How do you grow your business in an era of increasing volatility? This challenge faced Crestwood Equity Partners (Crestwood Equity), a leader in the highly competitive midstream energy sector. Using the Openlink Risk Analytics Service, Crestwood Equity has turned huge fluctuations in energy prices from the shale revolution into a business advantage. Two videos filmed on location at Crestwood Equity show how the company partnered with Openlink to move away from using spreadsheets to optimize their risk management operations as well as drive a new corporate culture.
In managing risk, the team has moved away from multiple spreadsheets to the latest Risk Analytics Service from Openlink, giving teams a real-time view on their overall risk posture. As Casey Rosengarten, Senior Director, Risk Management at Crestwood Equity says, “We are in a dynamic marketplace where things are always changing. So an assumption at 10:00 a.m. may not hold true by 1:00 p.m. I love the expediency of Openlink. It gives us the information we need on-demand so we can get it to the right individuals to make the decisions for us.”
The Crestwood Equity team took the bold move of being an early adopter and tester of Openlink’s cloud-based Risk Analytics Service, rolling out a beta version in a matter of months. “With Openlink Risk Analytics Service, we can move our team away from manual processing to analysis and forecast,” says Deana Werkowitch, Director of Energy Trade & Risk Management Systems at Crestwood Equity. She led the project, bridging strong business experience with an intimate knowledge of the systems used by the trading and marketing teams.
Now the Crestwood Equity team sees the impact on their positions in real-time, as the market changes. Newly efficient processes allow teams to ask different kinds of questions from the data and predict the impact of price changes on their cash flows. “We can now not only understand whether we will make or lose money before entering a deal, but when the deal is executed, we can compare what our expectations were against what actually flows through the financial statements as the final results,” says Steven Dougherty, SVP and Chief Accounting Officer for Crestwood Equity. This helps the team as they approach new trades.
The team is now freed to focus on strategic analysis, while feeding what Steven calls his management’s “insatiable appetite for information.”
We can now not only understand whether we will make or lose money before entering a deal, we can then compare what our expectations were against the final results.
Any platform or process is only as good as the team that uses it. The Crestwood Equity culture of innovation has driven the implementation and adoption of the Openlink platform. John Powell, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer for Crestwood Equity states that there is analytical focus across the organization, which creates the right environment for the tool. “We have a culture of thinking about what is the cost of every transaction and how can we minimize this? We are constantly seeking out efficiencies, whether in the front, middle or back-office.”