This month’s edition of the Oil & Gas Measurement Podcast features Marshall Webb of Marathon Petroleum Corporation discussing the challenges facing today’s oil and gas measurement managers.
In this episode, you will learn about different management challenges, including generational challenges managers might face with a team of Millenials, Gen-Xers, and Baby Boomers around their use of measurement technology. Marshall and Weldon also touch on the need to modernize crude oil, the challenges of integrating older measurement techniques with new and emerging technologies, and how COVID has affected teams throughout the industry.
Challenges Facing Measurement Managers: Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms
- Marshall Webb is a Sr. Manager for Field Measurement for Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Marshall currently supports MPLX’s West G&P Division. Connect with Marshall on LinkedIn.
- Marathon Petroleum is a leading, integrated, downstream energy company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio. Marathon also owns the general partner and majority limited partner interest in MPLX LP, a midstream company that owns and operates gathering, processing, and fractionation assets, as well as crude oil and light product transportation and logistics infrastructure.
- FLOWCAL by Quorum Software is an oil and gas measurement software platform that is used by operators for the back-office validation, processing, and reporting of natural gas and hydrocarbon liquids.
- CFX is a specific binary data file format used by FLOWCAL to securely transfer measurement data.
- PGAS is a legacy Quorum Software liquids/gas measurement software platform that, at one time, competed head-to-head with FLOWCAL.
- M&A Activity (Merger and Acquisition Activity) occurs when two companies merge into a larger company or a larger company acquires a smaller company. Both cases require efforts to efficiently merge and integrate the assets.
- Meter proving is a method of physically testing the accuracy of a meter through the proving process of measuring temperature, pressure, flow rate, and density against a known prover.
- Orifice Plate or Orifice Measurement is a type of primary flow measurement device that creates a measurable pressure drop across a known restriction.
- Gas Chromatography (GC) is an analytical method used to accurately determine the concentration and make-up of a product sample. GC analysis can be used for petroleum, natural gas, fuels, LPG, petroleum refined products, petrochemicals, and additional hydrocarbons and chemicals.
- Y-Grade is an NGL mixture that has been through field processing but has not been through NGL fractionation.
- Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) are the hydrocarbon molecules larger than methane that make up geologically extracted natural gas. Examples are Ethane, Propane, Butane. These valuable components must be removed before the natural gas is suitable for use in industry or in the home. The extracted NGL are then marketed separately as chemical feed stocks and fuels.
- Exploration & Production (E&P) is a specific sector within the oil and gas industry. Exploration and production is the early stage of energy production, which includes searching and extracting oil and gas. An E&P company finds and extracts the raw materials used in the energy business.
- Millennials refer to people who were born during the last two decades of the 20th century. Often debated, the starting year for the Millennial generation is considered anywhere from 1977 to 1985 and the ending year is around 1995 to 1996.
- Generation X is the generation of Americans born between 1965 and 1980, although some sources used slightly different ranges. It has sometimes been called the “middle child” generation, as it follows the well-known Baby Boomer generation and precedes the millennial generation.
- Baby Boomers refer to a member of the demographically large generation born between the end of WWII and the mid-1960s. Because of their high numbers and the relative prosperity of the U.S. economy during their careers, the Baby Boomers are an economically influential generation.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) helps oil and gas companies assess the value of specific reservoirs, customize drilling and completion plans according to the geology of the area, and assess the risks of each individual well. In addition, downstream operations can be optimized to minimize costs and maximize spreads.
- Access O&GMP Episode 4 where Michael Thompson discusses using data analytics to drive measurement validation rules in oil and gas.
- Flanges are metal pieces welded onto a pipe that allow piping to be bolted together.
- Flange Taps describe a particular form of orifice meter design that utilizes a restrictive Orifice Plate installed between two piping flanges. Holes drilled and tapped into the flange walls allow for measurement of the pressure drop across the orifice plate, which in turn can be used in calculating gas flow rate.
- Pipe Taps are used to cut internal threads in parts or fittings that will be mated with threaded pipe or fittings to make a pressure-tight joint. The taps may be used to insert objects, such as temperature measurement devices, into the product flow, or they may be used to take pressure measurements.
Challenges Facing Measurement Managers: Full Episode Transcript
Weldon Wright: Welcome to the Oil & Gas Measurement Podcast, episode 6, sponsored by GCI, the Gas Certification Institute, providing training, standard operating procedures, consulting, and field operations software to the oil and gas industry for over 20 years. For more info on GCI, visit GasCertification.com.
