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Looking Forward at TINC + The Network Edge 2020

Virtual | December 1, 2020

TINC + The Network Edge 2020

2020 has been a year like no other. In light of the unprecedented challenges facing Industry leaders, Asset Performance Networks made the decision to offer our conference series—the Turnaround Industry Network Conference (TINC) and The Network Edge—as a virtual event at no charge. That decision put unrivaled data, unmatched tools, and unmissable insights at the disposal of owner-operators across the globe. They responded by making this the largest AP-Networks conference ever, with over 250 registrants spanning 19 countries and 55 companies.

Thanks to their participation, AP-Networks’ conference lived up to its promise to serve as a knowledge network, offering a virtual platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices between global leaders from the refining, petrochemical, power generation, and manufacturing industries. Together, we looked back on the challenges and triumphs of the past several months, and discussed strategies to achieve excellence in the months and years ahead.


Mike O’Kane | COVID-19 Impacts on Turnarounds

AP-Networks – VP, Products and Services

TINC + The Network Edge 2020

Mike O’Kane kicked the day off by tackling the topic on the forefront of everyone’s mind: Planning and executing an event amid COVID-19. Since the reality of the pandemic made itself known earlier in the year, clients have reached out to AP-Networks to help navigate a rapidly changing landscape, allowing us to put together a robust dataset in a short amount of time. With insights gained through roundtable discussions with 40 Industry leaders from the U.S., Europe, and Canada, as well as assurance assessments conducted for 30 COVID-19-impacted events, we’ve put together a collection of learnings and best practices.

As Mike went through the strategic, tactical, and execution factors to consider, one thing was clear: the path to success starts with the establishment of a dedicated COVID-19 organization. For the time-being, COVID-19 is an aspect of doing business, with myriad concerns: from confirming contractor and material availability as organizations adjust their long-term schedules, to creating a backfill plan for key positions, to developing and communicating a rigorous safety and COVID-19 response plan. By devoting dedicated resources to these tasks, organizations can assemble what they need in planning, and maintain flexibility during execution.

Nathan Centofanti | Benchmarking Presentation

AP-Networks – Manager, Benchmarking and Data Services

TINC + The Network Edge 2020

One of the guiding principles at AP-Networks is that you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. That’s the reason we work hard to help our clients assemble a robust collection of benchmarks for their sites and organizations. Throughout more than 20 years of working with clients to benchmark planning and performance, we’ve assembled the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of shutdown, turnaround, and outage data. Armed with insights from that database, Nathan Centofanti told us where we we’ve been, and offered some valuable insight for what comes next.

Though more than 60 percent of maintenance events we benchmark are still deemed unsuccessful, we have seen a statistically significant improvement in cost and schedule predictability over the past 10-15 years. Indeed, the percentage of successful turnarounds is increasing while the percentage of train wrecks (those events that exceed planned cost or duration by more than 30 percent) is decreasing. One of the fundamental reasons behind this shift is a steady increase in Turnaround Readiness Index (TRI) scores, a proprietary metric developed by AP-Networks to assess event readiness. By continuing to focus on planning and preparation—through work process adherence, risk management, scope control, and other key considerations—Industry can maintain this positive trend, and go beyond success to deliver unprecedented business value.

George DeBakey | Award for Turnaround Excellence

AP-Networks – Co-Founder and Managing Director

TINC + The Network Edge 2020

The trend toward better turnaround outcomes led AP-Networks to introduce something new at last year’s Turnaround Industry Network Conference: the annual Award for Turnaround Excellence. The foundations of this award are an innovative metric—the Cost to Business Index (CBI), a quantitative measure of value delivered—and a set of criteria that go beyond success to define turnaround excellence. After walking us through these criteria, George DeBakey explained that less than five percent of the turnarounds benchmarked by AP-Networks achieve this distinction. As George reminded us, excellence is a journey, one that is never finished. To achieve these Industry-leading outcomes, excellence must be present in everything we do. This year, there was one turnaround team in particular that took that to heart, the team behind the LyondellBasell Channelview 2020 MeOH/BT Turnaround.

Accepting the award from George DeBakey on behalf of the team was Jim Hicks, US Global Turnaround Manager at LyondellBasell. Jim echoed Nathan’s earlier call for readiness. “Attaining a high level of readiness,” said Jim, “enabled our execution team to react to unexpected challenges.” This adaptability led to an exceptional outcome that provided tangible value to the entire LyondellBasell organization. It was our honor to recognize the efforts of Jim and his team.

