Our client, a small (26,000 barrels of crude oil per day) Midwest refinery, processes regional sweet and black wax crude oils, as well as Canadian sour crude oil, into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. It also blends natural gasoline, butane and gas oil. The refinery’s primary markets include Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming.

The refinery produces about 650,000 gallons of gasoline and 250,000 gallons of diesel fuel per day. The construction of three new units would increase processing capacity to 31,000 barrels per day.

Recent turnover of those newly constructed units, from project engineering to the maintenance department, placed pressure on the maintenance department to get the units operating efficiently on a routine maintenance plan. With annual turnarounds approaching, additional corporate pressure was placed on both the operations and maintenance departments to increase throughput, while maintaining current maintenance labor resources.


The initial focus by the maintenance department was on improving the maintenance planning capabilities of a very inexperienced Planning Unit.

Advisian was initially contracted to conduct a small focused four-week Planner Development Program which included a brief upfront analysis, Planner Workshops (which included Planners, Execution Foremen and the Maintenance Manager), follow-up coaching and counseling, and a final report with findings and recommendations.

The workshop pointed out gaps not only in the Maintenance Planning & Scheduling function but, also gaps in the Operations Department in terms of work selection, work order prioritization and work execution. The Maintenance Manager initially requested a detailed Gap Analysis revealing the gaps but soon realized that Advisian’s services were needed to address and resolve the gaps on a systematic basis.

A project proposal for Work Center Management System improvement which included an initiated end-of-project Gap Assessment was presented and accepted.

Cross-functional teams which consisted of Maintenance and Operations personnel were created to examine the work selection, work planning, work scheduling and work execution processes. An Oversight Committee, consisting of the Maintenance Manager and Operations Manager was created to oversee, review and approve proposals presented by the cross-functional teams.


Key initiatives included refinement of Work Maintenance Processes; development of Roles & Responsibilities; development of Standard Days for Planners, Standard Work Packages; Schedulers, and Execution Foremen Standard Day.

We jointly developed Operator Standard Day for tank farm and unit operators, Operator Rounds Check Sheets and conducted operator training on work selection and work execution for 70 operators and 36 maintenance craftsmen.

We also implemented a Daily/Weekly Operator Report, which tracked Maintenance compliances and productivity barriers.


  • 3,100 hours in annualized craft lost time reduction with the implementation of Foremen Standard Day
  • 3,150 hours annualized lost time reduction in Daily Morning Line-up by changing meeting format
  • 50 percent increase in work orders planned per week
  • 100 percent of all work orders planned now include Standard Work Package
  • Increase in Planner Field Scoping from 10 percent to 30 percent of Planner Work Day
  • Backlog now being maintained at three weeks by area
  • Weekly schedule moving from one week to three weeks
  • Quality of work orders approved by Operations now being tracked weekly
  • Daily/Weekly Operating Report (DWOR) now tracking and reporting schedule attainment, schedule compliance, break-ins, availability, first-job starts and schedule continuity on a weekly basis
  • Barriers to maintenance productivity now being tracked and reported weekly
  • A gap assessment presented at the end of the project identified the path forward for sustainability