Case Studies

Leadership Skills Coaching

The Challenge
Reduce human errors by Operators at a nuclear power station

The Solution
Coached and mentored nearly 20 Operations Managers within the nuclear power station to improve their leadership, management, and communication skills so they could get the desired behaviors from the Operators. Coached them one-on-one to understand their objectives, strengths, development opportunities, challenges, and obstacles

Initiated the development of an executable plan to get the desired results of all stakeholders in the process.

The Outcome
Significant human performance errors were reduced by 30% from year 2013 to 2014


Root Cause Analysis Investigations & Training

The Challenge
Contribute to fulfilling company-wide goal of increasing knowledge of root cause analysis through training employees to become RCA Instructors and Principal Investigators.

The Solution
I co-developed DuPont’s corporate RCA course. I taught dozens of root cause failure analysis classes to train investigators in the development and use of “Why Tree” analyses of injuries, environmental incidents, human errors, and equipment failures. I created and led a network of RCA users to develop their skills and to share techniques.

The Outcome
The investigation technique I co-developed became the official incident and accident tool used in the DuPont Corporation. Over 500 employees were trained in this technique resulting in fewer injuries and millions of dollars in additional sales from reduced equipment downtime. Over 50 DuPont employees went through the certification process I developed to become RCA Instructors.

The Challenge
Increase plant throughput, reduce waste, lower operating and maintenance costs, and improve safety by uncovering root causes of incidents, injuries and equipment failures.

The Solution
Used “Why Tree” investigation method to find root causes at the physical, human and systemic levels.

The Outcome
Production increases and cost savings to DuPont totaled tens of millions of dollars over the span of 14 years.


Operations/Manufacturing Improvements

The Challenge
Increase employee “ownership” of the equipment they operated and maintained.

The Solution
Taught workshops to hourly employees on equipment ownership and personal accountability

The Outcome
Equipment breakdowns were noticeably reduced, and responses to needs for servicing were substantially improved. Planning and work efficiency improvements allowed management to remove over 100 contractors from one plant with savings of over $15 million / year.

The Challenge
Reduce Nylon Spinning preventive maintenance downtime for a product line that was sold out

The Solution
Analyze maintenance procedures for opportunities to reduce work times

The Outcome
Range of outage durations went from 7-10 days to 3-4 days

The Challenge
Contribute to fulfilling plant goals for increasing production throughput, reducing manufacturing waste products, lowering operating and maintenance costs, etc.

The Solution
Analyzed production data for where losses were occurring; identified equipment that was failure-prone and proposed upgrades or changes in operating procedures; made changes to maintenance procedures. Co-facilitated a workshop that educated plant personnel on the benefits of defect elimination and prevention; groups created action teams after the workshops to address reliability issues they identified during the course of the training.

The Outcome
Annual production increased more than 4 million pounds, representing a 4% equipment uptime increase.

Plant Outage or Maintenance Shutdown Improvements

The Challenge
Increase the output of manufacturing plants in sold-out product positions by shortening maintenance outage durations.

The Solution
I developed and taught an Outage Effectiveness workshop at many DuPont sites. I then followed the workshop with on-site coaching of outage management teams.

The Outcomes At Various Plants
Northeast Region Plants – 11 plants reduced their combined maintenance shutdown durations by nearly 60 days for a resulting increase in pre-tax operating income (PTOI) of more than $10.5 million.

Gulf Coast Plant #1 – Although plant personnel believed that their shutdown duration could not be further improved, the next shutdown was decreased by four days (nearly 25%), leading to increased pre-tax operating income (PTOI) of $288K.

Gulf Coast Plant #2 – Assisted in planning and executing an 8-day shutdown that had been expected to require 22 days.

Mid-Atlantic Plant – Increased production by over 150K pounds, which represented over $800K increase in PTOI. Reduced shutdown duration by at least one day; increased PTOI by approximately $600K.

Southern Plant #1 – Successfully completed 5-day shutdown in a particularly work-intensive plant shutdown with no incidents or injuries; work accomplished was expected to require 14 days.

Southern Plant #2 – Reduced shutdown durations by 50%, leading to over $200K/yr. increase in PTOI (pre-tax operating income).

Shutdown Managers Skills Improvements

The Challenge
Develop Shutdown Managers’ skills in order to continually improve shutdown execution

The Solution
Mentored two inexperienced shutdown managers through very complex and difficult shutdowns.

The Outcome
Both shutdowns finished on time and under budget. Tools developed during these shutdowns were used as models for shortening and simplifying future shutdowns.

Product Transition Time Reductions

The Challenge
Reduce product transition time (switching from product A to product B “on the fly”) through Six Sigma analysis & Lean Manufacturing.

The Solution
Trained a group of operators in Lean techniques then led them to outline the steps involved in their product transitions. Identified steps that could be done outside of the transition. Applied cross-functional process mapping technique that allowed the Six Sigma project team to see where time was being wasted during transitions.

The Outcomes
At one plant, established new transition sequence that resulted in a 50% reduction in transition time and $500K annual increase in PTOI (pre-tax operating income). At another plant, reduced normal 4-5-day product transitions by at least 24 hours, even though plant personnel did not believe it was possible. At a third plant, led a group to generate ideas that reduced product transition by at least 25%.

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Contact me. Let’s talk about your needs and how I can work with you to improve your production environment.

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