Negotiation with Union to overcome change resistance brings $2m TA saving

Designing and building a TA strategy
Due to its extensive experience in TA strategy and management, T.A. Cook was brought on board to design and build a TA strategy and plan.  

Approach
During the initial analysis, the following areas were identified as needing further assistance in order to meet the TA Navitrack schedule, fill gaps and drive down costs:

  • TA activities tracker management;
  • Shift timeline development and implementation; and
  • Shutdown and start-up of operations timeline optimization.

Given a timeframe of just four months, the T.A. Cook team involved client staff at all levels in Operations, as well as key individuals in Procurement, Engineering and Inspection, to identify which areas needed assistance to meet the Navitrack schedule.

Resistance to change
As some management had not been involved in the project development from its earliest stages, gaining staff trust and engagement in change at lower levels was challenging. 

As the primary cause of TA planning problems could be traced to lost time and disorganization of resources, the joint client and T.A. Cook team agreed to alter the shift timeline to gain more time on tools per day per craftsman as the first step towards proper operational optimization.

Union negotiation
However, discussions with the union had to be conducted to alter shift times.  As employee contracts stipulated the exact amount of break time allowed but not when the breaks should be, T.A. Cook agreed with them that morning breaks would be given up in exchange for longer lunch breaks, thus reducing double travel times and increasing tool time.

As a result, staff were able to work uninterrupted and enjoyed being able to focus directly on TA planning and operations.  

Benefits
As a result of the above changes, $2m worth of savings were achieved.

Furthermore, improved resource utilization, better productivity and hence a lower contractor expenditure have contributed to higher staff motivation and engagement all round.