CLIENT SUCCESS STUDY: PLANT MAINTENANCE

Proactive maintenance solution reduces costs by $36M

AT A GLANCE

Reliable Data and Repeatable Processes Lead to Long-term Savings

Plant management is a complex operation requiring constant coordination to ensure processes run smoothly. Optimum conditions need strict monitoring and maintenance, yet traditional plant processes are often cumbersome and manual. They require multiple approvals, work orders gathered from different locations, and rescheduling if a part isn’t ready when the technician arrives.

One multinational company sought to optimize plant management  and join an ever-growing group of manufacturers moving towards proactive maintenance enabled by digitalization.

Aligned Automation partnered with the company to improve value-added time for maintenance processes. The team helped to identify pain points and suggested digital solutions for improved workforce efficiency. Working with a focused business group, Aligned Automation rapidly developed a customized solution with offline functionality to meet the company’s needs of reduced paperwork, improved communications, work progress and delay tracking and overall improved process visibility.



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Solution Results

$36M

Overall cost reduction (400% ROI).

80%

Reduction in time to implementation.

$20M

Reduction in yearly fixed cost budget.

76%

Reduction in cost per site.

The Need for Change

Plant operations including condition assessments, repairs, scheduling and regular monitoring were the responsibility of two distinct teams (operations and maintenance), who needed to seamlessly work together to ensure maintenance tasks were completed in the safest and most cost-effective way. But dispersed plants and manual, inefficient processes created a number of pain points:

  • Plants spread across dozens of acres with a vast variety of machinery created unproductive travel time.
  • Manual, paper-based processes led to inefficient communication between maintenance and operations teams. Incorrect part forecasting or wrong part requests caused unnecessary technician deployment and lagging work orders.
  • When delays occurred, it was impossible to proactively make adjustments without visibility into the root cause of the problem. Data was not trustworthy or made useful to understand issues.
  • The result was significant non-value-added activity, including reduced crew productivity and increased costs.

The company believed that these pain points could likely be solved by digitalization of plant maintenance. The solution would require online and offline connectivity, rapid implementation and scalability across geographies. And most importantly, it would need to deliver relevant and trustworthy data to enable a single source of truth for all plant maintenance operations, including communications and effective handoffs.

A single source of truth for all maintenance processes

Aligned Automation worked closely with the company’s Sourcing team to research challenges across all teams and segments and create a framework for execution. The team followed an iterative review of identifying and categorizing the spend process—determining keywords, identifying commodity groupings and setting up reliable rules for digitization. A Spend Analytics Dashboard was created that prioritized a seamless user experience, reliable data and a uniform process to report spend. Routine Maintenance Digitalization application priorities include:

Remove obstacles to automation.

Connect people, systems and processes.

Pull data in real time to aid actionable insights.

Streamline scheduling and reduce churn.

Connect field service teams with office operations.

Enable offline 
use.

A single source of truth for all maintenance processes

Aligned Automation’s subject matter expertise quickly identified how digitization could improve productivity through development of a proof of concept for tracking (1) equipment readiness, (2) maintenance processes, and (3) delay reporting. The Fast90 development approach provided confidence that Aligned Automation could execute an expanded scope in the required timeframe and to the required specifications.

The Aligned Automation team developed and delivered a PEGA-based equipment readiness tool to enable improved coordination between mobile workforces. Powered by trustworthy data that the team validated across business functions, sites and external service providers, the solution connects offices with the remote workforce via Nerve Center access – a single source of truth and connection for stakeholders. When accessing the Routine Maintenance Solution, technicians in the field now create and process notifications on mobile phones and tablets, communicate equipment readiness, plan work order operations and track delays. Maintenance teams can adjust routes and work orders on the fly so that they don’t waste time, optimizing their processes and workloads.

Processes have also been streamlined and automated, shifting manual inputs and paperwork to a fully inter-operable system that supports data collection and collaboration between operations, maintenance and data analytics. Application control panels give teams visibility into new data and delay causes, providing an invaluable understanding of different work stoppages so they can modify services. Faster and more efficient processing and backend data generation enables informed decision making and cost reduction.

After an initial rollout supported by change management practices, the application was scaled globally to eight additional sites, enabling broad efficiencies across the organization. The next phase of scaling will further optimize the mobile solutions and expand globally.

With these outcomes, the team is on track to capture $36M in savings through 80% reduction in time-to-implementation and 76% reduction in cost per site. 

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