Weldon: I’m here today with Marshall Webb with Marathon Petroleum. Marshall and I are going to talk today about some of the challenges facing managers in today’s environment. Marshall, glad to have you here today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Marshall Webb: Sure. I appreciate the opportunity. My name is Marshall Webb and I work for Marathon Petroleum. I have been in the industry a little over 14 years. Started out on the field side as a field measurement tech for five to six years and then moved on to various roles from measurement specialist to back-office analytics.
I ran some FLOWCAL teams for a number of years and recently had the opportunity to go down and immerse myself in the crude side of the Permian assets. I was able to run a field measurement team down there, a FLOWCAL team, and then had the opportunity to actually stand up a commercial crude accounting team and help run that, which gave me some great insight into what happens downstream of the measurement department.
Currently, I am now the Senior Manager for field measurement for the West G&P division at Marathon. I cover field measurement teams across the western half of the United States. We have 70 to 75 techs and 10 supervisors everywhere from North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, West Texas Permian asset, Oklahoma, and East Texas. We cover everything from natural gas gathering, processing, and compression, to crude gathering, transportation, Y-Grade, and purity products. Just about everything under the measurement sun, so to speak.
Weldon: Thanks, Marshall. I had a list that’s been building for quite a while of topics and potential guests for the podcast, and you and this topic were not on there. What was actually on the list is I had some very specific details and some guests kind of in mind for that. But I actually got a submission from you after you listened to our initial podcast. I got a suggestion “Hey, here are some things we like to talk about, and here are some challenges.”
The individual items on your list, Marshall, hit a lot of the things I already planned on talking about, but all of a sudden, I realized “Hey let’s just do a podcast episode discussing the challenges facing managers, especially newer managers out there in this changing world.” So, I gave you a call. Without further adieu, why don’t you give us a rundown of the big biggest challenges you’re seeing out there managing these field teams across a diverse environment.
Marshall: Yeah, sure. The list of the challenges is probably very similar across multiple industries, be it the E&P side or the midstream side. Staffing and retention. Training. Always a big challenge depending on the asset, especially when you’re in full growth mode in some of these assets. The commodity integration. Because we cover all the various commodities, so we’re trying to get those integrated into a single system, have standardized processes, back-office systems, the way that we’re viewing and validating and settling on these things from the field side – the field equipment – and the various different types of equipment that’s out there, and getting all that standardized. And then training’s a big one. COVID was obviously a very big challenge. I imagine that’s not unique to Marathon by any means. I think the industry as a whole is probably dealing with these similar challenges.
Weldon: Thanks, Marshall. Some of those items are the same things that I faced as a manager and a director back when I was over field assets. Some of them are new. Some of them are fairly unique to the COVID world, which we hope is fairly short-lived. Some of them are generational. Can you talk to us a little bit about some of those generational challenges we missed? What’s it like working as a supervisor with now three generations out there in the workforce?
Marshall: Yeah, absolutely. It’s an interesting question to think about. The way I would describe it is it would be two different buckets. So, the way that the various generations that we have in the workforce now approach measurement technology – the way that they view it, implement it, and use it. Then the second bucket would be around managing differences between the multiple generations. There are really three main ones, right?
If I take the first bucket and the measurement approach to technology across these generations, starting with the millennials, I think there’s pretty good consensus that millennials born in the mid-’80s to late ’90s were born into technology. They were part of the computer revolution and they were fully into the Internet revolution. They’ve never really not had access to a screen and the Internet. So, technology is an innate ability for them. It’s fully integrated into their lives and how they approach the world. Really they all have these screens in their pockets. They have multiple apps for everything from banking to shopping to food delivery, whatever it may be. It’s just a part of their lives, so there’s really no questioning attitude around that technology and how it works. They don’t need to know the background code or need to verify that it’s working properly. It just does.
So, when it comes to measurement technology, especially with the field equipment or the back-office system, it’s just a piece of technology that I use for my job. If this is how I was trained to set it up and it spits out a number and it must be right. There’s not a lot of questioning.
Weldon: The generation is comfortable with technology and they trust the technology, in general. I can remember – more years than I want to admit to – I was working for an integration company and I was charged with developing a custom training program to help the field technicians of a midstream company learn how to configure the new brand of flow computers that their company just purchased.
