Task – Refining | Productivity & Workforce Skills Deployment

In preparation for a major expansion, a leading resources company identified the need to restructure their labour force.

Project activity involved:

  • Optimising productivity over a 12 month program by the adoption of new management systems to effectively plan, schedule and execute their work as well as report on performance.
  • Deploying a management training and coaching program to prepare frontline and senior managers to manage in a new and more challenging environment. This program was then integrated into the organisation’s induction training for managers at all levels.
  • Improving the consistency of work practices and strength of engagement across all organisational levels, leading to faster decision-making, improved communication, greater flexibility and alignment across the organisation.
  • Redeploying parts of the skilled workforce freed up from the productivity improvements to the expansion, avoiding recruitment and turnover costs.

Insight – Significant productivity improvements even in resource intensive industries can be achieved without capital expenditure by implementing the right behaviours, tools and techniques.

Result – $9 million in productivity improvements, which were directed immediately to expansion efforts.

Task – Processing | Throughput Improvement

Coal Handling & Preparation Plant [CHPP] was regarded as a bottleneck in a complex, multi-mine value chain.

Project activity involved:

  • Working with management to position them to lead the program – communicate vision, drive urgency and ensuring personal involvement.
  • Implementing change where the work occurs – engaged all levels of the workforce in the project activity to alter entrenched behaviours and attitudes.
  • Standardising work practices across management levels and crews.
  • Leveraging the value chain information, and installing visual management techniques.
  • Re-tooling IT systems to capture information simply for Root Cause Analysis and Reliability Engineering. Revised physical reports and the review cycle to ensure relevant information was obtained on a short interval basis to enable rapid decision-making.
  • Training and coaching of Supervisors and Superintendents, providing them with the skills to engage and direct their people in a more consistent and effective manner.
  • Re-defining roles and responsibilities to clarify what is expected from each management level.

Insight – Rapid change and improvement made possible by ensuring high workforce engagement – working with the business, not to the business.

Result – 10% improvement in throughput in 11 weeks.

Task – Processing | Throughput Improvement

Increase the production of export quality, premium grade coal by optimising processing capability.

Project activity involved:

  • Setting the organisational environment for changed work practices.
  • Engaging the broader organisation and drawing on their support to operationally improve the processing unit. This involved logistics, maintenance and technical services.
  • New tools were introduced, requiring different behaviours, levels of scrutiny and problem solving.
  • Requirements for increased efficiency and utilisation became apparent to the teams & superintendent – resulting in skills training and coaching.
  • Upstream supply was integrated into decision making and communication increased.

Insight – Behavioural focus enhances technical improvements.

Result – Ability to meet expanding customer demand, estimated $16m value.

Task – Open Cut Coal | Equipment Strategy & Utilisation

Independent fact based assessment of haul truck utilisation and manpower scheduling to assist alignment of HO and site management.

Project activity involved:

  • Investigation of current situation and understand causal factors.
  • Reviewing and defining optimal work practices, standards and management methods to minimise impact of variable utilisation upon 1) mine planning and 2) the effectiveness of the dispatch function, the standards used and the triggers for response/action.
  • Reviewing/developing a working resource model, complete with assumptions and allowances to facilitate the determination/validation of drivers of resource requirements whilst optimising cycle time, availability, reliability and utilisation.
  • Understanding the drivers of utilisation variability, its impacts and the significance of availability, reliability and sub-optimal maintenance practices.
  • Reviewing/revising data capture methods and practices, including alterations.

Insight – KPI’s drive behaviours – but get them right or it can be at the expense of output.

Result – Validation of resource utilisation assumptions and drivers.

Task – HR | Revision and Standardisation of On Boarding

Aligning three sites to a standard practice for on-boarding of new employees.

Project activity involved:

  • Defined current practices and workshopped with a group made up of all sites.
  • Defined best practices and means for ongoing capture.
  • Process mapped and critiqued over a period of three weeks.
  • Actions assigned to correct process deviations and gaps.
  • New process workshopped by site and agreed.
  • Clear implementation plans.
  • Rectifying justified criticism of operational customers.

Insight – Like processes diverge quickly without appropriate engagement and oversight.

Result – Alignment of three sites to amalgamate and standardise practices.

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