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UTILITIES

ELECTRICAL MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT

Our client is an electricity transmission and distribution utility serving one of the largest provinces in Canada. It services local distribution companies and other large industrial customers connected directly to their transmission network. Its assets are comprised of transmission stations, high voltage lines, low voltage transmission lines, and distribution and regulating stations.

Overview

In order to become best-in-class, the client launched a corporate strategy focusing on 6 core pillars:

  • Health and Safety
  • Customer
  • Work Programs
  • Net Income
  • Productivity
  • People

To ensure they were able to realize their corporate strategy, PVA was engaged to help them implement a Continuous Improvement Model (CIM) in their Station Services Maintenance department. The Continuous Improvement Model will help the client eliminate frustrations, improve operational efficiencies and implement a culture of continuous improvement.

Objectives

  • 100% compliance to safety procedures.
  • Improve productivity of Preventative Maintenance & Corrective Work by 24%.
  • Improve planning process and job bundling.
  • Increase presence and management in-the-field.
  • Reduce controllable Overtime.

Assessment Findings

Prior to defining the structure of the Continuous Improvement Model, an assessment was conducted to identify the needs and areas of improvement. PVA identified key areas of improvement regarding their Management Operating System and Behaviours which resulted in 34% observed non-value-added time during the execution of work.

The opportunities were as follows:

Management Operating System Opportunities

  • Managers, Supervisors and Schedulers had a poor understanding of their roles and process accountabilities.
  • Development of the work plans lacked proper structure and consistency. Estimates for jobs were found to be 30% over-inflated and not all requirements for the work were being reviewed and planned for.
  • Execution of work focused on completing the work within the estimated time and not geared towards driving maximum productivity.
  • No structure existed to review execution challenges and to fix them. Jobs were getting done over the cost and there was no focus on how to get them done more efficiently.

Supervisory Behaviour Opportunities

  • Supervision of work crews not seen as a priority or focus. Only 5% of active supervision was seen during the assessment across all areas.
  • There was no set structure for work assignment and progress follow-up. Supervisors were only notified of issues if the delay would compromise the execution of the job within the outage window.
  • Supervisors were over-burdened with administrative work. When not on calls or meetings, natural tendency to join and work as a member of the work crew.
  • These System and Behavioural opportunities were the key root causes of 34% non-value-added time during the work execution. Poor supervision and lack of problem resolution forced work crews to deal with poor planning issues, missing tools and equipment, poor discipline, and other issues.

These opportunities led to an observed non-value added time of 34% during the execution of work in the field.

  • Value-Added

  • Travel

  • Non Value-Added

PVA's Response

To ensure proper understanding of the opportunities and buy-in, all of the above opportunities were observed by the client’s leadership. In conjunction with their input, an enhanced Management Operating System was developed and installed. To ensure increased efficiency of the new structure, client leadership received extensive one-on-one coaching from PVA field consultants to ensure proper compliance, understanding and ownership.

Here are the details of the enhancements:

Management Operating System Enhancements

  • Clarification of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities through the entirety of the work process through a RACI model.
  • Implementation of job scoping, a structured weekly planning meeting and re-alignment of job estimates for an effective work planning and scheduling process.
  • Job preparation checklists and work assignments with proper expectations warranting efficient job readiness and goal setting.
  • Implementation of daily field visits designed to focus on safety, productivity, and engagement by the frontline supervisors to ensure proper execution of work and identification of improvement opportunities.
  • Increased overall compliance to work plans by increasing the pro-active follow-up by the Supervisors and Managers.
  • A problem resolution program implemented with a proper variance routing and resolution process that enables the department to have a structured methodology on dealing with operational problems.

Supervisory Behaviour Enhancements

  • Clarification of active supervision expectations and structure to ensure supervisory effectiveness.
  • Streamlining of administrative activities for Supervisors to minimize time at the office and increase time spent actively managing their crews.
  • Training and one-on-one coaching on supervisory skills: work assignment, communication and motivation, time management, conflict management, and problem eradication.

Work Process Enhancements

  • Test equipment management and storage
  • Improved job planning and job folder management
  • SF6 gas handling cart optimization
  • PC4 grounds tags improvements
  • Gas relay test optimization
  • Pest control improvements
  • Capital delay reporting and resolution process improvements
  • Improvements to locate training

The Results

Hover over graphs for more information

The implementation of the enhanced Management Operating System and leadership coaching resulted in tangible improvements in the client’s organization that have been highly effective and sustainable.

Here are highlights of the benefits achieved by this client:

  • Increased active supervision levels from 5% to 27%.
  • Enhanced safety awareness and communication.
  • Problem Resolution Program has identified 74 opportunities of which, 32 have been resolved during the duration of the project.
  • Faster work program completion via increased work loading from 91% to 105% and improved work completion by 7.9%.

PM Earned Hours

6% improvement over base

Annualized Savings

For Station Services

Long Term Work Continuation

To ensure sustainability of the Continuous Improvement Model and perpetuation of the behaviours and results, a client Coordinator was trained and certified by PVA during the duration of the project. Moreover, a set of audits post the project have been scheduled and conducted by PVA.

Given the success of the Continuous Improvement Model, we are currently in discussion with the client to expand the scope of the implementation to other areas of the business: construction, distribution lines, engineering, and we just started a project in transmission lines.


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$1.15
+ BILLION SAVED
4.2
AVERAGE ROI
28
YEARS
580
+ ENGAGEMENTS
220
+ CLIENTS