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How we helped a steel manufacturer improve throughput by up to 14% – in just 20 weeks

July 3, 2023 | Organisational Effectiveness

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Steel manufacturing in South Asia, comprising countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, is a significant industry in the region. South Asia has witnessed substantial growth in steel production over the years, driven by increasing industrialization, infrastructure development, and urbanization.

Steel manufacturing in South Asia faces challenges such as availability of raw materials, energy costs, and environmental concerns. Efforts are being made to develop sustainable practices and reduce the environmental impact of steel production.

Our client is a South Asian manufacturer of steel and steel products. They offer a portfolio of products including iron ore pellets, sponge iron, billets, ferro alloys, light and heavy rolled steel structures, and thermo-mechanically treated (TMT) bars. They also have power plants for captive consumption, making them a fully integrated steel manufacturer.

In a market where there is consistent annual growth, the client aims to become the leading steel producer in the region. We have previously worked with them to improve the operational efficiency of one of their plants.

Given the success of our previous collaboration, the client once again engaged our expertise to deliver similar benefits for another one of their power plants. As with the previous project, the transformation consisted of implementing management control systems (MCS) in the pellet plant, sponge iron plant, steel melting shop and TMT bar mill.


We kicked off the 20-week project by setting up a task force and defining the project structure. The task force members formed part of the project team along with our consultants.

We also set up a management action team (MAT) to drive the project forward and achieve desired results. The MAT members comprised of division heads and functional heads and met on a weekly basis to confirm progress and address any issues.

The first weeks of our Focus Process® saw the mapping of the as-is MCS and processes, along with a workshop to identify — and agree on — any requirements and modifications that differed compared to the plant in our previous transformation project.


We involved all levels of the organization and gained their buy-in to the solutions designed; this assures sustainability once our involvement is complete. New MCS for operations and maintenance were installed with guidance and support by our team.

To improve production management, standards for throughput were re-established, targets set, and variances monitored. Structured review systems were put in place at all levels and across all time horizons. Some of the plant-specific systems were designed and implemented (which led to higher operational efficiency) include:

Pellet plant

  • A daily dashboard that showed production data and equipment condition. This enabled the divisional head to control the plant’s critical equipment and process.
  • A preventive maintenance system.
  • A new root cause analysis (RCA) system and systematic capture of abnormalities reduced breakdowns (some of which had been unresolved for over a year).
  • Shift score cards that allowed shift leaders to focus their activities (including those relating to compliance with systems).

Sponge iron plant

  • Kiln and shift inspection systems that increased equipment availability and campaign life.
  • A near-real-time system to record, monitor and maintain temperatures
  • A daily dashboard, daily inspection sheets, iron crusher log sheets, and daily environment checklists

Steel melting shop

  • A melter performance scorecard which provided valuable input to training plans. Furnace SOPs were also implemented.
  • Daily meetings with dashboards, RCAs and power trend reviews to monitor cycle time in detail.
  • A furnace log sheet to capture details for breakdowns, low power, cycle time, tapping temp, and more.

TMT bar mill

  • A mill log sheet to show production trends and promote short interval control by the floor supervisor.
  • Hot out, misroll and breakdown sheets to capture event details and generate actions to prevent repetitions.
  • A process to accurately measure losses rather than them being assumed.

“I always wanted engineers to think and work like engineers, i.e. solve root causes of problems and improve overall plant performance and condition. Once they do, their top managers can focus on further development of plant. I have seen these changes happening at both my plants after engaging Renoir.”




increased throughput for the pellet plant


increased throughput for the sponge iron plant


increased throughput for the steel melting shop

During the project period, the sponge iron plant achieved their best campaign days with improved yield, while misrolls and hot outs were reduced by up to 2% in the steel melting shop. The cultural changes were widely visible across all plants, as people proactively started to plan for events and take actions based on the data.

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