Thought Leadership

Post COVID Maintenance: Agility and effectiveness in the new reality

“What if you could be the first back into the market with reliable production?”

As the economy re-boots post COVID-19, companies will be challenged by a myriad of trials when reestablishing themselves in the new reality. Start-up delays and production interruptions could be the opportunity that your competition is looking for.

Ramp-up ready:

Without adequate preparation and a built-for-purpose maintenance plan, you could find that your facilities let you down just when you need them the most or surprises force you off-plan. There is also a higher risk of a safety disaster when your company is under pressure to deliver after having paused or reduced operations significantly. To proactively manage restart and ramp-up, Maintenance Operational Readiness should consider:

  1. Focused Care & Maintenance: The plant is shut down, but is it being kept in a state that allows for an agile restart? Take this time to ensure that your facilities and equipment are being looked after through preventive maintenance.
  2. New Maintenance Plan: As operations have been disrupted, the typical maintenance plan will not apply in the short term. Ensure there is a maintenance plan aligned with the business needs as it ramps back up. Analyze the status of equipment, people, processes, new procedures required, and updated timelines for the next scheduled equipment shutdown.
  3. Workforce: Are your workers/contractors still available, willing and able to return to work once you have begun your ramp-up plans? Planning, scheduling and reliability functions can largely be done off-site; allowing you to reduce the threat of a shortage of skills. Identifying the processes that can be done remotely is critical to ensuring your ramp-up is successful. Consider a staggered return to work to support social distancing requirements and the safe roll-out of new operating procedures, if required.?
  4. Supply Chain: Are your maintenance suppliers operational and will they be able to ramp up fast enough to meet your needs? Can you stock up before everyone else does? You should establish a plan B for your supply chain should your vendors and suppliers have their own disruptions, either based on demand or lack of raw materials. Understand that everyone will want to ramp-up as quickly as possible and suppliers might have delays on parts deliveries. Establish a Supply Chain Risk Management Plan as soon as possible.

Understanding that one of the most critical activities our clients can engage on after a period of forced and unplanned shut-down is a well-executed ramp-up. We suggest that leaders follow an agile, comprehensive, well defined, and structured ramp-up program. Proudfoot’s restart approach, centered around an Operational Readiness Impact assessment, includes:

    • Ensuring maintenance alignment with the business plan
    • Auditing & guiding Operational Readiness
    • Safeguarding a functioning Maintenance Management Operating System (MMOS)
    • Training & coaching work management processes and behaviors

Maintenance Maturity: Gaining, attaining and sustaining improvements and a new normal

When production normalizes, maintenance demand eases, and operations become more predictable, your maintenance strategy needs to shift from being effective to being both effective and efficient. At this time, the cost of maintenance must be optimized.

Jump-start the transition: begin the development of a mature maintenance system to support the stabilization of operations and to create the basis of a long-term strategy. To do so, you must:

  1. Drive performance through visibility: measure & display critical metrics
  2. Target chronic downtime issues: focus on the obvious problems, provide “quick wins” and align your people to deliver results
  3. Incorporate new technologies: enable remote working and real-time access to information for agile decision making

Long-term planning and results

Maintenance is a key contributor to the corporate agenda of improved financial performance, social license to operate, and growth. You should develop a maintenance maturity approach that helps you establish your long-term vision, is fully aligned with corporate direction, defines where you are on the journey, and develops a detailed roadmap to achieve the vision.

Moving up the maintenance maturity curve first requires developing an Asset Management strategy and then putting key elements in place that allow disciplined execution of key processes. While there are a multitude of maintenance processes, the principal ones include Planning, Scheduling, and Work Execution, all which must dovetail with Reliability. Due to its large impact on the business, Turn Around Management, or shut-down requires its own specific focus which incorporates all the above processes.

 

Over the last 74+ years, Proudfoot have worked with companies to develop and implement a bespoke Maintenance Maturity approach. The approach reflects your reality and creates buy-in at all levels to ensure sustainability. Our long-term maintenance maturity models not only provide all elements to support a long-term corporate strategy, they are built with your people to reflect your reality and create buy-in at all levels; thus, providing you lasting results Proudfoot’s Maintenance Maturity approach also analyze the organization and its digital platforms; thus providing a clear path to a successful execution that takes into account the right people and access to the right information.

Our experience and methodologies are reflected in recent results with clients from around the globe:

  • A large public rail transit system projected maintenance savings of 11% in the first fiscal year from implementing new shop floor practices.
  • A large mining client in the Caribbean realized a 12% increase in autoclave uptime, which along with throughput improvements resulted in an annualized benefit of USD $99M.
  • An aircraft maintenance client in Hong Kong improved maintenance cycle time by 10% with no extra manpower thereby increasing capacity for new customers.

“What if you could take advantage of an agile Maintenance Strategy and a robust Maintenance Maturity approach to be first to attain sustained production and leverage that to maximize market penetration. With Proudfoot you can.”

Posted on May 18, 2020

By Proudfoot Team

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