Did you know emerging industry research shows that throughout the life cycle of a project turnaround, only 33-45 percent of each work hour is spent on task? Approximately one-half to two-thirds of each day is spent on unproductive tasks.
In today’s world of supersized turnarounds that can cost $100 million or more, improving the productivity level by two or three percent would add up, compounding savings of millions of dollars. It only makes sense to take a closer look at overall project efficiency. But, this uncovering of costs can be a difficult prospect to wrap your head around. After all, where do you start? Where does all the time go?
Involving all the mechanical contractors, contract personnel, subcontractors, materials, equipment, tools and more makes it easy to get off schedule. Research shows that these frequent coordination delays make up the largest amount of lost craft time — 12 percent. In a typical ten hour shift, coordination delays cause an average of 72 minutes of standby time per direct field labor (DFL) worker. To cut into this waste, you should set the standard of employing qualified and trained execution coordinators.
Logistical issues, such as not having the necessary tools and materials available when needed, creates an almost equal amount of lost craft time. These common speed bumps each cause over an hour of wasted standby time per average shift. Not having tools needed (12 percent) or the right materials available (11 percent) can be easily prevented by providing sustainable materials management, and by offering tool issue and collection systems.
In general, logistics and workforce transportation inefficiencies cause a 7 percent decrease in craft time per average shift. Travel to and from the job site is unavoidable — workers must get on and off your job site. But, in even a smaller turnaround with a total cost of $70 million, craft time lost due to inefficient transportation can equal up to $2-4 million. When workforce transportation isn’t optimized in advance and executed correctly, associated time lost can dramatically impact your workers’ craft time and productivity.
Logistical mistakes, like not having the equipment needed properly staged and ready for use, create another three percent of lost craft time per average shift. Personnel arriving late or finishing early accounts for three percent each of lost craft time in an average shift. This means more millions of dollars, time and productivity lost.
Safety, hole and fire watch and permitting account for four percent of lost time in an average shift combined. This is a small percentage of the overall budget, but when the compounded loss of craft time is considered, the fraction is quite substantial. When valuable minutes are spent in unproductive activities, these factors’ daily influence extends far beyond task completion.
Viewed independently, all of these factors may seem like nothing more than unavoidable “parts of the job”. But when you examine their cumulative impact, the total cost of stand-by time is staggering. Even a small increase in on-task time will have a significant impact on your bottom line. But, in order to move the needle, you will need to appropriately plan and seek out solutions to combat all of the wasted down time.
For decades, turnarounds have occurred in refineries and chemical plants as an effort towards peak production. Today, they are even more crucial. The next step in optimizing the execution of your turnarounds is to increase craft time and bottom line performance. Seek out resources to help you plan and execute your next project — with proper assistance, you won’t be overwhelmed by lack of productivity due to lost craft time. Assessment, pre-planning and improved execution are the answer to millions of overall project savings.
When the close of a project draws near, and every additional cost or delay can mean the difference in your budget, can you really afford to do nothing?