Throughout the petroleum industry, an important area of operations which is generally dated, cumbersome, ineffective, and ultimately costly is materials management. This is in spite of the previously unimagined technical advances in this "Age of Information". However, newly designed software, coupled with today's hardware, gives the average company unprecedented ability to utilize material management systems once thought available only to large companies.


Inventory is one of the largest investments made by a company. In the past it was not uncommon to see inventories range from a few million dollars to several hundred million dollars. Although today's inventories are generally smaller, the current economy has made companies painfully aware of just how important inventory management is in curbing the high cost of operations. A good inventory system should allow immediate access to a multitude of combinations of information. It should also be easy to use, growth oriented, and above all accurate. The API has published standards regarding the technical aspect of materials. (see Ref. 1). It may be time to publish similar standards for material coding. For example, in describing any material, it would be easy and desirable to enter a 'product code' which completely describes and uniquely defines that product. A descriptive product numbering system DC the form discussed in this paper satisfies this need. (See Ref. 2).

This paper discusses the following subjects:

  1. The importance of the product numbering system.

  2. Tubular management system.

  3. Applications of the computer programs.

PRODUCT NUMBERING SYSTEM PRODUCT NUMBERING SYSTEM The most important aspect of any inventory control system is the design of its product numbers. This one aspect alone governs, more than any other, the flexibility of information retrieval now and in the future. If a catalog System is selected (a catalog system being defined as one in which a product number is arbitrarily assigned to an item and has no relationship to its description), many inherent problems soon come to light. One of these problems is inflexibility regarding information retrieval. It is easy to assign duplicate product numbers, i.e. more than one product number for the same item. In addition, logical sequencing is difficult and sometimes impossible to maintain. If a company grows more than is expected, the current product number size limits are usually no longer adequate.

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