Planned Shutdowns

Planned shutdowns represent both a high direct cost, and a large opportunity cost due to the associated lost production – simply put, we help our clients reduce these costs

If poorly executed, planned shutdowns can reduce operational stability and campaign length, as well as become a significant source of injuries. Our work with industrial clients shows that a rigorous focus on the factors that drive shutdown performance can lead to big reductions in costs and downtime. Most of the work required to improve shut performance can be implemented quickly, and then perfected over a number of shuts. Our approach is to focus on four key levers:

1. Reducing the frequency of planned shutdowns

The greatest potential benefits are often in reducing the frequency of planned shutdowns. Our execution rigour and experience often lead to reduced frequencies in the range of 30-40%.

2. Reducing the duration of the critical path for these shutdowns

The second key lever for improving performance is reducing the duration of the critical path for planned shutdowns. Here, the application of our Critical Path Reduction methodology (based on Lean principles) often results in reductions of 25-35% in the critical path.

3. Improving shut wiring

Here we work with our clients to leave behind an organisation that is hard wired to deliver well-planned, disciplined, actively managed shuts – that come in safely, on time, and on budget. Establishing effective organisational wiring for planned shutdowns includes work on (amongst other things):

  • Shut planning and processes
  • Accountabilities, roles and Key Performance Indicators
  • Reporting and reviews
  • Escalation processes and simple decision-making tools
  • Collection and collation of data

Establishing these processes ensures that shutdown performance can be sustained and that improvements continue to be driven over time.

4. Reducing the direct costs of planned shutdowns

In our experience, there are two primary methods for reducing direct shutdown cost: reducing the number and frequency of equipment repairs required in the shut (i.e. eliminating unnecessary shut activities), and reducing expenditure on external services, including labour and equipment.

This involves:

  • Reducing the contractor hours worked in the shutdown through critical path reduction, supervisor training, and disciplined contractor management
  • Reducing and managing contractor unit prices through means such as supplier consolidation and detailed analysis of supplier costs and margins

We also put considerable focus on the economics and incentives to ensure the contractor’s interests are aligned with the client’s total economics.

Our Relevant case studies