Employees of RigUp – Ashley Kus, Customer Success Representative

RigUp’s mission is to empower the men & women who power the world. Fulfilling this mission would not be possible without our stellar team.

Today RigUp is highlighting one of our hard working customer success team representatives, Ashley Kus.

What is your role at RigUp?

I’m a member of our Customer Success team.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Similar to the oilfield, I would say RigUp doesn’t have a typical day. It’s ever-changing depending on our clients’ needs. Most of my days include heading out to field offices or headquarters to demonstrate how RigUp can provide value to our clients and teaching folks how to use our platform so they can cut the paper-pushing and inefficient processes out of their work day and focus on what’s important.

Why do you enjoy working in the oil and gas industry?

I grew up in a small town on a farm, and later moved on to the automotive industry for a few years, and now I’ve found myself in oil & gas. It’s become clear to me that I have a passion to work alongside the people that I respect most, that are the hardest workers I know and aren’t afraid to wake up before the sun. Luckily for me, I get to work with those people every single day, whether I’m in the office downtown Austin or traveling through West Texas.

What are 3 words to describe RigUp?

Family; transparent; dedicated.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love that with my job I am able to be transparent and honest about what RigUp offers and what we can do to help. There’s never gray area or hidden details, it’s just straight-up, this is how we can make your life easier. I truly believe in what we do and that it’s better than anything out there, and that is what makes me excited to get to work each morning.

What is your proudest moment (or moments) at RigUp?

I’m proud of the relationships I’ve made the past nine months here. The people I talk with every day are truly a joy to hear from and it goes deeper than just the services that we provide.

Why do you recommend more people switch to RigUp?

Switching to RigUp goes beyond just making more money. RigUp is easier, faster, WAY more transparent, and I’m willing to argue – more friendly than what anyone else out there is offering.

Ashley is one of the many hard working employees at RigUp. The RigUp team agrees with Ashley, that we enjoy working here because we are “able to be transparent and honest about what RigUp offers and what we can do to help. There’s never gray area or hidden details, it’s just straight-up, this is how we can make your life easier.”

RigUp goes beyond just making more money. If you are working, click here to sign up and connect with a representative, like Ashley, to discuss how RigUp can help you.  If you’re looking for work, please sign up for a free account at RigUp.com

How RigUp is Silencing Skeptics with Industry-Leading, High-Efficiency Tech

Technology in oil and gas is a bit of a paradox.

While the industry is often stereotyped as change-averse or traditional and slow moving, it would be misleading not to acknowledge how much has changed in recent years. New seismic mapping technologies, horizontal drilling, fracking, robotics, and even solar technologies have all vastly altered the landscape of the energy industry.

The same factors that typically drive innovation — non-productive time, competition, and new capabilities in other industries — are all more present than ever before in oil and gas. In fact, new technology coupled with lower oil prices have exposed non-productive time in certain outdated, old-school business practices.

  • Pressure to drive down costs are increasing. Inefficiencies can’t hide under profits anymore.
  • Engineering operations have outpaced internal administrative systems
  • There’s not really a “shortage of labor”. Systems are outdated and the process is broken.

In an industry with volatile prices and unpredictable external factors driving supply and demand, cost management is crucial.

RigUp’s focus is managing labor market costs and providing scalability for exploration and production (E&P) companies, and oil and gas services companies.

Historically, the oil and gas labor market was fragmented, getting crews together was expensive and time-consuming, and variable labor costs were increasingly appearing as a top 10 category spend.  

Traditionally, E&P and services companies hired consulting firms and boutique agencies to manage contingent labor, e.g. contractors. These consulting firms would call around, looking for individual contractors when they needed to stand up a crew. Dispatching services were chained to a slow, time-consuming and expensive process.

The slow-cycle pain points became especially clear when shale took off. Frac jobs are often planned and started within a matter of weeks. Efficient labor sourcing and placement is a requirement.

Our current workforce inefficiencies scenario is reminiscent of the pre-Uber ridesharing market, or the vacation rental market before Airbnb.

