Improving Turnaround Craft Time

Increasing average craft time is literally the equivalent of hiring additional workers without having to pay for them–it is one of the very few ways to obtain free labor legally. Without a proper craft time study, managers likely will formulate inaccurate assumptions based on an incomplete picture. All too often, management does not have a good strategy for increasing productivity because they have little or no craft time data to pinpoint exactly how to most effectively address productivity. The craft time study should be considered a mandatory piece of research during turnaround execution, because it identifies not only the culprits, but the causes and the cures, allowing for the formulation of best practices to mitigate future encumbrances. Kenneth Griffin, Harvard educated hedge fund manager and billionaire, divulged the secret to success in his business and in ours, “The key to our business, it’s a lot of research.”

The study need not include every resource, but instead should focus on high priority resources that are critical to delivering the targeted end date and prescribed quality. Lower than expected craft time averages may be symptomatic of and the key to identifying multiple mismanaged issues. Following is a list of 15 separate pervasive issues that can be pinpointed and addressed by a properly executed craft time study:

1) Execution Coordination. If coordinators are not properly trained and motivated to maximize the use of contractor resources, there will be a direct impact on craft time. 

2) Materials Coordination. Materials not ordered, issued materials lost or inefficient delivery, kitting and staging of materials will lower craft time. 

3) Overstaffing. This may create a scenario where there is not available space for all workers or available tools for all workers.

4) Logistics. Worker transportation, tents, toilets, equipment placement, etcetera can all affect craft time. 

5) Poor Plans. Lack of detail, missing scope, tools and materials omissions, incomplete packages, etcetera can all influence craft time. 

6) Communications Breakdowns. Misalignment of expectations and unannounced changes to the plan can lower craft time. 

7) Permitting Process. Antiquated technology or inefficient processes for permitting can result in serious impacts. 

8) Management of Change. An awkward MOC process can cause hesitancy even with work in progress. 

9) Craft Skill. Unskilled workers can cause delays to successor activities, leaving mobilized crews unexpectedly on hold.

10) Schedule Quality. Inaccurate logic, coding errors, soft craft underrepresentation, poor craft coordination built into the schedule, etcetera can cause confusing interferences to work. 

11) Tools/Equipment Quality. Obviously, breakdowns and substandard performance of rentals will cause intermittent craft time. 

12) Safety Oversensitivity. Often tasks that have been carefully planned by subject matter experts and reviewed and approved by the Safety Department are shut down by someone’s ignorance or spur of the moment preferences, causing unreasonable interferences with craft time. 

13) Lack of Timely Decision Making. Indecision from Inspections, Engineering, Operations, Management, etcetera adversely impact craft time. 

14) Worker Slowdown. Turnarounds tend to attract individuals who enjoy earning copious amounts of overtime compensation, making discontinuous craft time a temptation for some. 

15) Poor Contingency Planning. When teams are not prepared to manage the unexpected, there may be repeated craft time losses if not corrected.

With turnarounds generally consuming the largest share of a site’s budget and the cost of labor generally comprising the largest expense in the turnaround, could it be viewed as negligence if managers fail to commission a craft time study and turn over every stone in search of labor cost reductions?

A professionally executed craft time study is not disruptive to the work process, is not intimidating to workers and is extremely cost effective. Surprisingly, projects commonly have a mere 25 percent craft time and in effect, could double their manpower by progressing to a very achievable 50 percent or higher craft time. For more information, contact Onpoint at (281) 461-9340, email or visit

By |2018-12-19T16:05:04+00:0012/10/2018|0 Comments

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