So, I load up and I travel out past Midland to West Texas. I walked into the training room to get everything set up about an hour early before the class was going to start and, lo and behold, Marshall, there was a pallet of brand new laptops in the boxes. This was the first exposure to computers for most of the 25 or 30 folks that were in that room.
As you alluded to, the millennials just trust the technology. You know I had people that had been in measurement 25, 30 years in that room that literally had never used a computer before. Lots of differences there. A lot of good, and maybe a little bad. I’ll let you go ahead talking about those challenges with different generations. What happens when you get outside of the millennials?
Marshall: It’s a perfect point. And so then you move to the Gen-X’ers, the folks that were born in the late ‘60s through the ‘70s and early ‘80s. These folks during childhood were much more outside all the time building forts and doing all sorts of stuff outside. But, they were part of the computer revolution, so technology came into their lives early enough to where they were able to successfully integrate it into their lives and utilize it.
These are the folks that – with the emerging technology from a measurement perspective – were the ones transitioning from the charts to the flow computers. So they had to actually install and implement these new devices. They’re much more skeptical. They want to know what’s the background code because they had to verify and ensure that these things were going to operate accurately and give the proper numbers and calculations for your volume and whatever else so they had to. They had a very skeptical and questioning attitude. They dove all the way down to the bottom of these things, verified them, installed and implemented them, and then started building processes around them. We see that success nowadays.
Then, you move further back into the Baby Boomer generation. It was fully manual. Everything was done manually, right? They had to know the fundamental calculations inside and out on how to do hydrocarbon measurement. So, there was skepticism or reluctance to move to new technologies. When it was first implemented or they became first exposed to these technologies, I think there was a lot more pushback; a lot more wariness around it.
But, they don’t get enough credit because the Gen-X’ers and the millennials are standing on their shoulders. They are the ones who built these systems out. They’re the ones who really developed the hydrocarbon measurement world and we’re all just kind of standing on their shoulders. The way I view this is if I took a step back and looked at the overall measurement of hydrocarbons, I’d say that crude measurement is very much still in the Boomer generation. It’s still done very manually. You know a tech is going to go out. He’s going to get his open and closing readings. He’s going to write a paper ticket. He’s going to do a grind out, put it on a paper ticker, and go hand it in.
Whereas the gas side is much more Gen-X. It’s flow computers. It’s one-second calculations rolled up into an hourly average. It comes into a back-office system. You have a full suite of validations that are set up and it’s all verified and established. There are a lot of processes around it and it works really well.
Then, for the millennials, I think what we’re going to see is – I don’t know we’ve seen it just yet, but I think what we’re going to see is – this machine modeling; this AI where you’re going to take the data set and you’re going to feed it to this model. I see the millennials being very accepting of that technology. You’re going to feed that dataset into a machine model. You’re going to let that model tell you where your issues are, potentially edit your data, and they’re going to be much more comfortable with that than say a Gen-X or the Boomer generation, who are probably going to be “Hold on a sec, guys. Let’s stop.”
I think that’s where you’re going to see the differences in these generations and their acceptance or willingness to accept this newer technology.
Weldon: Absolutely. And as one of those Boomers that helped drag gas measurement into the electronic age back then, some of the things you said were very on-point. The technology was new. The technology was still in its infancy. And it wasn’t that they were afraid to trust technology, the technology was so new and had so many problems, that proving out and the debugging was such a long process, that when a company came out with a new flow computer, it took several years of getting that equipment accepted. People wanted to run their own testing. “Just because you sold 20,000 of those doesn’t mean I trust it. I want to do my own testing.”
With today’s technology, we’ve moved so fast. And I’m not going to say today’s technology is trouble-free, not by any means, but the advent of automated testing systems for firmware and software, the standardization, etc. has helped in the rollout of new equipment. It’s so fast these days. We see new technology being introduced and it’s out there in custody transfer use sometimes in less than a year after you see it initially being introduced.
Marshall: Those years that it took to verify and implement the first flow computers – the techs that were out in the field working to integrate, working all the bugs out, and verifying every step of the way–they got to know that technology from the foundation up. So they could trust it after that process and the full verification. Then they could say, “Okay, we’re going to go live with this and this is actually going to be what’s used for our settlement calculations – the volume calculations used for settlement.” They understood it. They knew it from the ground up.
But the newer technology, for the millennials especially, I just don’t know that the questioning attitude is there enough to really verify. But, I guarantee there’s going to be a Gen-X or Boomer in those departments as that new technology comes out who is going to say, “Well, hold on, we need to absolutely verify this. We’re going to go through a very lengthy process to ensure that this is accurate and we’re performing fair and accurate measurement for our customers and ourselves.”
