Profiled PIPers

Russ Maney

Introduction

Success = Opportunity + Preparation + Passion. The opportunities in the electric utilities industry today are ‘once in a lifetime’ in scale and complexity, as the industry undergoes a fundamental transformation, thanks to several interdependent forces: renewables/decarbonisation, distributed generation, storage, net/smart metering, smart grids, digitisation/’big data’, and new conservation techniques, just to name a few.

Working around the world, starting in early 90’s, Russ has followed his ‘passion’ and ‘prepared’ by helping electric utilities improve their performance in generation, transmission and distribution, sustaining and expansion capital management, and field force and construction productivity – all with a focus on real, rapid and sustainable results.

Before joining Partners in Performance, Russ consulted for utilities with McKinsey, was a technology research Director at Forrester Research, and helped build several start-up technology companies. When not traveling for work or pleasure, Russ can be found running through streets and parks and on basketball and racquetball courts in local gyms or spending time with family and friends.

Career snapshot

  • Maintenance productivity improvement: Worked with a large Australian generation company’s maintenance management and frontline supervision to increase maintenance productivity by 90% (measured in completed tasks) by total maintenance tasks completed per week), equal to $30m/yr in cost reductions.
  • Field force productivity improvement: Worked with a large UK electricity distribution company to identify and implement field force productivity improvements, increasing productivity by up to ~40% by implementing 36 improvement ideas.
  • Field force productivity improvement: Worked with a large U.S. electric utility’s field force management and frontline supervision to ‘wire in’ a new performance management system, including KPIs, structured reviews, and targeted problem solving, spanning senior management down to individual work crews, leading to large improvements in customer satisfaction.
  • Maintenance productivity improvement: Worked with a large Australian generation company to improvement maintenance performance, resulting in a 10% improvement in unit availability (85.9% vs. 77.5%, equal to a $50m/yr generation margin increase), a 62% increase in maintenance productivity (measured in completed tasks), and decreases in overtime and contractor spending of $1.2m/yr and $3.9m/yr respectively.
  • Field force productivity improvement: Worked with a large UK electricity distribution company to identify and implement field force productivity improvements, increasing productivity by up to ~20%.
  • Contractor construction productivity improvement: Worked with a large global energy producer its key contractor to lower construction costs by over 50%, while also decreasing construction time and defects – improvements that were collectively worth over $100m.
  • Predictive data analytics: Worked with a global LNG producer to use PDA tools to measure asset consumption and predict component failures to move to reliability centred maintenance. Then structured frameworks to guide how results should be used by operations and maintenance to optimise maintenance spending to improve production.
  • Predictive data analytics: Worked with a global conglomerate to use PDA tools to predict critical production component failures, including developing a ‘degradation index’ to measure asset life over time. Used unsupervised and supervised machine learning to help client move from reactive to condition-based planned maintenance, reducing breakdowns by 30% and increasing planned work completion by 40%.
  • Operations and sustaining capital cost reductions: Worked with a large Australian natural gas-based generation group to identify and implement maintenance and operations-related ideas that resulted in ongoing cost reductions of 18% of annual Opex and 8% of annual Sustaining Capex.
  • Generation unit overhaul duration and cost reduction: Worked with a large Australian utility to increase the NPV of a $50m boiler and turbine overall by $8m through duration and cost reductions.
  • Operational excellence/continuous improvement: Worked a large Australian energy producer’s internal OE/CI team to evaluate and prioritise hundreds of performance improvement ideas across multiple sites – and then drive the ‘top 40’ highest priority initiatives into implementation. This work included implementing a new OE/CI management process and training client OE/CI and front-line personnel.
  • Cost reduction: Worked with a global waste gas-fired and remote location electricity generation company identify, prioritise, and implement over 100 cost savings ideas, resulting in $10m of current FY EBITDA benefit and $35m in ongoing annual EBITDA improvement.
  • Production improvement and cost reduction: Worked with global LNG producer to to identify and implement ~$1.9 billion production throughput and cost improvements. Focus areas included increasing key asset availability, production process debottlenecking and increasing maintenance field force productivity.
  • Cost reductions: Worked a global electricity generator to identify, evaluate, and implement ideas that resulted in ongoing cost reductions of 18% of annual Opex and 8% of annual Capex.
  • Energy efficiency improvement: Worked with a utility’s large commercial energy customer to achieve over $100m in annual energy savings (20% of $500m/yr spend) across ~1000 sites through ~45 cost savings initiatives, spanning lighting, HVAC, and refrigeration. Also identified further savings opportunities through increased reliance on renewable energy.
  • Supply chain throughput improvement: Worked with a large UK generation company to increase biomass fuel supply chain throughput from ports to biomass (converted from coal) power station, resulting in £5m per week in addition generation margin.
  • Fuel quality improvement: Worked with a large UK generation company to identify and take numerous steps to resolve a fuel quality problem for a biomass (converted from coal), which increase unit availability, lower site maintenance costs, and increased site safety.
  • Regulatory strategy: Worked a large U.S. utility to develop response to proposed government regulations changes, which played a pivotal role in minimising the impact of the final regulation changes.
  • Organisation design: Worked with a large U.S. electric utility to shift its field force and customer service organisations from geography-based to key customer segments-based organisation designs, leading to significant increases in both back office and field force effectiveness.

Education

MBA from The Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth (Tuck Scholar and graduated first in his class) and Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (with Distinction) from the University of Kentucky.