Case Studies

Assessment of an Outsource Maintenance Service Provider

Benchmarking Project Management in a Capital Intensive Industry

Typically, we assess in-house maintenance services, because they have been the most common clients for our services.  Assessing an organization that provides outsource maintenance services resulted into some interesting insights.

The Issue

A South American company provided a number of technical services including design and build services, supply of technical workforce (e.g. construction, maintenance, operations), and outsourced operations and maintenance services. 

The outsourced operations and maintenance services included not just supply of the workforce, but also supervision and management.  This was a very small part of their business, but one that both they and their clients wanted them to perform better and to expand that part of the business.  The industry involved was upstream oil and gas.

Our Role

As there were multiple sites to assess, and part of the work needed to be performed in Spanish, we trained client maintenance resources in those parts of the methodology where those resources were needed.  This had the benefit of increasing client “buy-in” to the process.  We facilitated the assessment, strategy development, and improvement plan development and prioritization.  The facilitated approach helped further to increase the “buy-in” to the process.

Using the implementation plan developed, the client implemented the changes themselves.  We later were invited for followed up a visit about 16 months later for an external review their progress.

Key Benefits

In many areas of the initial assessment, we found them to be at or above average.  However, as an outsourced maintenance service provider, they were expected to be much superior.  With their involvement in the process and a good understanding of the issues, their organization had a strong “buy-in” to the process and the changes that were found to be required as a result of the process.  With that knowledge and motivation, they worked hard at making the necessary changes.

The benefits we found achieved on our follow-up visit were:

  • Reliability had improved, thereby increasing Availability and OEE.

  • Improvements were made in work efficiency, increasing the amount of work that could be done by the existing workforce.

  • Client relationship was strengthened, as their client recognized the improvements made in the operations and maintenance of their facilities.  The contract was extended and efforts were made by both parties to revise the contract to improve performance drivers.

  • Implementation of the improvement plan was piloted at two sites.  Lessons learned in those pilots will be used to refine the implementation for use when they assume operations and maintenance responsibilities at new client sites.

The company has developed a new aggressive expansion strategy, where the outsourcing services will be driving a large part of the expansion.  Their success with that strategy will be dependant upon a number of issues, including their ability to effectively transfer their new practices to the workforce, supervisors and management, they acquire with new outsourcing work.