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Case Studies

Management by Walking Around (MBWA) Saves $1.65 million

January 15, 2024 | Operational Excellence

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At a Glance

A client in the petrochemical industry engaged Renoir for cost savings efforts amidst a challenging global economy. The scope of the project revolved around 5 key areas of work: Production Planning, Quality Control, Maintenance, Finance, Sales & Marketing.

The results of the project were as follows:

  • Cumulative project benefits of USD1.65 million
  • Annualized benefits on target to exceed USD4.5 million across companies
  • In-project achievement of behavioral change targets

Background

The client is a polyethylene (PE) producer in Southeast Asia. Today, the plant runs three trains with a total capacity of 450,000 tons per annum, making it one of the larger high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) producers in Southeast Asia.

Used to making a variety of plastic products, from packaging film and containers to components for a host of industries, PE is one of the world’s most widely used polymers. The client is also the parent company of a producer of Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP film). The factory produces various products for industries using plastics as a main material for printing, adhesive tapes and packaging (cigarettes overwraps, bags, metalized film).

The Challenge

Recent changes in the global economy have resulted in increasing challenges for the petrochemical industry. Fluctuating feedstock prices and unpredictable market cycles have added significant uncertainty to both production planning and sales & marketing. To remain relevant in the market, manufacturers need to be ever more productive and efficient to ensure unit costs are kept as low as possible.

What We Did

Renoir’s Focus Process™ & Implementation

The project with this client was based around three core pillars of improvement:

  • Profit Focus – increased management and control of key revenue drivers
  • Operational Excellence – improved Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) performance from reduced production losses
  • Customer Intimacy – value maximization through enhanced customer satisfaction

The scope of the project revolved around 5 key areas of work across both companies: Production Planning, Quality Control, Maintenance, Finance, Sales & Marketing.

Execution Approach 

Plant Throughput Improvement 

  • Implemented customised production loss framework to increase transparency over OEE 
  • Introduced root cause coding to categorise MT of lost production from availability, performance and quality 
  • Improved focus on daily monitoring of production volume and identification of variance to targets 
  • Cascaded ownership for daily production targets down to the shop floor 

Unplanned Downtime Reduction  

  • Installed an improved maintenance planning and execution system to ensure compliance to PM schedules 
  • Increased proactive shop floor supervision through Management by Walking Around (MBWA) 
  • Created awareness among personnel to follow procedures when executing tasks and assigned accountability for failures 
  • Standardised the root cause analysis approach to ensure continuous improvement 

Plant Productivity Increase 

  • Put in place a practical and sustainable Maximum Sustainable Daily Rate (MSDR) 
  • Ensured short interval control monitoring of daily flow rates 
  • Enhanced product transition planning to optimize train speeds 
  • Improved deviation reporting process 

Reduction in Quality Downgrades 

  • Implemented Statistical Process Control (SPC) to ensure prompt action is taken to address process deviations 
  • Installed more stringent and frequent quality sampling checks in different areas of production process 
  • Implemented process constraint reporting to document process deviations, enable future analysis and improved quality planning 
  • Installed defect mitigation plans as part of a continuous improvement initiative to reduce defects from reoccurring 

Behavioral Change  

  • Behaviors and mindset change were improved and monitored by Situational Auditing (SA) 
  • Systems and processes were monitored and compliance enforced 
  • Staff were coached in the classroom and on the shop floor to create awareness, understanding and ownership for achievement of results.

“Renoir has played an integral role in nurturing job ownership among all levels of employees. The corporate culture has already begun to change for the better and most employees are self-motivated to improve existing processes to create a more efficient work environment. Renoir’s ability to drive the shop floor has been the key to success and sustainability in this exercise”

President Director

The Results

Petrochemical Company:

  • >45% reduction in Unplanned Downtime Losses
  • >40% reduction in Productivity Losses

Parent Company:

  • >40% reduction in Unplanned Downtime Losses
  • >30% reduction in Productivity Losses

Cut productivity losses with active supervision and planning.

Further Reading

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