Client success stories provide insights into how Kepner-Tregoe consulting and training services resulted in measurable improvements in targeted KPIs.
Client success stories are organized by industry, but many are relevant across industries because they illustrate dramatic results based on the application of analytic thinking to the problems, plans and decisions made by individuals and teams in our increasingly digitized and changing business environment.
NS BlueScope Malaysia Delivers a 16.1% Improvement
The manufacturing staff of NS BlueScope Malaysia - an international producer and supplier of steel products - who perform root-cause analysis encountered issues during the metal coating process. The data gathered for troubleshooting was inconsistent with line leaders and workers’ explanation of manufacturing problems. Tracking the effectiveness of corrective actions was not visible, and the trigger to determine which of the various troubleshooting tools to use, i.e., Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Fishbone, Problem Analysis (PA), was unclear.
KT conducted a diagnostic on the root cause analysis (RCA) process and identified strengths as well as areas for improvement in troubleshooting work-flows. This initiative helped create major improvements in downtime and line stops and the reduction of speed loss increased availability. Metal Coating Line OEE performance showed an increase from 77.66% to 90.17% from one year to the next. A 16.1% positive change.
Dramatic Improvements at North America’s Largest Power Plant
Facing growing operational problems and environmental concerns the plant needed to make rapid, dramatic improvements. Plant management initiated a major improvement initiative, collaborating with Kepner-Tregoe (KT ) to address a series of operational improvements.
Over 100 formal and many expedited process exercises resulted in sweeping improvements, millions of dollars in savings, and better environmental standards. Some examples included when the plant became dependent on rented compressed air systems to meet demand, a team used KT Decision Analysis (DA) to find a better alternative. Annual savings are $160K, reliability has increased, and environmental hazards reduced.
When new cables showed poor insulation resistance readings on the final installation test, up to 1000m of cable had to be replaced in several locations. Some projects had to pay for replacement cables, doubling costs - others delayed installation, slipping project timescales. The cable distributor had to test cables on site before Network Rail allowed their use. The quality issue presented in poor readings, deformation of the outer cable sheath, or deformation of the inner conductor.
- Preventing defective product at a supplier site is challenging, but auditing with KT Problem Analysis provides assurance that existing quality issues are resolved properly. - Risk of quality issues for £17 million worth of cable reduced - Supplier’s ability to find root cause confirmed - Future recurrences avoided - Proper corrective actions taken
Foil in the Brake Valve Inlet Filters
When reports of “spongy” parking brakes on cargo planes began, it was not a threat to safety or service. But with growing frequency, maintenance checks revealed what appeared to be pieces of foil in the filters that keep the hydraulic fluid clean. The foil particles trapped in the filter almost blocked the flow of hydraulic fluid, causing the brakes to feel spongy. Early speculation that contract maintenance crews were introducing the foil by not using proper sealing caps during maintenance checks proved to be wrong: the cause of the clogging remained unknown.
A research engineering firm examined the particles for the Program Leaders and verified that the aging shims were the cause of the problem. The aircraft manufacturer was informed and proceeded to notify other owners of this aircraft about the problem and solution.
Too Much Data, Too Many Alternatives
An overabundance of information and no time to spare—this modern dilemma challenges us all. But for some time-sensitive activities, the ability to use information quickly and effectively is not just useful—it’s critical. When a quality issue halted production of an expensive, high-demand product, efforts to solve the problem quickly were derailed by the sheer quantity of relevant data and alternatives. A troubleshooting team of the most talented and experienced people in the facility worked for two hours without any clear direction emerging.
During a break, several of the managers on the troubleshooting team recalled a KT workshop they had taken earlier in their careers at other companies. The operations manager still had his workshop materials, so they decided to revisit the systematic KT approach and apply it to their twenty-first century dilemma. The operations manager reviewed the materials and facilitated the group. Using the KT process questions, the team members quickly narrowed down possible causes and eliminated previously plausible ideas. Soon they confirmed that a handling technique caused the problem. After testing a simple, low-cost corrective action, production resumed.
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