The recent MyPass x Minset industry roundtable on Streamlining Shutdown and Turnaround Delivery was a robust discussion on the current challenges, and ways industry can collaborate to fix them. These are our key takeaways:

  • Start with the right processes and systems

Integrated management plans: Effective Shutdowns and Turnarounds require robust management plans with clear hold points that are adhered to. Seamless mobilisation, compliance, and thorough close-out processes are all essential.

Technology and processes: While technology can be an enabler, it cannot replace the need for solid foundational processes. The consensus was clear: technology complements Shutdown and Turnaround delivery, but does not fix broken processes.

Continuous improvement: Taking the time to implement lessons learned is critical. Often feedback from contractors is overlooked, but they have a wealth of knowledge from doing similar jobs at a range of sites that can be incorporated into future job planning.

  • Create a better experience for workers 

Proactive engagement: Proactively engaging the workforce is crucial, especially in a competitive labour market. Offering continuity of work and competitive pay rates can help attract and retain the best workers. Attempting to save a few dollars on worker pay rates may come back to bite you as you will only attract inexperienced tradespeople. 

Treat people well: High-performing teams can be created when there is no cultural delineation between your staff and your contractors. Treat contractors as true partners in the delivery of your Shutdowns and Turnarounds and you will yield productivity and engagement benefits. This means early consultation about how the work is planned, optimal crew composition, changes to schedules etc. Ensure genuine engagement during the event by seeking feedback and opinions from those who do Shutdowns and Turnarounds for a living.

Ease of use: Tools and systems should be user-friendly, allowing quick and easy adoption by all stakeholders.  Workers should have access to applications like MyPass so they can ensure they have the prerequisite training and inductions to complete their assigned work. 

  • Plan better

Allocation of skills: Time spent doing detailed planning is essential. On average 40% of the work done on-site by skilled tradespeople could have been done by a semi-skilled worker or Trades Assistant. This is a great way to relieve pressure from skills shortages.

Holistic approach: The interdependence of issues such as poor work scoping, contractor work quality, and ineffective management systems means that addressing one problem can help alleviate others.

Early involvement of experts: Bringing in experts early in the planning phase can lead to better resource management and more effective Shutdowns and Turnarounds. OEMs and specialist suppliers tend to be across the latest innovative approaches to repairing or replacing equipment.

Industry alignment: Whilst being aware of anti-competition regulations, with the right stakeholders involved, industry can communicate its calendar of major events and reduce schedule clashes where possible. This is particularly important in regional areas where there’s a dependency on a few major contractors. 

  • Visibility leads to efficiency

Status visibility: Keeping all stakeholders informed throughout Shutdown / Turnaround phases enhances efficiency. Digital tools like SMSi can improve information sharing and engagement. Adopting a smart shutdown approach aligns with the broader asset management digitisation agenda and will improve overall performance. 

Proof of competency: Ensuring that only competent, travel-ready workers are on-site reduces delays and safety risks. Time spent getting workers (along with parts and tooling) to the job front risks extending your planned duration, and can therefore create costly plant downtime. Requesting resources via MyPass will eliminate the surprise of labour shortfalls.  

  • Health and safety considerations

Risk reduction: Ensuring the right workers have the right skills reduces safety risks and administrative burdens. Early communication of task-related skills requirements will allow the contractors and their workforce to be on the front foot. 

Change of duties: It’s unavoidable that workers will at times perform different duties on site than planned. Seeing a worker's full training and competency profile in the field (in real-time) will prevent schedule delays and reduce the chance of safety incidents. 

Planning: At the end of the day, it all comes back to planning. Well planned Shutdowns and Turnarounds don’t just run smoother, they are also safer.  A clear and concise scope of work with the right parts and tooling at the ready will enhance safety outcomes.

This roundtable highlighted that addressing these interconnected challenges requires a combination of good processes, appropriate technology, strategic planning, and proactive workforce management. By focusing on these areas, we can significantly improve Shutdown and Turnaround delivery, driving efficiency and safety for the industry. 


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