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We are a global management consultancy that delivers exceptional outcomes and sustainable change

Case Study

Organ­i­sa­tion­al Effectiveness

How we helped an oil & gas con­glom­er­ate improve the effi­cien­cy of its oil refin­ery and achieve mil­lions in savings



Improv­ing the effi­cien­cy and mar­gin of oil refiner­ies can help oil and gas com­pa­nies gain a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage by attract­ing more cus­tomers and increas­ing mar­ket share. It can also help them increase prof­it mar­gins by gen­er­at­ing high­er prof­its from the same vol­ume of crude oil processed.

Addi­tion­al­ly, it demon­strates envi­ron­men­tal respon­si­bil­i­ty, mit­i­gates oper­a­tional risks, and ensures long-term via­bil­i­ty by posi­tion­ing the com­pa­ny for a tran­si­tion to clean­er ener­gy sources.

Our client owns and oper­ates an oil refin­ery locat­ed in North Amer­i­ca. The 1,400-acre facil­i­ty was estab­lished in 1889. With a crude pro­cess­ing capac­i­ty of over 400,000 bar­rels per day, it is the sixth largest refin­ery in the Unit­ed States. The facil­i­ty pro­duces a wide range of liq­uid fuels, along with 7% of all asphalt in the Unit­ed States.

The client lagged the upstream busi­ness in the devel­op­ment and instal­la­tion of con­sis­tent main­te­nance work man­age­ment process­es (MWP) and dis­ci­pline. They want­ed to devel­op and imple­ment a set of MWP with­in and across the refin­ery, but lacked the inter­nal capac­i­ty and exper­tise to prop­er­ly exe­cute it.

We were select­ed to help them achieve this goal based on our lengthy expe­ri­ence in main­te­nance process­es and sys­tems, as well as our long his­to­ry of work­ing with the client on sim­i­lar process­es before.

Project Approach

Our patent­ed Focus Process® formed the core ele­ment in iden­ti­fy­ing sig­nif­i­cant areas of val­ue and sav­ings asso­ci­at­ed with imple­ment­ing effec­tive and con­sis­tent main­te­nance process­es and work management.

The Focus process iden­ti­fied 5 workstreams:

  1. Mate­ri­als Management
  2. Con­trac­tor Management
  3. Iden­ti­fy and Validate
  4. Plan­ning and Scheduling
  5. Exe­cu­tion and Closure

Each work­stream was sup­port­ed by a ded­i­cat­ed man­age­ment action team (MAT) through­out a nine-month imple­men­ta­tion. The MATs were orga­nized through a robust gov­er­nance process that not only con­nect­ed all of the teams, but also con­nect­ed the work at the refin­ery floor to the refin­ery — and to cen­tral cor­po­rate leadership.

Project Imple­men­ta­tion

We exten­sive­ly mapped every com­po­nent of main­te­nance work man­age­ment, includ­ing mate­r­i­al and con­trac­tor man­age­ment. Once that was com­plete, key refin­ery per­son­nel reviewed each process to ensure that the process­es were cap­tured accu­rate­ly, iden­ti­fy­ing areas of weak­ness, bot­tle­neck, or concern.

Each MAT then specif­i­cal­ly iden­ti­fied and imple­ment­ed the fol­low­ing actions:

    - Imple­ment­ed qual­i­ty noti­fi­ca­tion stan­dards
    - Installed job aids
    - Imple­ment­ed KPI dash­boards
    - Imple­ment­ed an iden­ti­fi­ca­tion man­age­ment con­trol sys­tem (MCS) 
    - Assessed the noti­fi­ca­tion back­log for risk and cleansed over­dues
    - Imple­ment­ed the val­i­da­tion meet­ing terms of ref­er­ence (ToR)
    - Installed job aids for SCW, LCW, BSD/BFD and risk pri­ori­ti­sa­tion
    - Imple­ment­ed a break-in noti­fi­ca­tion man­age­ment process 
    - Updat­ed roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties for var­i­ous lead­er­ship roles 
    - Plan­ner fun­da­men­tal train­ing
    - Imple­ment­ed a back­log man­age­ment process ToR and meet­ing effec­tive­ness scor­ing
    - Imple­ment­ed self-verification/feedback to improve plan­ning qual­i­ty
    - Installed plan­ning qual­i­ty stan­dards and process­es
    - Imple­ment­ed site walk-down, work pack and work pack release checklists 
    - Imple­ment­ed ToRs for 4‑week and 1‑week com­mit­ment
    - Meet­ings and meet­ing effec­tive­ness audit­ing
    - Devel­oped 1‑Week work readi­ness cri­te­ria
    - Imple­ment­ed process­es for root cause analy­sis (RCA)
    - Devel­oped a sched­ul­ing MCS 
    - Imple­ment dai­ly work review tem­plates to enable the cap­ture of plan­ner feed­back, actu­al time and non-attainment codes
    - Imple­ment­ed meet­ing effec­tive­ness audits
    - Devel­oped job aids
    - Imple­ment­ed dash­boards for back­logs and MO performance 
    - Cre­at­ed strat­e­gy guide­lines doc­u­ment
    - Devel­oped three-year strat­e­gy (approved with stake­hold­ers from all oper­at­ing func­tions) 
    - Devel­oped a set of con­trac­tor man­age­ment met­rics
    - Devel­oped con­trac­tor man­age­ment crit­i­cal meet­ing ToRs
    - Designed an approach to improve NCR and CO usage 
    - Redesigned the organ­i­sa­tion
    - Devel­oped oper­a­tional meet­ings and KPIs
    - Updat­ed process­es to reflect work man­age­ment pri­or­i­ties
    - Installed mate­r­i­al sta­tus dashboards 

Key Results 

US$1.5 million 

of in-project savings 

US$36.48 million 

in busi­ness improve­ment plan benefits 


reduc­tion in aged noti­fi­ca­tion backlog 


reduc­tion in val­i­da­tion cycle time 


increase in in cor­rec­tive task list creation 


improve­ment in planned dai­ly main­te­nance orders 

By the end of the project, new and accept­ed work man­age­ment process­es had been devel­oped and imple­ment­ed across the refin­ery. Project KPIs showed not only sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial ben­e­fits already expe­ri­enced in-year but also sig­nif­i­cant effi­cien­cy improve­ments and refin­ery risk reduction.

We were suc­cess­ful in real­is­ing the client’s goals, devel­op­ment, adop­tion, and imple­men­ta­tion of refinery-wide work man­age­ment process­es… not only the client’s sat­is­fac­tion, but to their delight. But that was just the beginning.

The work we accom­plished at this refin­ery — realised through a com­bi­na­tion of proven method­olo­gies and was sub­se­quent­ly tagged as the tem­plate for all oth­er refiner­ies owned by the client globally.

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