Contractors and buyers are currently being forced into disparate agreements because the market is fragmented and often limited to who has executed the Master Service Agreement and who is on the Approved Vendor List. By aggregating oilfield service providers into one platform, RigUp helps facilitate a streamlined process for the industry – work with whoever, whenever.

RigUp’s marketplace increase transaction efficiencies for both buyers and sellers. On average, RigUp saves operators about 25% on variable labor costs, and we can help operators source and scale up to 3x faster than traditional methods. By using our industry-tested technology to place independent contractors, get them properly vetted, and get them on location faster, our users no longer need to dedicate precious time and money on outdated and error-prone human resourcing departments and consulting firms.

Contractor Compliance

RigUp sets a standard protocol for contractor compliance, making it safer to manage labor while maintaining a scalable flexibility.

Individual contractors are properly vetted on client specifications, and our proprietary platform tracks these requirements. Additionally, RigUp’s growing community provides social proof, similar to LinkedIn endorsements or Uber driver ratings.

On the flip side, contractors can make more money (they save a substantial amount from lower insurance costs), and they get paid faster.

We’re now the largest provider of these services to the market. Our next goal is to deliver an even better experience for both buyer and seller. The energy industry is at a tipping point, and RigUp is leading that push forward.

To learn more about how RigUp can help your company source and scale labor more efficiently, please visit RigUp.com.

New Tax Benefits for Independent Contractors

By John Mark Warren
Jan. 31, 2018 11:45a.m. C.S.T.

Recently passed tax reform could mean more money in your pocket. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in December, may significantly reduce the taxes paid by independent contractors, starting in 2018. Specifically, one of the provisions of the new law was to provide a 20% tax deduction to small business owners. This includes many of the independent contractors that use RigUp, both as sole proprietors or as LLCs.

The savings can be very significant. As an example, if you make $150,000 in 2018, 20% of this, or $30,000, could be tax deductible. That means, instead of paying taxes on $150,000, you only have to pay taxes on $120,000. At a 24% tax rate (the tax rate for a single individual making $150,000 in 2018) this could save you $7,200 ($150,000 x 20% x 24%).

In most cases, this benefit is phased out gradually as income rises and there are limitations for certain types of services. As with any tax matter, the devil is in the details and everyone’s tax situation is unique. We recommend you seek advice from a qualified tax professional, but we wanted to highlight how significant this benefit could be for a lot of the folks in the RigUp contractor community.

RigUp empowers the men and women who power the world, and we are excited to learn that many of you can keep more of your hard-earned money because of this new law.

 

Oilfield Consulting Firm Transparency : Take Rate vs Billing Rate

We often find that contractors and consultants are NOT fully aware of the ‘take rate’ that they are being charged by their oilfield consulting firm, nor the benefits (if any) they are receiving in return.

While there are plenty of reputable oilfield consulting firms, there are also many questionable ones.  These non-transparent firms have created an environment where hard working people are consistently taken advantage of.  An informed contractor is the best contractor.  So, whether or not RigUp is the best option for you right now, make sure you are asking the right questions, and making an informed decision.

What is my Take Rate?

We define ‘take rate’ as the difference between how much an oilfield consulting firm invoices to their client (gross billable rate), and the amount the firm pays the contractor (net pay). Very simply, if a consultant’s gross billable rate is $1,000 per day, and the consultant takes home $900, then the ‘take rate’ is 10%.

RigUp offers the lowest take rates in the industry, on average 10% lower than competition.  You will take home an extra $30,000 per year

What is my Billing Rate?

Discovering your billable rate should be as easy as asking your oilfield consulting firm. However, RigUp has learned it’s not always as simple as that. And without your billable rate, it can be difficult to calculate what you’re actually being charged. RigUp has come across multiple cases of firms lying to consultants about their billable rate, making the consultant believe they had a lower take rate than they were actually receiving.  In one such case, we found a consultant that believed he was at 5% for almost a year before discovering a firm had actually been pocketing 17%.

The best way to actually confirm your billable rate is to see a signed invoice from the client.  It shouldn’t be a tough ask, but as you can imagine, sometimes firms don’t want to provide this.

At RigUp, we are happy to offer billable rate verification at any time.  What we bill and what you receive is 100% transparent.  As an independent business owner, this is your right.

