BP Maintenance Breakthrough

We re-engineered work processes, improved systems and identified new technology that they could make use of


This project was delivered at BP’s Saltend Site in the UK.  This was a site that could already be ranked as a strong performer in most benchmarking studies, but was also a site with ambitions to set new standards in maintenance.  Our challenge was to help them reduce costs by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance work without any adverse effect on safety performance.

What we did

This project brought together the full range of the Carcharodon services.

  • We worked closely with the project team to help then work together as a high performance team ready to take on the challenge.
  • We provided training for BP staff and mentored for the project team in the strategic and tactical elements of gaining buy in.
  • We helped them prepare and deliver critical presentations and communication.
  • We provided them with a complete consulting major change process which we tailored to suit their needs.
  • We also brought in industry best practice comparisons, detailed problem solving skills and tools, industry experts and facilitated workshop!

This project was involved us embedding our project manager inside the BP team on site to help them through the whole process.

How we did it

This project brought together the full range of Carcharodon services.  It was also a project that involved us working closely with BP for a number of months as we took them through the process of defining what needed to be done, how this could be done effectively and then staying with them to drive the changes through.

From a consulting perspective we worked closely with the team to establish a change process suited to them that was based on a model where sustainable change depends upon four pillars:

  • A compelling, well communicated vision so that people are clear where they are going and inspired to take the journey
  • An effective change process to provide a road map and an effective route to get there
  • Strong tactics and tools to enable the team to work effectively, get to the root cause of problems to solve them permanently and arm people with the persuasive and interpersonal skills to get the wider population to buy in to the change.
  • Effective measurement of maintenance performance at leading indicator level to prioritise problems and quantify the effectiveness of solutions.

BP had set up a dedicated project team and this included some talented individuals who were very strong from a technical perspective, but they were relatively inexperienced at driving major change.  As a consequence we worked very closely with the project team providing coaching and also bringing in some of our project planning and high performance team processes.  To their credit, BP quickly understood the potential of combining our experience in change with their own local knowledge.  They very much maintained in control of their project, which is correct, but they also took advice and learnt very quickly during the process.

The start point for the project was to go after some early wins by tackling some known and urgent problem areas, but we also brought in further benchmarking and assessment studies to help identify where the broader opportunities were.  We looked at how work could be removed as a first preference, carried out more efficiently as a second choice and how working closely with suppliers could reduce costs. 

This analysis helped gain an understanding for the team on how their world could change and we used this to develop a vision and targets for the project.   However, having a vision is only useful if you can get other people to understand and commit to it so we helped develop the model, wrote slide packs to communicate this and coached the project manager in how to deliver these effectively.  We put a lot of work into getting the vision right, but BPs feedback at the end of the project was that this was a new and important standard that was critical to the project’s success.

With the project launch complete, we moved into working with BP staff at all levels from shop floor to senior managers.  In all cases we looked to get alongside people to help them influence the way work was carried out and provided training relevant to the problems they were facing so that this could be put to immediate use.  This way people saw the project less as a hindrance and more as a helpful resource and because they were involved in the problem solving they took strong ownership of the solution.


Maintenance costs successfully reduced by 23%, the quality of work improved and the client went on to enjoy a new record for safety performance.

Customer comment

"Managing change, working out how to communicate and managing opposing forces is harder than technical engineering!  Your coaching for the team and leadership made a huge difference.  Having your Consultant (Laurie Dummett) on board brought additional confidence to the whole team.  He brought the tools to help us change and the right kind of experience (I like the fact he has worked inside industry and not just consulted at it) to empathise with us and provide genuinely practical advice.  He is also well connected with other parts of industry so could challenge the way we think based on real examples of innovative practice.

However, it was not what he did, it was the way he did it.  No ego, no posturing and no standard solutions.  Laurie simply focused on what was best for our business and making the journey as easy as possible for all of us.  We all learnt a lot from Laurie and not just for one project - these are skills we can take with us for the rest of our careers."

Alex Curry, Saltend Chemicals Park, BP, Engineering Delivery Team Leader