Process Manufacturing
(Refining, Chemicals, Pulp & Paper)

Our experience in Process Manufacturing includes a wide range of business and operational activities ranging from profit optimization, business strategy and development, engineering, operational reliability, maintenance, turnarounds, and supply chain management.

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Our experience in Process Manufacturing covers a breadth of businesses including Oil Refining, Chemicals and Polymers Manufacturing, and Pulp & Paper. We have addressed a wide range of business and operational activities across value chains including: profit optimization; business strategy and development; engineering and capital projects; operational excellence and reliability; maintenance planning and execution; turnarounds, and supply chain management.

Process manufacturing executives have been given stewardship over assets that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Competitors are continuously optimizing assets to generate the best possible yields and run times. On top of that, reactors must be operated at specifications; failure on this dimension can be catastrophic not only to the business but also your people.

  • Profitability optimization utilizing our Enterprise Profit Optimization approach
  • Marketing & Sales effectiveness
  • Throughput improvement
  • Conversion cost reduction / optimization
  • SG&A cost reduction
  • Supply Chain mapping and optimization
  • Capital Project Management
  • Turn Around Planning & execution

Project Examples

U.S. Super Major $36MM Cost Reduction: This 300,000 bbl/day operation was under intense pressure on operating expenses and utilization. Delivered significant safety and environmental compliance improvements. Utilization driven by consistent use of improved practices rose from 74% to a sustained 87% along with a significant reduction in OPEX. Daily contractor usage was reduced in excess of 75%.

Refiner recovers $100MM of lost capacity: Reliability issues caused this operation to route $137MM of product to waste disposal over 18 months. The situation was reinforced by a faulty RCFA approach to down time that effectively created 8-9 hours per day of lost production even though all rotating equipment was running properly. A fact based assessment of the situation indicated several unseen root causes and the situation was corrected.

Refiner finds $30MM in cost and margin improvements: Implementation of new ROR (Reliability of Repair) and Shutdown Planning processes raised the bar for OPEX reduction for this Super Major facility. Benefits were realized through “pit stop” shutdowns for minor issues and improved roles and responsibilities definition for Operations and Maintenance.

Nylon Production Supply Chain: Client was emerging from Chapter 11 and was struggling with high product costs. Analysis showed that interplant logistics had been optimized for lowest cost, creating many supply issues and ultimately unacceptably low order fill rates to customers (82%). Supply chain was re-optimized balancing cost and service levels. Within 12 months, the fill rate was consistently above 95%. OPEX was reduced by 6% with the elimination of “hot shots” (unscheduled trucks hauling WIP). Work in progress inventories were reduced by 27% along with an 18% increase in production asset utilization.

Industrial Lubricants: Manufacturer was straddled with high operating costs and chronically delivered unsatisfactory ROCE. Certitude applied its Enterprise Profit Optimization (EPO) approach to sales transactions; reducing unprofitable business through pricing improvements and cost reductions. Bottom line improvements of $32M reduction in OPEX and Maintenance costs were realized within 18 months.

Chemicals & Polymers Conglomerate: Company had exhausted cash and credit facilities while fighting and paying settlements from major litigation losses. Developed and implemented integration framework for corporate profit improvement program. Program delivered in excess of $300 Million in cost improvements while market facing actions delivered a 7% increase in revenues. This combination led to $1 Billion increase in shareholder value. Keys to success were integration of support functions across business units and focus on service agreements between functions and lines of business.

Commodity Intermediates Manufacturer: Delivered site process optimization program for multiple plant sites. Contractor Management, MRO Procurement, and Maintenance Management improvements resulted in immediate $30 Million (12%) cost reduction. Support Services reorganization allowed sites to scale activities on a variable cost basis through $1.2 Billion capacity expansion program.

Power Generation Cooperative: The electrical generation company want to improve environmental compliance along with significant cost reduction. Asset reliability and culture issues within the workforce were uncovered in a business assessment. A comprehensive asset reliability program was developed and implemented along with workforce training to increase compliance. Operation and Maintenance (non-fuel) costs were reduced within 12 months by 22%.

Specialty and Fine Chemicals Producer: Revenue growth was flat due to delays in new product development and costs were growing at a rate about inflation. Manufacturing process improvements delivered $50 Million (20%) in cost savings. R&D stage gate process implementation revitalized the new product pipeline with over $100 Million in commercially viable projects within 18 months.

Specialty and Fine Chemicals Producer: Revenue growth was flat due to delays in new product development and costs were growing at a rate about inflation. Manufacturing process improvements delivered $50 Million (20%) in cost savings. R&D stage gate process implementation revitalized the new product pipeline with over $100 Million in commercially viable projects within 18 months.

Bulk Chemicals Producer: Cost to serve was reduced by $30 Million (15%) annually. Defined and applied customer segments leading to elimination of low value added work and under utilized assets that were previously required to support non-strategic customers. Step change improvement in service to strategic customers with renewed focus.

EU-Based Super Major: The downstream business had grown too complex to manage. Utilized an Enterprise Profit Optimization (EPO) approach to understand which sales transactions were most profitable and which were least profitable. Prices were adjusted for core business and some LOB’s were abandoned and some geographies were sold to local agents. The project delivered an OI improvement in excess of $125M.

Pulp & Paper Operations: Operation was falling well short of order fulfillment targets due to frequent unplanned shutdowns. Developed and installed an Integrated Asset Management process that involved all critical functions to reduce operational complexity and improve reliability. Unplanned outages were reduced by 82%. Through cost reduction and throughput improvements over $7M per year was added to Operating Income.