Our client, an owner and operator of a paper mill in the United States, had experienced record production levels over the previous year. However, reduced prices and new online competitors forced the mill to think critically about how to improve reliability.

PIP was engaged to help the client drive rapid productivity improvement in 10 weeks, and to wire a pilot area (maintenance) from the General Manager down to the front-line workers (maintenance mechanics). The key question PIP was tasked with was: how can the mill take one or two key behaviours and ensure the whole organisation is critically reviewing them and driving for continuous improvement?

Client achieved

  • 45% increase in individual mechanic productivity
    • Time to first tool for mechanics moved up from 9:15 am to 7:30 am, increasing effective tool time by at least an hour and a half
    • 67% decrease in unplanned work performed by maintenance department
    • Reduced mechanic and equipment downtime, with operations committing to a final ‘readiness’ time
  • Planned and ready backlog reduced in some shops to nearly zero hours
  • Significant reduction in redundant and inaccurate work orders due to increased communication with maintenance planners
  • Higher parts availability due to implementation of ‘free bins’ and faster parts delivery
  • Culture change between operations and maintenance from combative to collaborative
  • Clear daily and weekly accountabilities for each maintenance supervisor and his reports

The Results