Weldon: Exactly. And one of the things that I’ve seen – and it’s not necessarily caused by the generational differences – it’s caused by the massive M&A activity is the leanings of organizations. Today when we hire a technician, and we put him out in the field, he may get very limited training on the fundamentals, the calculations, and the standards behind it because the flow computers today have so much intelligence in the devices. With the smart transmitters, there’s so much intelligence in them that it’s just assumed to be plug and play.
But, that causes a lot of problems at times. I see repeatedly where companies have balance issues. They have measurement problems. They have meter discrepancies with custody transfer meters that no one can understand. And I’ve seen so many times that those differences in measurement – those perceived problems with new equipment or new software systems – really have their roots in the fact that there are very basic configuration settings that are incorrect.
And the folks out in the field many times no longer have the fundamentals knowledge or the background knowledge to understand what does tap vs. flange mean? How does that make any difference? I’m just keeping the defaults. Upstream vs. downstream – my flow computer knows that. On an office meter, I’m just taking the defaults. And without that background and fundamentals, you have that kind of issue occur. I just think many companies these days are – I’m not going to say dismissing that kind of training, but it’s become a very low priority for them.
Marshall: I think it’s twofold. It’s a bandwidth issue, right? The amount of training you need to give to the techs to configure this technology properly takes up the most upfront, but, in reality, the fundamental training should happen.
And this is the issue as the Boomers cycle out. When you had a balance problem – an imbalance between a check and a custody meter and you’re trying to figure it out. Here’s the equipment. It’s spitting out a number. It’s going to the back-off and it’s spitting out a number. We have a problem. You could usually take that to one of the older folks in the team. One of the Boomers knew those calculations from a fundamental level and they were like the answer key in the back of the book. You could take the problem to them. They could look at it and say, “Well, this is your problem. Give me all the data inputs and I’m going to put it in a spreadsheet or I’m going to do the hand calculation and say, ‘Okay, your configuration here is wrong. Your setting here is wrong and it’s giving you this bad calculation. That’s why you have an imbalance.’”
They were the answer key and those guys are leaving the industry faster and faster. And if the Gen-X’ers and the millennials don’t get that fundamental training, there’s going to be a big gap there, and I think everybody’s seeing that.
Weldon: I think you’re correct in that Marshall. And related to that very much is as companies streamline and become more driven by preparing the bottom line to look good for the next acquisition, that training seems to fall behind. There’s no doubt about that.
But, the other thing that I see is the huge move across our industry to shift to third-party measurement services; to shift to contractors. At times, that is so dramatic that companies that in the past would have had a measurement director, two or three measurement managers, and a dozen management supervisors out there in the field with 70 or 100 techs out in the field – those companies are all of a sudden now moving to contract services. There are potentially a bunch of different contractors across the areas of operation and they may no longer have a measurement resource in the office at all. They may not have a measurement manager. They may have just told the operations guy, “Hey, you’re now in charge of the management of the measurement resources.”
All too often, we find that without somebody with the technical background, the fundamentals knowledge, and the experience – if you just turn contractors loose out there, and if someone is not watching or doing quality control over that – then third-party measurement companies can find themselves in trouble really fast.
Marshall: Absolutely. I think you’re seeing more and more of that. And there’s tradeoffs. There’s pros and cons to it. You know that the more you outsource to these third-party measurement services, the less quality control internally you have; the less oversight. And that’ll necessarily happen to a certain degree.
But for the companies that are finding the true partners – there are some great services companies out there. And if you can partner with a really good one and have that internal oversight to know that the service company is doing it properly, then you can really utilize that. But, yes, we’re definitely seeing the challenge, and I’m curious to see what really happens here. So, for some of the midstream and E&P companies that go fully to third-party services, it’d be interesting to do a comparison in terms of systems balances and accuracy. As a measurement guy, it would be interesting to compare companies that have gone full third-party and their system balance and accuracy versus the companies that have kept it more internal. My assumption would be that the folks that kept it internal likely have fewer imbalances and more accurate measurement; tighter system balances. But, again, it’d be interesting.
Weldon: I tend to agree with that. I just don’t have any hard data to base that on. And, to be honest with you, that’s the kind of data that companies do not want to turn loose of right if they have problems. They don’t want other people to know their problems.
