The chemicals, fertilisers and explosives industries are some of the most turbulent in the world. For example:

  1. Upstream shifts in availability and cost within the chemicals industry are forcing companies to evaluate product and geographic portfolios
  2. Complex and convoluted supply chains within the explosives industry are affecting reliability of customer supply
  3. Significant increases in North American and Australian non-conventional gas production is having an effect on global trade flows, especially in gas-based products such as fertilisers, and it is becoming more attractive to shift production to the developed world.

PIP brings extensive industry experience to our chemicals, fertilisers and explosives engagements. We utilise it to put in place the processes needed to run high-performing operations. From day one we help our clients mobilise their organisations to deliver bottom-line results.

Working across all levels of a business – including the front line – we have the experience, knowledge and tools to implement improvements and ensure changes stick. Our team of tenured consultants includes experts in Lean and Six Sigma, allowing PIP to seamlessly work with organisations that have invested in building these internal capabilities.

PIP’s global experience spans a broad range of management issues, including:

  • Optimising the plant: covering cost reduction, debottlenecking, labour optimisation, waste reduction, productivity uplift and safety
  • Improving the network: covering capacity optimisation, product-mix optimisation, demand management and planning, critical path and lead-time reduction
  • Sourcing: covering Strategic, Hyper-competition and Vendor Sourcing
  • Aligning the organisation, ensuring accountabilities drive the right outcomes, wiring the business for success
  • Establishing a culture of continuous improvement together with extensive coaching and training to ensure buy-in and sustainable changes
  • Improved sourcing and logistics
  • Optimising the footprint
  • Improving construction productivity, delivery on plan and the commissioning of new production facilities and warehouses
  • Optimising working capital and inventory and improving payback from sustaining capital
  • Improving sales force effectiveness to achieve greater total sales margins.
  • Developing a corporate-level strategy to deliver significant growth and value
  • Conducting commercial due diligence and site diagnostics: multiple site visits to quickly identify capacity, productivity, cost, quality, mix, lead-time and sales/price opportunities

Recent examples of what we have helped our clients to achieve include:

  • Delivered $9m in bottom-line improvement in nine months, with an annualised rate of $25m, at a major multinational chemicals manufacturer
  • Increased throughput to the value of $6m per annum for a leading Australian fertiliser producer
  • Optimised the shutdown schedule for a reformer, reducing the critical path by 20% (40 days down to 32), as well as increasing margin and reducing direct costs to the value of $2m
  • Delivered $12.2m in annualised savings by optimising the global freight and logistics sourcing of a large chemicals manufacturer
  • Increased productivity by 28%, in five months, at a diversified chemicals and discrete manufacturing company

Initially I was a little concerned about the effectiveness of the PIP programme, considering our low levels of employee engagement following changes (largely as a result of the GFC), and a very short engagement period. Upon completion of the engagement period, it is clear the programme will not only exceed initial forecasts on an annualised basis, but also has significantly contributed to improving engagement across our entire site. PIP not only bought the tools, but also the enthusiasm to deliver promised outcomes in a short space of time, whilst ensuring the newly implemented systems would be sustainable.

Brett Landells