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Case Study

Operational Excellence

Seafood company sees 30% reduction in refit time for its fishing vessel


At a Glance

  • A leading and internationally recognised, agri-processing and branded FMCG company acquired a new vessel that required a regular refit and the removal and installation of a complete processing factory to obtain full certification.
  • Renoir consultants provided support for this one-off project by adapting various aspects of the refit standard operating procedures and management control system elements.
  • There was a significant performance improvement in the planning and execution of refits, resulting in a 30% decrease in the refit time of their fishing vessel.


Our client is a leading and internationally recognised seafood, agri-processing and branded Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) business. Their operations cover the entire value chain from harvesting the catch into a variety of chilled and frozen seafood products, to sales, ensuring that the products meet customer expectations. Their wild-caught and farmed products are packaged and marketed to local and international customers.  

Their operations are divided into:  

  • The freezer fleet, which catches, processes, packs, and freezes finished products at sea for onward shipment to export markets. These vessels can spend up to six weeks at sea;  
  • The fresh fleet, which catches, partially processes, and chills seafood for delivery to a shore-based factory for further processing. The number of days at sea for these vessels is limited by the age of the oldest fish caught, so they can spend a maximum of six days at sea.  

Renoir was previously engaged by the client to maximise the fishing time of a fleet of vessels to improve operational performance and profitability. In this previous engagement, the client achieved a 140% increase in the number of days at sea, adding 134 more fishing days per year across a fleet of eight vessels. Read more about the project approach, implementation and other key results.   

The Challenge 

Vessels are required to undergo regular inspection cycles, including dry docking and extended maintenance or repair shutdowns. Major activities on a vessel or their facilities are categorised as ‘Refit Projects’. Such activities involve significant expenditure, both in terms of direct costs and the indirect impact of reduced vessel availability to the fleet division.  

Our client acquired a new vessel that required a regular refit and the removal and installation of a complete processing factory to obtain full certification.  

Following the success of a previous project with Renoir, we were re-engaged to support this one-off project by adapting various aspects of the refit standard operating procedures and management control system elements.  


Renoir consultants and the client’s personnel carried out an analysis and identified the following issues for this project: 

  • Insufficient resources: The capacity and skills required for project planning, procurement management, cost control, and project monitoring during execution were lacking as only one person was assigned and/or responsible for all tasks.
  • Lack of structure in scope development: The planning process lacked clear guidelines for the development of the scope of work. Instead, the scope of work served as a repository for all outstanding maintenance and repair tasks, with no defined timelines for completion of the planned refit.
  • Inadequate cost management: A significant percentage of expenditure was incurred without following proper procurement procedures. Cost controls and reporting were informal, resulting in frequent unexpected cost increases and long delays in communicating the total project costs to the organisation.
  • Poor refit estimations: Refit projects regularly exceeded budgeted costs and experienced unforeseen overruns. The standard duration used for planning did not correlate with the actual scope of work.

Project implementation

Based on the issues identified during the analysis phase, the following initiatives were initiated and/or implemented:

1. Implemented a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Developed a detailed plan with timelines and milestones to ensure sufficient time for scope planning and compliance with procurement policies.

2. Set up a new organisational structure. Designed and staffed a new structure with a balanced mix of technical expertise, planning skills, cost management skills, and supervisory skills. In addition, a comprehensive responsibility matrix was developed for all steps in the SOP, aligning the Refit Department with the wider fleet organisation.

3. Installed the Management Control System (MCS). The installation included tools to facilitate scope planning, categorising each task based on priority; controls to monitor planning progress against the SOP; a high-level project plan, enabling the development of a critical path and determination of the overall project execution duration; cost management worksheets and costing reports, including costing for contingencies based on historical inspection findings.

“The past year was a great experience for the fleet technical department at our organisation with the Renoir group of consultants working in our business. After analysing the various aspects of the business, certain tools and procedures were introduced that have improved the business. Currently, the procedures that have been introduced are used on a daily basis and it would be difficult to run the business without them.”

– Technical Manager


A 30% reduction in the average refit time, from 68 days to 47 days

An increase in fishing days of 21 days per vessel

Improved cost control, transparency and timely reporting

The planning and execution of refits has undergone a performance transformation. The current focus is on pre-execution planning, resulting in a significant increase in the flexibility of fleet capacity management. In addition, the predictability of both refit costs and duration has improved significantly, reducing surprises in both aspects.

*We have intentionally omitted client-specific details to maintain strict confidentiality.  

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