2015 was a crucial year for this oil and gas company as its first shipment from a pioneering project was due to leave Gladstone Harbour. Ahead of this, business processes need to be able to support a competitive enterprise whilst reducing costs and embedding 'value' thinking across the business.
Practicus was engaged to set up a LEAN-based business improvement programme to bring about the required changes.
In order to expand the adoption of LEAN principles, Practicus performed a high level review of processes involved in the drilling and connection of natural gas wells (well delivery).
The team mapped Well Delivery processes to identify inefficiency and used information centres to improve the management of those processes. Practicus also performed regular root cause analysis to identify further improvements and used LEAN tools such as Kaizen to improve processes where appropriate.
Change fatigue is a perennial challenge. Numerous improvement ideas had been suggested in the past but were never driven forward.
In order to succeed where others had not, Practicus understood that it needed to tailor its approach to bring about sustainable change.
The approach initially focussed on socialising and embedding the basic LEAN concepts through the use of Visual Systems and Root Cause Analysis training in workgroups. This helped staff understand the benefits of LEAN and made it more appealing to use.
To embed the change even further, Practicus coached initiative leaders and introduced Information Centres as a tool to improve collaboration between staff members. As a result, Santos learnt how to take on the challenge themselves in the future.
The organisation now has better flow throughout its well delivery process, leading to significantly reduced cycle times to get appraisal wells connected and on line, and wells being drilled under budget.
In addition, the land access process has improved and (in some cases) has been achieved in a third of the time it has previously taken.
All business functions now have better awareness of the process, their part in the process and the knowledge required to reduce non-value-adding activities.
The outcome has contributed to the cultural change needed to rethink the business and create a more competitive enterprise.