Case study 6 - Improving operational reliability on production facilities
The operations management in a global EP company was concerned by the low levels of reliability on its production facilities. Different regions had tried different remedies with varying levels of success leading to inconsistencies throughout the global operations. It wanted to standardise work activities across the world to improve operational performance. Essentially, the company knew what it wanted to achieve but not the best way to get there.
What we did
Tagus recommended an integrated strategic approach to:
introduce a standardised process based on six sigma principles for global use
document the process and its standards in enough detail for staff to be able to identify improvement opportunities, prioritise activities and develop and implement improvements
carry out performance reviews on all operational facilities against the standards on a regular basis
introduce a mechanism for sharing best practice with associated rewards and recognition
ensure that personnel at all levels in the organisation were involved in the development process.
Tagus produced a comprehensive solution that was rolled out worldwide to all levels of the organisation and included:
a suite of standards covering all aspects of operations
a set of process guides at different levels of detail explaining how to carry out all the key processes to achieve the agreed standards
a comprehensive review programme of operational performance
a training programme to support and embed the processes (including workshops, e-learning)
a communication programme to introduce the new ways of working.
It was critical that implementation was owned by those responsible for delivering the performance improvements. Using change management techniques Tagus:
developed implementation and training programmes for those responsible for implementing the new ways of working at regional, country and operational facility level
ran conferences, workshops and seminars
developed a web portal, newsletters, posters, case studies and presentations.
The project started with the Maintenance function and was primarily aimed at reducing the amount of scheduled and unscheduled downtime on its facilities. This was so successful that the project was extended to cover Production and Logistics functions. Through the success of the programme, the organisation’s culture has evolved from one of reactive ‘fire fighting’ to one of problem solving and continuous improvement.
Specific results include:
a 12% reduction in the time taken to complete planned shutdowns with a reduced need for rework
unscheduled downtime reduced by 4% through the improved identification of bad actors and improved defect elimination
improvements in the efficiency of work planning and scheduling resulting in up to a 10% increase in planned work and a reduction in corrective work
improved maintenance performance globally by 6% (on average).