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Applying Business Best Practices

... focus, ali g n m ent, and s p eedy i mp le m entation hel p to rea p benefits

There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

John F. Kennedy.

Author: Jim Wardhaugh

Location: 2.2.2 Large Complex Refinery in the Far East


The organization had a very traditional functional structure. This structure is shown in a simplified way in Figure 6.1. Many of the senior managers were expatriates, but local people were very competent and were rapidly taking up senior positions. The refinery was making lots of money and, at the time, could sell all the products it could make. The focus was very much on throughput.

The company's attitude was certainly not one of complacency, but neither was there a real thrust to be maximizing profitability. The entire operation was waiting for a spur that would goad it into action. Then it came. A review by an American consultancy company, specializing in process plant benchmarking, showed that the refinery was a relatively poor performer in many important areas. In school report terms, it could do a lot better.

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