About RigUp

RigUp empowers the men and women of oil and gas, leveraging software to provide the best experience in the industry. RigUp gives service providers exactly what they deserve.  The lowest rates, the guaranteed fastest pay, best in class insurance and benefit options, easy to use mobile and desktop app, and the friendliest 24/7 support team in the world. With a customer satisfaction score 55% above the industry average, having RigUp as an oilfield consulting firm option sells itself to contractors. To learn more about RigUp’s consulting program visit rigup.com/contractors.

Legal challenges related to oilfield contract labor and RigUp’s solution to mitigate risk

With labor misclassification lawsuits mounting for operators and oilfield services companies alike, it’s important that management teams identify a better solution for managing labor related risk.

The purpose of this post is to provide you with greater insight around labor misclassification for Oil & Gas related companies while also introducing RigUp’s solution to help you reduce misclassification risk.

The Profile of an Oilfield Independent Contractor

Many of the reasons for using independent contractors are well-understood by most Oil & Gas Companies. They include the following:

  • The cyclical nature of a commodity based industry requires O&G companies to quickly  and easily expand or contract their workforces to accommodate workload fluctuations.
  • Oilfield independent contractors have specialized technical expertise and certifications acquired through formal training and on-location experience which makes them highly sought after.
  • Specialized oilfield independent contractors insist on and indicate a strong preference that they be retained on a competitive, independent contractor basis.
  • Service pricing has traditionally billed according to time “on-location” making Independent contractors billable based on day rates while on location.
Current Economic Landscape

The considerable economic challenges of the last 24 months in the oil patch has caused great strife among industry professionals. Reduction in billable work and decreases in market rates have created income shortages compared to earnings during the good ol’ days of 2010 thru 2014 when weekly, domestic land rig counts consistently exceeded 1,800 and nearly eclipsed the elusive 2,000 mark on several occasions.

With rig counts hovering around 30% of the peak through the latest downturn, an environment has been created that encourages opportunistic legal activity related to labor misclassification, as out-of-work independent contractors seek income to cover daily expenses and back taxes owed to the IRS.

Classifying Independent Contractors

The US Department of Labor (“DOL”), the IRS, and each state have their own unique factors in determining whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor. As an example, the DOL has a 6 point guide: webapps.dol.gov/elaws/whd/flsa/docs/contractors.asp

(1) Does the worker play an integral role in the business by performing the primary type of work that the employer performs for his customers or clients? Does the worker perform a discrete job that is one part of the business’ overall process of production? Does the worker supervise any of the company’s employees?

(2) How long has the worker worked for the same company?

(3) Is the worker reimbursed for any purchases of materials, supplies, etc.? Does the worker use his or her own tools or equipment?

(4) Who decides on what hours to be worked? Who is responsible for quality control? Does the worker work for any other company(s)? Who sets the pay rate?

(5) Did the worker make any investments such as insurance or bonding? Can the worker earn a profit by performing the job more efficiently or exercising managerial skill or suffer a loss of capital investment?

(6) Does the worker perform routine tasks requiring little training? Does the worker advertise independently via yellow pages, business cards, etc? Does the worker have a separate business site?

Here’s a more simplified summary: Independent Contractors must be treated as the competitive, professional business owners with the opportunity to win work in a competitive marketplace with the ability to invest in their own operation and growth.

Current Challenges

Innocent decisions made consistently over the course of peak business have created havoc for operators and oilfield services companies alike. Examples include:

  • Providing  non-cash incentives such as shared office space and company owned trucks to retain independent contractors.
  • Providing employee eligible benefits to independent contractors.
  • Stipulating and controlling independent contractor work hours.
  • Non-negotiable day rates.
  • Failing to provide defined project scopes.
  • Lacking documentation as to the professional, nature of the two entities.
What solutions does RigUp provide?

RigUp has brought to the Oil & Gas vertical the only free online marketplace with the same efficiency and transparency being realized in other verticals.

Legal Labor

Let’s talk about how we can help you today. Contact us at support@rigup.com or 512-501-5452.

www.rigup.com