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5 Best Practices from an Industrial Facility Expert—How to Improve Your Execution Processes

The execution phase for any industrial facility is arguably the most critical of all the asset lifecycle phases. It’s where materials are shipped, facilities constructed and commissioned into revenue-generating assets. This is where it all comes together. Without perfect processes in place throughout the execution phase, the rest of the operation falls apart: poor quality, waste, reworks, missed deadlines and cost overruns. Adding efficiency to these processes is critical to helping any business succeed in even the most complex projects. Gaurav Verma, a Deputy Chief Manager at Technip Energies, with more than 20 years of experience in the industrial facility space shared five expert tips on how industrial facilities can improve their project execution processes. Check out his tips here:

Tip #1: Improve tracking, record keeping, and resource usage with digital processes

“Follow a systematic approach for each and every activity,” said Gaurav. From design engineering to procurement to construction and cyber security, Guarav recommends that industrial facilities follow a specific process for every activity and action.

For example, while the processes for shipping or manufacturing a product might be well documented, if they are run manually or are poorly automated, they can result in the loss of key documentation or records and the inefficient tracking of the progress of site-based activities. For example, Guarav shared that when materials are delivered to a specific site, employees use a packing list and a physical check to ensure that everything has been delivered correctly. “If something is damaged, that is immediately reported to the vendors and the procurement department,” said Guarav.

What makes this process even more efficient is when both the vendor and the industrial facility have a shared view into a platform that updates in real-time, from vendor selection all the way to product receiving. “If these systems are not there, something will be missed and you won’t be able to efficiently track and trace materials,” said Guarav. “If you don’t make entries to a shared system, things will be chaotic and tracking won’t be done properly.”

To create a more efficient and accurate process, Guarav recommends that industrial facilities ditch the manual updates and invest in global and fully integrated supply-chain solutions that can help them automate as many of these processes as possible. “If you aren’t using any software tools for proper tracking, then you use more man hours because they have to make manual updates for every entry in an Excel sheet or other document—sometimes even paper-based,” said Guarav. “There’s a higher chance of error because the system is not truly there.”

Tip #2: Reduce double work by consolidating systems

Guarev shared his insights into the benefits of consolidating systems or connecting systems to avoid any issues with fragmented information. When information is fragmented, it creates a lack of historical data.

Guarav shared an example, “When you receive comments in the engineering phase from a client, if you don’t make sure there’s a current resolution sheet created for every impacted division and that those documents are shared in a common drive, you won’t have a clear idea of which version is correct.”

In this scenario, everyone ends up doing more work. “If new information isn’t passed to the right stakeholders, you end up lacking important historical data,” said Guarev. “You end up doing more work afterwards when you don’t use the right version and the data wasn’t kept in the right database. Information was siloed.” Errors and inaccuracies that are not addressed properly—and in time—are likely to be repeated in future projects.

Tip #3: Leverage design data to add efficiency to every project

Guarev shared two ways industrial facilities can leverage design data to add efficiency to every project. The first is simple—use an engineering database to calculate and estimate new engineering activities and priorities. “There are multiple projects going on in any industrial facility at the same time. When we use the engineering database that is shared across the company in a common portal, we can build new proposals for new projects based on historical data,” said Guarev.

Guarev’s second suggestion for leveraging design data is to implement lessons learned and a best practices roundup after every project. “We get together and share the problems we faced during the project, the solutions we used to complete the project, and any lessons learned,” said Guarev. “These insights are shared among the team members for upcoming projects and documented so we can keep track of them.”

Tip #4: Minimize project rework and waste

While using proper revision control is a key way to reduce project rework and waste, Guarev shared another tip that can help industrial facilities—implement a more efficient, automated approval process. “Every document should be properly approved by your client,” said Gaurev. “If you are sharing the engineering documents, which are not properly approved, then you run the risk of sharing an advanced copy to the site without anticipating any changes from the client.”

In this scenario, changes could come during the adjustment period and create more project work and waste for the industrial facility. “This just leads to confusion and rework because you may need to make changes after creating professional plan documents.”

Tip #5: Mitigate the potential impact of delays with better change order processes

To mitigate the impact of potential delays, Guarev recommends implementing better change order processes. “Suppose there are some changes in the field or design due to a client’s request. It’s better to build in a process that requires the client to share any changes in real-time so there are clear visibility and consequences to delayed adjustments,” said Guarev. “We have to mitigate the impact of these delays by creating better processes and outlining those in the contract.”

When you create a process like this, both the customer and the facility are clear on the next steps if there is a late-stage adjustment. “The contractor has the full authority to ask for the cost and the time impact—the extension of time—from the client,” said Guarev.

Ready to learn more about accelerating your journey to a smarter, more efficient industrial facility? Check out our eBook here to elevate your industrial facility project execution processes.

Gaurav Verma
Deputy Chief Manager,
Technip Energies

Gaurav is a seasoned project manager with more than 20 years’ experience managing multi-billion dollar EPC projects, while leading a 100-strong team. Gaurav has considerable experience working with large EPC conglomerates including Samsung Engineering and Chiyoda Corporation. Gaurav earned his degree in Electrical Engineering from IET Rohilkhand University in Bareilly, and his Masters in Power Systems from the National Institute of Technology in Jamshedpur.