Weldon: I want to loop back around to something you mentioned earlier, and that is crude measurement. I know that you’re a FLOWCAL house for the back office. And, historically, you’ve had companies with gas, you’ve had companies with crude or NGLs, and those weren’t necessarily in the same systems, they weren’t operated by the same people. It’s a division over here with their homegrown software for crude, it’s the gas people over here running a flow computer, or a PGAS or something like that.
But, I know that you’ve had some experience with Marathon of integrating crude assets into the same back-office measurement system into the FLOWCAL system that you’re using. Could you talk a little bit about that and tell us some of the challenges you’ve seen doing that and how you all addressed those challenges?
Marshall: Sure. Yes, so it has definitely been a challenge. As you know, we cover all the commodities, and you have these very established, mature processes for the gas side when it comes to the FLOWCAL system. So, our particular flow computers that are installed have configurations of the way they’re set up. All that stuff happens in a very processed and standardized way to come into the back office. You have all your validations set. There’s a very well-established process from that point, and it’s all automated, right? You’re able to see your balances in the same month. So, you don’t have to wait until the end of the month to look at it and find your measurement issues. You can resolve it. So, a very well-established process.
And then you have the crude measurement. As we’ve done more and more acquisitions, we have these crude systems that are very much in the 20th Century. We’re doing 1950s style measurement so to speak. Trying to drag them into the 21st Century has enormous challenges, especially when you’re trying to integrate it in the same back office.
Crude measurement is done in a very manual way. The tech will go out. He gets his open and closing readings. He performs his grind–out, puts it on a paper ticket, and he’ll either drop that off to the analyst in the back office or scan it into an email and go give it to them. Those analysts then generally are going to take that ticket and hand-enter it into the same system as your gas is sitting there.
You have this dichotomy of a very automated, established technology-driven system on the gas side and a very old-school, manual, paper-driven system on the oil side, but they’re both being pushed into the same settlement system. The challenges around that are pretty enormous.
We’ve gone through a number of projects where we’re we’re going out into the field, we’re installing the flow computers and the pressure and temperature transmitters, and we’re trying to get this all automated, but I think so much focus was put on gas for so many years that they’re there light years ahead on that path. On the crude side, it’s definitely doable, especially with the newest version or the newer versions of FLOWCAL. They have done an enormous amount of work to get crude integrated and very much on par with gas, but we still see a lot of issues from the editing side; the calculation side; the grind-out piece.
Here’s another part of it. Even if you’re able to get the flow computers installed and you’re getting one-second calcs and hourly data that’s coming into your back-office system, the one holdup is still that grind-out, right? That grind-out still has to be performed and then manually applied to the volumetric data inside FLOWCAL. We’ve been working with a third party to generate an app where we can automate that. So, the tech in the field can perform the grind-out in an app, gets all the necessary data points, your observed temperature, your gravity, your bs&w [basic sediment and water]. That can then send it up automatically to FLOWCAL, get integrated into their source, and then it automatically applies to the volumetric data. You can take that last manual step out of the process. We’re still in the testing phase of that, but crude is on its way.
Weldon: You said crude is still in a Boomer age, and I think that’s correct. I think when it comes to liquids, in general, but particularly crude, they’re quite a bit behind where gas is both on technology and how we apply it and handle the data. On natural gas, we’ve been in the world for years now, where the expected data resolution is hourly. And that has definite benefits to you when something goes wrong, if there’s a device problem, a flow computer problem, a blockage in the meter, or a communications failure possibly. When you have hourly data at that resolution, you have something to work with that you can nail down the problems. And if you need to manually edit those, the manual edits can be made more scientifically.
In the crude world, let’s face it, just a few years ago, they were happy with a ticket for the month. They drove out there, they wrote down the number off the meter, they did their grind-out, they wrote that on the ticket, and they were happy with that. And if there had been a problem with the meter or problem with the sample, you had no way of doing anything besides “Yep, this month doesn’t look like last month; we’ll just have to use last month’s numbers.” So that’s a big change also.
I think there are some good points you made there. Today, crude is happy with daily tickets. They consider that high resolution. But, the amount of data isn’t there in those tickets. And the challenges of editing, as you mentioned earlier, for the back-office staff; the analyst. And having an analyst that can shift from being able to work in gas and then working crude is quite a challenge itself because it’s two totally different mindsets.