John Camp | PYXIS + acXis

AP-Networks – Deputy Director, USA

TINC + The Network Edge 2020

To do any job successfully requires the right tools and the knowledge of how to wield them. This year, AP-Networks introduced two new digital tools to our cloud-based platforms, drawing on our decades of experience working with Industry leaders, along with the world-class software engineering prowess of our development team. As The Network Edge portion of the day began, John Camp was on hand to provide insight into how these tools—the PYXIS™ risk management system and the acXis™ action item tracking system—can serve a vital purpose on the journey to excellence.

Many organizations are adept at identifying risks. Likewise, event teams are skilled at recognizing valuable activities that fall outside the bounds of the work process. However, more often than not, the action plans needed to manage or mitigate risks and to follow through on these activities are lost in the shuffle of planning and preparation. With PYXIS and acXis, ownership and accountability are the norm, not the exception. By providing a simple means of creating an action plan, it becomes possible to take control of risk management and to follow through on activities. And as part of AP-Networks’ cloud-based platforms, the PYXIS risk items and the acXis action items can take their place alongside NaviTrack™ work process activities in a streamlined user dashboard. Together, these tools allow organizations to make tangible strides toward better outcomes.

Mimi Eshetu | LLern

AP-Networks – Manager, Implementation and Training

TINC + The Network Edge 2020

As always, AP-Networks strives to provide attendees to our conferences with a clear view of what’s next, both for us and for Industry. Mimi Eshetu closed The Network Edge by offering an in-depth look at the next digital tool coming to AP-Networks’ cloud-based platforms: LLern™, a comprehensive lessons learned management system. Mimi described LLern as a “transformational tool,” and she wasn’t exaggerating. One of the most important aspects of any AP-Networks assessment is the post-event closeout. The importance stems in large part from the lessons learned process, where event teams identify opportunities for improvement while they’re at their clearest—right after the event.

As Mimi articulated, identifying those lessons learned should not be the end of the current event, but the beginning of the next one. She also reminded us that we can’t truly call them lessons learned unless we implement them. Unfortunately, in the time between events, it’s common practice for the lessons learned list to sit stagnant. LLern aims to change that by bringing the same easy-to-use features of PYXIS and acXis to the lessons learned management process. With a few simple clicks, action plans can be developed for those opportunities with the most potential, and activities can be assigned to accountable owners. Coming in 2021, LLern will allow organizations to harness the potential of lessons learned to drive continuous improvement like never before.

Mimi Eshetu | Bonus Session – AP-Networks’ Cloud-Based Platforms

AP-Networks – Manager, Implementation and Training

At TINC + The Network Edge, we welcomed back many longtime clients, and met plenty of folks who were new to AP-Networks. For both groups, John and Mimi’s presentations provided new insight into the potential of AP-Networks’ digital tools. On December 2nd, we followed the conference with a bonus session centered on AP-Networks’ cloud-based platforms. Mimi delivered three workshops over the course of the day, and each one was packed with passionate leaders looking to learn how these platforms could help unlock the potential of their own sites.

Mimi walked everyone through the full suite of tools available in the Turnaround Network, the Upstream Network, the Capital Project Network, and the recently released Outage Network, which was designed exclusively for the power generation industry. Starting with the NaviTrack work process deployment system, and working all the way through to the robust reporting features available in the platforms, Mimi got everyone up to speed on just how much can be accomplished with AP-Networks’ digital tools. For many in attendance, she provided answers to longstanding issues, and demonstrated a tried-and-tested means of putting best practices into action.

Takeaways from TINC + The Network Edge 2020

TINC + The Network Edge 2020

Hosting our first-ever virtual conference, we didn’t know what to expect. Without some of the standard hallmarks of TINC and The Network Edge, we weren’t sure how our clients and colleagues would respond. Even when our registration numbers reached their highest level ever, we had no way of knowing how many registrants would attend live.

What we were met with on December 1st was an active, engaged group of attendees—our largest ever, hailing from six continents and a more diverse array of industries than any past event—attendees ready for the challenges facing Industry, and eager to show that the most important triumphs stem from the most formidable obstacles. We found Industry leaders who showed why they’ve earned that moniker, as they embraced new business paradigms, developed new strategies for success, and worked together to forge a path forward. Their energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to the journey of excellence reminded us here at AP-Networks of something essential: When we put our talents together and draw on our collective knowledge, success is always within reach.