Active Management Corrects North American Oil Refinery Pre-TA Project

A diversified Fortune 100 company providing essential energy resources to businesses and consumers around the world was concerned about one of their North American refinery site’s project cost and schedule overrun. The project had exceeded the budget because the timeline was not adhered to and the scope had not been well-defined. The fuel and lubricant production site management team approached T.A. Cook to establish a professional approach to TA planning with the aim of reducing cost and maintaining schedule adherence. Here are the key results:


under budget for the $136M Turnaround


Offsite fabrication shop budget reduced by $980,000


Provided break down of pipe fitter hourly rate build-up: paid $32, contracted rate $67.64


In order to define and clarify processes a Management Control & Reporting System (MCRS) was introduced. Then, through a series of eleven studies, a significant overlap of roles and responsibilities was identified, which was negatively affecting maintenance capacity. To support formalized boundaries, the organization chart was revised and resource loads were defined. These were incorporated into the three day look-ahead schedule, while job plans assigning a full day's work to each trade were distributed to mechanical coordinators and operators. Both the management and work teams were given a clear indication of which activities needed to be carried out and when.

During follow-up rounds with supervisors in the field, the key reasons behind schedule breaks and lack of schedule discipline were confirmed. At regular meetings, these were communicated to all stakeholders to drive better understanding at all levels and address areas for improvement. Planner skills were carefully assessed and necessary training required was recommended to make sure bad habits did not return.


With the help of the T.A. Cook team, training and in-the-field real time coaching were implemented and the project was brought back on track. The root causes of recurring problems were identified and addressed, equipping the client with the skills and knowledge needed to implement lasting improvement. Based on the success of the short impact program, the client requested a full site wide implementation program to drive similar behaviors across the site.

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