Addressing TAR issues at Canadian petrochemical plant brings $CAN1.2m savings

Identifying improvement potential
At a leading Canadian petrochemical producer planning for an approaching turnaround (TA) was not being carried out according to initial forecasts.  The T.A. Cook team was brought in on an initial one week assessment to identify improvement potential for TA preparation and execution.

During the assessment, T.A. Cook used data analysis and interviews with key personnel to establish exactly what was delaying planning activities and how those factors could be improved.

Accelerating planner performance
As it became clear that only 55 percent of planners’ time was being spent on planning, the T.A. Cook and client team then focused on processes to bring planning back on track.

Firstly, supervisors worked to establish exactly what goals planners should achieve and when.  These were then used to create both daily and weekly schedules of expectations, which supervisors could use to then track planners’ activities and success rates.

Addressing skills-related issues
Secondly, as Canada suffers from a shortage of skilled TA planners the T.A. Cook team recognised that planner motivation had suffered, which in turn had made supervisors reluctant to carry out active management for fear of being short staffed at critical moments.

In order to tackle staff demotivation, T.A. Cook worked with managers and supervisors to validate the exact skills that planners were in possession of, including their expert knowledge, the software available to them and how they were able to use it.  As they were then able to identify gaps in planners’ abilities, training topics were selected in order to increase the overall level of competency.

Furthermore, the T.A. Cook team carried out coaching sessions with supervisors to enable them to actively manage their teams and ensure processes were adhered to and goals were reached.

Results
By promoting active management and allowing supervisors to clearly assess their current and future skills requirements, a cost saving of $CAN 1.2million was achieved.

Furthermore, the implementation of the above processes allowed managers to better address manpower requirements for TA planning long into the future.