This expensive, time-intensive capital solution would be extremely risky in the emerging market. In a last effort to increase production before committing to the new capital, the company called in Stroud to help.
A molded plastics manufacturing company was dealing with major quality issues. Their equipment was not consistently producing good product. To compensate, employees were being moved from running production to non-value adding work to mask the quality problem by trimming flashed plastic on ready-to-ship products.
A furniture company had a problem with their on-time delivery for as long as anyone could remember - on average over half of their deliveries arrived late at the customers. The company did not receive adequate data from their transport suppliers to understand if the plant was producing late or transport took too long. However, based on their calculations they believed most of the pieces were leaving the plant on time, so transport was thought to be the problem.
The performance of a large ore processing plant was being hampered by a big problem; apparently with its initial flotation cells. Downstream equipment was frequently fouling up with waste and the performance of the flotation cells, which initially separate the desirable product from waste material, were being blamed. Plugged nozzles at the downstream centrifuges were regularly taking units out of service for cleaning and repair.
A mature underground mining operation needed to substantially reduce its production costs to buffer against falling metal prices. The organization had made the difficult cuts to preserve cash in the immediate term and now sought a means of genuinely improve mining performance, with a substantial, in-year cash flow impact. The challenge was that performance had been flat for many years, creating a sense that the operation was already performing at its full potential.
An $8 billion consumer products company was facing intense price pressure passed down through the supply chain due to increased competition from low cost manufacturers in other countries. Prices were being continually driven down and results had moved into the red. An industry expert’s report stated that “The company cannot continue to be the high quality industry supplier and remain price competitive.” Without significant cost improvements the company faced the potential for drastically reduced profits and market share.
A senior oil & gas operator was seeking to debottleneck an offshore gas development through a brownfield capital project. Over the course of 4 years, the local team had twice developed, and then rejected, proposed design concepts because they were only marginally economic. Having entered a period of increased cost scrutiny, the concept development team needed to either come up with a third (and miraculously stronger) design concept in a hurry or abandon their expansion plans.
An energy major was seeing deteriorating economics in one of their upstream oil & gas developments. The cost of their sustaining well pad program, which was required to bring new reserves online as current reserves were depleted, was steadily rising, threatening the development of future growth phases. The increase appeared to be somewhat linked to market prices. However, it had also become clear that healthily challenging the legacy pad design, performance requirements, and technical standards to produce a better, simpler, and cheaper design was much harder that the organization had first thought.
A large open-pit mining operation needed to reduce costs, but a competitive benchmarking study had shown they were already the best among their peers in overall performance. Rather than being satisfied with this, the mine team knew their current performance was still not enough to meet their organization's expectations. They called in Stroud to help them go beyond the benchmark.
An upstream oil & gas facility was struggling to reach its design production capacity. After years of grappling with technical problems and maintenance issues, some in the management team felt that the plant was “lucky” to be operating where it was. Plans for a series of capital projects to increase capacity had become the main focus. However, with multi year timelines required to execute these projects, the company stood to defer nearly a billion dollars in revenue and was running out of options.
A contract aerosol manufacturer, built through acquisitions, was looking to consolidate its manufacturing into a single location. They had accumulated an incredibly diverse product line and, within that, very diverse order patterns and sizes.
The CEO was concerned with two main challenges: “How do we best schedule our production and manage our inventory?” and “What should we work on first to improve?”
Amidst unprecedented market growth a food processing company was expecting 20% year-on-year revenue increases, and was reaching the limit of their capacity to meet demand. During the previous three years production lines had been pushed to nameplate rates, downtime had been reduced to world-class levels, and production schedules had been optimized to keep up with incoming orders. With years of improvement already realized, many believed that there was little opportunity to improve capacity without a major capital expansion.
An oil sands mine operator was looking for its next game-changing improvement following a series of debottlenecking and optimization investments. Company leadership believed opportunity must exist in their current asset, but were struggling to highlight it given all of the improvement they’d achieved.
A leading beverage producer was weeks away from cancelling their “back-to-school” product launch due to contamination in their signature product. One production line had been shut down because its cartons were consistently contaminated. Leaders felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, now running that line meant missing “back-to-school” demand. On the other, running the line to meet demand risked contamination in a product they market to children.
A leading chemicals manufacturer had successfully driven their operating cost to best-in-class levels within the stringent quality regulations of their product. Continuing cost pressure left plant leadership uncertain how their facility would further reduce cost beyond industry benchmark levels while maintaining quality. The team partnered with Stroud to find and deliver bottom-line improvements while improving overall product quality.