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Case Study

Cost-Effective Main­te­nance for Enhanced Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty: A Crop Nutri­tion Case Study



Crop nutri­tion com­pa­nies pro­duce and dis­trib­ute fer­til­iz­ers and oth­er agri­cul­tur­al inputs to opti­mize plant nutri­tion for crop pro­duc­tion. They aim to enhance crop yields and max­i­mize agri­cul­tur­al productivity.

Our Client is the largest pro­duc­er of con­cen­trat­ed potash and phos­phate and employs more than 10,000 peo­ple in 6 countries.


In pro­duc­tion areas, a well-run main­te­nance area plays a cru­cial role in main­tain­ing reli­a­bil­i­ty and effi­cien­cy and max­i­mizes pro­duc­tiv­i­ty in a pro­duc­tion facil­i­ty. Impor­tant­ly, com­pa­nies must extract these ben­e­fits against a min­i­mal viable cost.

Renoir was invit­ed to analyse busi­ness process­es and the Man­age­ment Con­trol Sys­tem cur­rent­ly being used in the Main­te­nance area to under­stand the lev­els of oper­a­tional per­for­mance and the impact of per­for­mance on costs and throughput.


After a thor­ough 4‑week analy­sis at 3 pro­duc­tion plants, the fol­low­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties were identified:

  1. Labor pro­duc­tiv­i­ty improvement
  2. Effec­tive­ness of and adher­ence to man­age­ment procedures
  3. Improv­ing the effi­cien­cy of cur­rent busi­ness processes
  4. Reduc­tion of supplier’s con­tract costs
  5. Orga­ni­za­tion structure

The analy­sis also assessed main­te­nance orga­ni­za­tion, process­es and prac­tices against world-class stan­dards, which pro­vid­ed clar­i­fi­ca­tion with respect to the process­es and tools that need­ed improve­ment. This includ­ed a stan­dard set of per­for­mance indi­ca­tors by which per­for­mance could be assessed and improved.


The 40-week improve­ment project was struc­tured around improve­ments to main­te­nance process­es and man­age­ment sys­tems. The changes pro­posed effec­tive­ly con­sti­tut­ed a full organ­i­sa­tion­al redesign for the Main­te­nance divi­sion. The Client and Renoir col­lab­o­rat­ed in the Focus Process®, where, to fos­ter engage­ment and own­er­ship, Man­age­ment Action Teams (MATs) were set up, focus­ing on Plan­ning & Sched­ul­ing, Field Exe­cu­tion and Standardization.

MAT mem­bers were assigned on a part time basis such that they car­ried out their nor­mal day-to-day duties dur­ing the pro­gram. How­ev­er, they were key in defin­ing tar­gets and imple­ment­ing the nec­es­sary changes with­in their areas of respon­si­bil­i­ty. A multi-disciplinary Task­force was assem­bled from staff from the Cen­tre of Main­te­nance Excel­lence from each of the sev­en plant loca­tions. A Steer­ing Com­mit­tee, made up of senior Man­age­ment, met every two weeks to assess progress, pro­vide guid­ance, for­mal­ly approve pro­pos­als to changes in process­es and sys­tems and address any bar­ri­ers to progress.

“Renoir has brought us the knowl­edge and method­ol­o­gy to extract mea­sur­able improve­ments. The results ini­tial­ly pro­posed were deliv­ered and, in some cas­es, even exceeded.”

Direc­tor Main­te­nance CoE


The imple­men­ta­tion com­menced with the def­i­n­i­tion of per­for­mance tar­gets and new key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors, their def­i­n­i­tion and how they were to be measured.

Devel­op­ment start­ed on the changes to achieve the per­for­mance tar­gets and after 10 weeks the pro­ce­dures, con­trols and reports were approved. Full own­er­ship of the project was vest­ed in the MATs and Taskforce.

The new Main­te­nance MCS was rolled out at the largest site first and the Task­Force was being trained to com­plete the instal­la­tion at the oth­er loca­tions. Typ­i­cal activ­i­ties that were car­ried out dur­ing the imple­men­ta­tion includ­ed a review of all as-is man­age­ment tools, improve­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties and new tools required.

The new stan­dard­ised Main­te­nance MCS was being imple­ment­ed. KPIs and man­age­ment con­trol sys­tem ele­ments were intro­duced includ­ing plan­ning and pro­gram­ming best prac­tices. A Mas­ter Sched­ule ensured resources were effi­cient­ly allo­cat­ed and work­loads lev­elled. A new work order man­age­ment con­trol sys­tem was imple­ment­ed. We devel­oped the Super­vi­so­ry Behav­iour Pro­file and redesigned roles and responsibilities.

All new tools, flows and process­es were built fol­low­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion between the MATs and Task­force and were val­i­dat­ed by the Main­te­nance Man­agers. Staff impact­ed by changes were trained and coached by the Task­force and Renoir con­sul­tants. After the main imple­men­ta­tion, a sus­tain­abil­i­ty phase used behav­iour­al audit­ing to ensure that new work­ing prac­tices were being trained and coached to ensure full adoption.





labour cost reduction 


reduc­tion in con­trac­tor costs 


mate­ri­als stock reduc­tion value 

Full organ­i­sa­tion­al redesign in Maintenance 

Imple­men­ta­tion of the Main­te­nance MCS 


Whilst it is crit­i­cal that Main­te­nance areas prop­er­ly enable out­put effi­cien­cy, Main­te­nance activ­i­ties can be a sig­nif­i­cant expense in pro­duc­tion oper­a­tions. Ensur­ing that main­te­nance areas are cost-efficient helps in con­trol­ling over­all oper­a­tional costs, max­i­miz­ing prof­its, and stay­ing com­pet­i­tive in the market.

Whilst Main­te­nance func­tions often present good oppor­tu­ni­ties for cost opti­mi­sa­tion, they are often over­looked for var­i­ous rea­sons. Either the sole focus is on pro­duc­tion, costs seem unavoid­able, or the Main­te­nance costs itself are not clear­ly vis­i­ble or reac­tive in nature. Lack of main­te­nance exper­tise may also play a role.

In this case study, through a 4‑week analy­sis, Renoir iden­ti­fied and suc­ceed­ed in deliv­er­ing on oppor­tu­ni­ties for labour pro­duc­tiv­i­ty improve­ment, effec­tive­ness of man­age­ment pro­ce­dures, effi­cien­cy of cur­rent busi­ness process­es, reduc­tion of sup­pli­er’s con­tract costs, and orga­ni­za­tion structure.

Impor­tant­ly, the sys­tems, process­es and con­trols imple­ment­ed and the train­ing and cul­tur­al changes achieved pro­vide a plat­form for the Client to keep improv­ing in com­ing years.

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