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Oil & Gas Maintenance



Oil & Gas Maintenance


Northern Canadian oil sands mining company needed help to assess its Maintenance operation and improve budget attainment through cost reductions and increased productivity.


  • Increase Maintenance contractor productivity by 25% while decreasing maintenance costs.


  • Achieved 24% reduction in overtime costs.
  • Achieved 41% improvement in budget attainment.
  • Reduced permit field authorization cycle time by 50%.
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Case Study

Reduce Maintenance Costs Through Improved Execution


A Northern Canadian oil sands mining company enlisted The Highland Group to critically assess its Maintenance operation and improve budget attainment through cost reductions and increased productivity.

Highland Approach

Following a thorough assessment of the current situation, The Highland Group concluded that management needed to gain better control of contractor maintenance execution (which had run 90% over budget in the previous year). The team designed a multi-dimensional roadmap to achieve the Driver Goal through rigorous application of basic fundamentals: addressing gaps in the management system, assigning ownership and enforcing accountability for performance, and developing performance control at the point of execution.

Actions Taken

The Highland Group partnered with client teams to develop and install an integrated System For Managing. New processes, metrics, and behaviors established accountabilities for meeting budgets and schedules, driving productivity to new levels and ultimately reducing total Maintenance costs. The System included:

  • Optimization of shift and work schedules through effective planning and scheduling.
  • Redesign of the permit process and start-up procedures, which significantly reduced the permit field authorization cycle time by 34 minutes.
  • Installation of a management operations dashboard (balanced scorecard) linking data from multiple systems, comparing actual results to plan at multiple levels on a real-time basis.
  • Installation of a short-interval management process, including customized training for over 250 first-line supervisors.

Increased contractor productivity per year by


while improving supervisory behaviors and morale

Related Information


subject matter-based

Project Leader

Manufacturing & Industrial

Joseph is a senior executive with more than 40 years of international industry management and consulting experience, primarily in the areas of process improvement, working capital optimization and operational metrics. Having served in more than 21 countries around Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Rim, and North America, Joseph is skilled at implementing successful and sustainable change programs in culturally diverse environments.