Marshall: Absolutely. And the other big efficiencies that we’re really shooting for by modernizing crude and bringing it on par with gas is that in the past with the paper tickets, you had to wait until a week past the last month. You’re a week into the current month and you finally have all the data for the previous month, you can put your balances together, and now you can start looking and investigating where your issues are. By the time you actually close or figure out those issues and get them resolved, you may be 2-3 weeks into the next month. If you have hourly data coming in from flow computers and you’re able to look at your system balances on a daily basis, you can find, identify, and resolve those issues in-month. Your closing process goes much faster, Accounting’s much happier, and your customers are happier because everything’s happening quicker now.
We’re not there by any means. We’re in the middle of this transition for all of our crude assets and for the ones that we’ve already got completed and fully integrated in FLOWCAL, we’re seeing enormous results and really loving the efficiencies. But that is a challenge. And I’m curious to see if the rest of the industry is going to come along. I know certain companies certainly are and probably ahead of us. But, I know some others are fairly still stuck, so it’d be interesting to see how this all goes.
Weldon: I’ve seen that quite a bit Marshall. You’re right. There are some companies that have embraced it and are moving into the technology. The other side of the coin is there’s a lot of companies out there doing crude that are still in that mentality we were in during the mid-to-late–’80s on orifice meters. I sat across the table from a guy in the mid-80s who beat on the table and said, “I will trust a flow computer when it looks just like the output from a chart recorder.” And, of course, we moved well past that really fast, right?
But on crude, there’s still some of that mentality. There’s still the mentality that the original data from that original ticket is the gospel, even if there had been problems with pressure transmitters or correction calculations. So it takes a big mentality change on the crude side, and there’s people that are not ready to do that yet. I know we see API driving change.
Marshall: Let me give you a perfect example of exactly what you’re talking about. We have a connection in one of our assets that we have a flow computer on, with a pressure and temperature transmitter. We’re doing crude. For whatever reason, the connection agreement is written in such a way that we own and operate the measurement equipment, but the customer cuts the custody ticket. We have one-second calculations. We have hourly data. It’s rolled up into an hourly average. We have the .cfx file. We have all that coming back. They can still perform it in an old-school way of doing things. So, we’re definitely not there across the industry, but I thought that was a good example of exactly what you’re talking about.
Weldon: I think that’s a great example, Marshall. Another one is how many NGL custody transfer points are operating with an online chromatograph today and how many of them are still out there with a composite sampler in a pot that they mix and split two samples to send off at the end of the month. There’s still a lot of that where that online GC technology just hasn’t been accepted yet.
Well, this has been some great stuff, Marshall, and I think we could talk here for another 30 minutes or maybe two hours on the topic, but we probably need to start wrapping this up. I’d like to ask you one final question and it doesn’t have to be a long answer. What is the single biggest challenge that you faced as a field measurement manager in this environment, especially as it’s related to COVID?
Marshall: COVID has been an extreme challenge, and I think most people are to the point of COVID fatigue, right? But I think the biggest impact we’ve seen is from a community standpoint. So, from a team, community-oriented standpoint. Pre-COVID, folks would have weekly office BBQs and birthday celebrations. And, every other month, people would show up to a park and you’d bring your families and it would be a work-oriented BBQ or something out there. Folks would be able to talk to each other in the mornings and have that seemingly innocuous small talk that is really the building blocks of relationships and trust. And during the last two years of these lockdowns, these restrictions, and social distancing and everything, I think folks have been separated and isolated to a degree. They’ve maybe felt more like a number and they’ve lost that sense of community and those relationships. I think that’s been the biggest impact.
Weldon: Exactly. And a lot of that you’re talking about here is not just social interaction for the sake of social interaction. What’s being lost also is the background level of information that got traded. What I’m referring to is the kind of information like, “We rolled out 1,000 new flow computers last year and everybody’s happy with it.” It’s those kinds of meetings that you end up with when you have five or six different guys all saying, “Hey, we’re having the same problem. It’s not a big one, but has anybody else seen this?” Those kinds of conversations are missing, and I think they’re hurting us. Not only socially, not just as individuals, but I think we’re losing corporate knowledge also in the process.
Marshall, it’s been great having you on this episode. Thanks for your insight. Thanks for the questions you put in our minds. And it’s been great having you on this episode.
Marshall: Yeah, thank you again. Very much appreciate the opportunity. Thank you.
Weldon: Thanks for listening. If you like your podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes, Google, or wherever you get your podcast fixes from. A full transcript of this podcast is available at PipelinePodcastNetwork.com along with definitions of any geeky terms we may have used here.
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