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Case Study

Organ­i­sa­tion­al Effectiveness

Util­is­ing R&D to improve capac­i­ty util­i­sa­tion by over 80%



Research and devel­op­ment (R&D) are essen­tial in agri­cul­ture for improv­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, increas­ing food secu­ri­ty, adapt­ing to cli­mate change, and improv­ing sus­tain­abil­i­ty. It can lead to the devel­op­ment of new tech­nolo­gies and tech­niques, improve crop yields, and reduce loss­es due to pests, dis­eases, and envi­ron­men­tal stress. 

R&D can also help agri­cul­ture adapt to the chal­lenges of cli­mate change by devel­op­ing new crop vari­eties that are more tol­er­ant to heat, drought, and oth­er climate-related stres­sors. It is essen­tial for ensur­ing that agri­cul­ture can con­tin­ue to meet the needs of a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion while min­i­miz­ing its impact on the environment.

Our client is the sub­sidiary of a diver­si­fied, R&D‑focused agri-business com­pa­ny. With over two decades of expe­ri­ence in the devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of select­ed chem­i­cals, they man­u­fac­ture a wide range of agro­chem­i­cals and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal inter­me­di­ates. As a result of long-lasting rela­tion­ships with com­pa­nies all over the world, more than 50% of their busi­ness come from exports sales to around 25 countries.


We part­nered with the client to set up a func­tion­al and dynam­ic man­age­ment con­trol sys­tem (MCS) that would help them increase their through­put and pro­vide a struc­tured review-and-control mech­a­nism for more informed deci­sion making.

The first step was to iden­ti­fy bot­tle­necks in the val­ue chain by study­ing the exist­ing sys­tems, under­stand­ing behav­iour­al aspects of their per­son­nel and iden­ti­fy­ing rea­sons of loss and delays in the oper­a­tion. The team con­duct­ed a two-week analy­sis to iden­ti­fy var­i­ous oppor­tu­ni­ties present in the plant in terms of sys­tems and process improvement.

We iden­ti­fied the fol­low­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for improve­ment in pro­duc­tion and main­te­nance functions:

  1. Huge vari­a­tions from stan­dard val­ue were evi­dent in the reactor’s batch cycle time.
  2. Key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors (KPIs) and tar­gets were unstructured.
  3. There was no evi­dence of short inter­val con­trol on the pro­duc­tion floor. This led to loss­es being unno­ticed and a lack of a sys­tem­at­ic approach for improvement.

Project Approach

We con­duct­ed an 8‑week Focus Process® which start­ed with a detailed area sur­vey and process map­ping of oper­a­tions and main­te­nance. We also mapped the exist­ing MCS, per­for­mance lev­els, super­vi­so­ry con­trols, and SOPs. Three task­force mem­bers were iden­ti­fied from the plant team and trained in Renoir method­ol­o­gy. Base­line per­for­mance was com­put­ed based on his­tor­i­cal data.

From here, we estab­lished bot­tle­neck reac­tors which gov­ern the through­put and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty rate of the three tar­get prod­ucts. Gaps in main­te­nance prac­tices were found out through pit-stop studies.

The fol­low­ing mile­stones were iden­ti­fied to improve the project objec­tive of increas­ing capac­i­ty utilization:

  1. Imple­ment short inter­val con­trol sys­tems for bot­tle­neck reactors.
  2. Dis­man­tle exist­ing bot­tle­necks by reduc­ing their batch cycle time. Addi­tion­al­ly, iden­ti­fy the next prob­a­ble bot­tle­neck and repeat sim­i­lar exercise.
  3. Install main­te­nance sys­tems and process­es to ensure reduc­tion in MTTR and improve­ment in MTBF.
  4. Imple­ment KPI dash­board to review, con­trol and improve dai­ly performance.
  5. Con­duct reg­u­lar train­ing ses­sions to ensure per­son­nel are equipped with required knowl­edge to align the project objective.

Project Imple­men­ta­tion

To achieve the mile­stones list­ed above, we set up a man­age­ment action team (MAT) com­pris­ing of super­vi­sors and man­agers from pro­duc­tion and main­te­nance func­tions. The MAT designed and refined new sys­tems and process­es to ensure buy-in from users and ease the process of implementation.

Some of the key sys­tems imple­ment­ed by the MAT include:

  1. A KPI dash­board that’s pre­pared and pub­lished dai­ly, which show­cased the pre­vi­ous day’s KPIs of oper­a­tions and maintenance.
  2. Dai­ly review meet­ings to devel­op the prac­tice of review­ing the plan and improve the lead KPIs on a dai­ly basis. This enabled bet­ter con­trol of the process and improved coor­di­na­tion between functions.
  3. Short Inter­val Con­trols, SOPs, and data cap­tur­ing mech­a­nisms to track and man­age hourly pro­duc­tion ver­sus the tar­get throughput.
  4. Real-time down­time data cap­tur­ing at every stage in the process to under­stand the nature of issues.
  5. The prac­tice of con­duct­ing root cause analy­sis (RCA) to deter­mine the root cause of break­downs and avoid reoccurrence.
  6. A pre­ven­tive main­te­nance sched­ule for each func­tion with check­lists for each equip­ment item.
  7. Main­te­nance dai­ly log sheets and main­te­nance review meet­ings to dri­ve effec­tive plan­ning and exe­cut­ing of jobs.
  8. Line walks for the plant head to ensure that issues in the plant are iden­ti­fied as soon as possible.
  9. Crit­i­cal spare lists to ensure that the min­i­mum required spare inven­to­ry is main­tained for all crit­i­cal equipment.
  10. Hands-on coach­ing (regard­ing the main­te­nance and objec­tive of the sys­tems) for the sys­tems owners.
  11. A steer­ing com­mit­tee to review the project progress. This forum was also used for esca­la­tion of any non-conformance, uncon­trol­lable in nature by MAT.

“Renoir ensured buy-in at all lev­els and devel­oped a cul­ture of struc­tured reviews. We have achieved a ROI more than what was tar­get­ed. More­over, sys­tems estab­lished dur­ing the project are still sus­tained and we are get­ting ben­e­fits out of them on a dai­ly basis.”


Key Results

Capac­i­ty util­i­sa­tion of 

94%, 93%, and 90% 

in three dif­fer­ent crit­i­cal prod­uct lines — 

an improve­ment of over 80% 

A sig­nif­i­cant incre­ment in the through­put of all prod­uct lines was achieved through­out the course of the assign­ment. In addi­tion to the above mea­sur­able results, we were also able to instil a sense of sus­te­nance and con­tin­u­ous improve­ment in the hearts and minds of plant personnel. 

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