrepancies and associated financial losses.



To address the challenges faced by the refinery, the ClayWorks consultants developed a comprehensive Business Process Automation solution that incorporated Microsoft Power Platform, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and real time video collaboration tools. The solution was designed to streamline the shipping and cargo management processes, providing real-time visibility and collaboration opportunities.


The consultants’ team of experts worked closely with the refinery’s stakeholders to identify the bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the shipping and cargo management processes. The team then designed a custom solution that could automate several tasks and workflows while providing real-time visibility into the shipping process.


The solution included several automated workflows, including automatic load balancing, intelligent routing, and automated scheduling of shipments based on availability and demand. Additionally, the solution provided the refinery’s employees with real-time visibility into the shipping process through SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. With this visibility, the team could easily track the location of shipments and anticipate any potential delays, allowing them to proactively address any issues.


Moreover, the solution included video collaboration tools that allowed the refinery’s employees to communicate and collaborate in real time. This feature allowed the team to quickly address any issues that arose during the shipping process, reducing the risk of delays and improving overall efficiency.


The comprehensive solution developed by the consultants transformed the refinery’s shipping and cargo management processes, streamlining several tasks and workflows and providing real-time visibility and collaboration opportunities. By automating several tasks and workflows, the refinery was able to improve overall efficiency, reduce the risk of errors, and deliver cargo in a timely and cost-effective manner.



The team started by creating a centralized platform on SharePoint where all the shipping data was stored and managed in real time. They developed a user-friendly interface that allowed the refinery employees to easily input and access shipping data, track shipments, and receive real-time alerts in case of any issues or delays.


To further streamline the shipping process, the ClayWorks consultants integrated the platform with Microsoft Power Platform and developed custom workflows that automatically generated shipping manifests, bills of lading, and other essential shipping documents. These documents were then automatically sent to the relevant stakeholders via Microsoft Teams.


Real time video collaboration tools were also implemented to enable the refinery to visually monitor their shipping operations and provide remote guidance to employees at different locations. This helped to reduce delays and increase efficiency in the shipping process.


The implementation process was carried out in phases, with each phase being rigorously tested before moving on to the next. The team worked closely with the refinery employees to ensure a smooth transition and provided extensive training to help employees get up to speed with the new system.



After implementing the solutions provided, the refinery was able to streamline its shipping and cargo management processes, resulting in significant cost savings and increased efficiency. Real-time video collaboration capabilities enabled the refinery to identify and resolve issues in a timely manner, reducing the time required for shipment processing and increasing overall customer satisfaction.


The consultants’ expertise in business process automation and their ability to leverage Microsoft’s Power Platform, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams, enabled them to provide a comprehensive solution that addressed the refinery’s specific needs. The success of this project has paved the way for future collaborations.


To learn more about how ClayWorks can help your business through the power of Business Process Automation, contact us today for a consultation. Let us show you how we can optimize your operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency with our tailored solutions. Don’t let management challenges hold your business back. Trust Red Clay to help you succeed.