AP-Networks.com     |      AP-Canada.ca
2013    2014    2015    2016    2017    2018    2019

Unlocking Value at TINC America 2019

The Woodlands, Texas | November 18 – 20, 2019

TINC America 2019

For 17 years, the Turnaround Industry Network Conference has asked, “What does good look like?” With massive gains made in just about every metric of turnaround performance and a transformation in Industry’s dedication to turnarounds, Asset Performance Networks has sensed a restlessness in Industry, a realization that it’s time to drive the conversation forward. So this year, our presenters went beyond “good.” They asked: “What does excellence look like?” “How do you add value? How do you measure it?”

TINC America 2019

The first-ever Awards for Turnaround Excellence shined a spotlight on those turnarounds that exemplified how far Industry has come. The introduction of the Cost to Business Index (CBI) provided a new tool to drive this new era of value-driven turnaround management. Throughout presentations, panel discussions, and breakout sessions, these questions of excellence and value were asked, answered, and examined, spurring the most thought-provoking TINC yet.


Nathan Centofanti – TINC America 2019 Turnaround Benchmarking

AP-Networks | Manager, Benchmarking and Data Services

TINC America 2019

“The better you plan, the safer you are. The better you plan, the more competitive you are.”

-Nathan Centofanti, AP-Networks

This year, we dove right into the data, as Nathan Centofanti took to the stage to take us on a tour of the AP-Networks Turnaround Database. With nearly 2,000 turnarounds, it is the largest repository of turnaround data in the world, providing the means to make some incredible insights into turnaround performance. Nathan zeroed in on a subset of the data, showing us trends in the practices employed and the outcomes achieved over the past three years. This presentation is always a highlight of TINC, exploring what turnaround success looks like and how to achieve it. But this year, Nathan took things a step further and asked, “How do we measure value?” He answered that question with the all-new AP-Networks Cost to Business Index (CBI), which combined cost and schedule performance data with Lost Profit Opportunity (LPO). With the CBI, Nathan demonstrated that real savings are on the line: moving from the bottom quartile to the top quartile in terms of CBI represents cost savings of 20% or more and a reduction of turnaround days by 30% or more.

George DeBakey – Awards for Turnaround Excellence

AP-Networks | Co-Founder and Managing Director

TINC America 2019

“Excellence is never complete; you can never reach it. It is a journey, not a destination.”

-George DeBakey, AP-Networks

The purpose of TINC is the pursuit of excellence in turnaround management. No one understands this better than George DeBakey, who together with Brett Schroeder has led AP-Networks in its efforts to advance the field of turnaround management across the globe, one turnaround at a time. You can see those efforts reflected in the data Nathan shared with us, which showed how all the goalposts of turnaround performance have moved forward, from near-universal adoption of turnaround work processes to the shift in scope freeze timing from weeks before the turnaround to months. To celebrate how far Industry has come on the road to excellence, George handed out the first-ever AP-Networks Awards for Turnaround Excellence, singling out three exemplary turnarounds:

  • Chevron Pascagoula 2017 ISO/LER1 Turnaround
  • Celanese Clear Lake 2018 VAM Turnaround
  • CVR Energy Wynnewood 2019 Spring Turnaround
These turnarounds were in the top five percent of all those surveyed for TINC America 2019, achieving exemplary results across five stringent criteria for safety, operability, predictability, environmental impact, and cost to business.

Pam Sherman – Journey to Cost Management

HollyFrontier | Corporate Lead for Turnarounds and Maintenance

TINC America 2019

“We’re leveraging pockets of success from different sites to raise the ocean one good practice at a time.”

-Pam Sherman, HollyFrontier

As we discuss the journey to excellence, it’s important to remember that every journey starts somewhere. Pam Sherman outlined the impetus for change at HollyFrontier and walked us through the path forward. With cost performance and cost predictability below the desired levels, the company is looking to become more strategic in their turnaround preparation. The first order of business is to zero in on scope. Key to the company’s efforts is getting to work immediately following a turnaround to prepare a scope list for the next turnaround. By “striking while the iron is hot,” the starting point for the next turnaround is clear. Next, Pam echoed a common refrain as she explained the need to shift the organizational mindset to view turnarounds as a priority for the whole site, not just the turnaround team. Pam outlined the need for clearly delineated strategy, steering, and core teams that understand their responsibilities ahead of the turnaround and are equipped with the right tools to carry them out. Lastly, she emphasized the importance of enhanced project controls.

Richard Weaver – Turnarounds – Pulp and Paper vs. Fertilizer

Koch Industries | Turnaround Coordinator

TINC America 2019

“Resistance to process change is counterproductive to growth. Embrace change. Always choose innovation.”

-Richard Weaver, Koch Industries

In his role as Turnaround Coordinator, Richard Weaver was tasked with bringing best practices from a Koch Industries refinery to a Georgia-Pacific pulp and paper facility. “But like Pam,” he said, “I found pockets of excellence at both sites.” The pulp and paper facility is broken up into different units, each with its own planning and scheduling assets. Each site relies on its own staff, choosing to bring in contractors only if absolutely necessary. The only thing shared is the annual budget. These silos lead to efficient day-to-day operations, but make things difficult during turnarounds, especially with no turnaround-specific AFE. The Koch Industries refinery Richard looked at employed a dedicated turnaround team for planning, shared resources between business units, and regularly employed contractors during turnarounds. However, an over-reliance on the turnaround team, high staff turnover rates, and high cost of contract services were creating challenges. By reminding both sites that “nostalgia is not a business plan,” Richard worked to drive adoption of best practices gleaned from each facility. He emphasized a need to break down barriers, ensure a dedicated budget and cost controls for turnarounds, and focus on cultivating in-house experience.

Brian Riggs – AP-Networks Benchmark Research Studies – Update

AP-Networks | Analyst and Research Project Lead

TINC America 2019

Last year at TINC America, AP-Networks kicked off the Benchmark Research Initiative, a joint research initiative with Industry. At TINC events throughout the year, we solicited input on the challenges facing Industry leaders and the questions they wanted answered. Then we assembled Industry committees to help frame our research. From those efforts, we launched two studies: “Benchmarking Field Labor Productivity” and “Understanding and Improving Early Estimating Practices.” Brian Riggs has led these studies, and took to the stage to update attendees on key findings. Chief among these were the establishment of metrics and best practices related to field labor productivity and early estimating practices. While specific lessons learned are available only to study sponsors, these metrics and best practices will help drive the entire industry forward.

Craig Small – Corporate Turnaround Governance

AP-Networks | Practice Area Expert, Turnaround Management

TINC America 2019

“Do we truly have an organization that can give us good turnarounds?”

-Craig Small, AP-Networks

Craig Small set the stage for his presentation by defining governance—"processes, interactions, and assigned accountabilities by which turnarounds are directed, managed, and controlled”—and posing the question, “Why do we need governance?” The answer was simple: Industry is not performing how it should. With only one out of five turnaround steering teams providing truly effective steering, an ongoing difficulty to integrate projects into turnarounds, and a lack of compliance and assurance in the turnaround work process, there are many challenges facing Industry. While this may sound overwhelming, Craig provided a clear path forward by walking us through the four pillars of corporate turnaround governance: establishing turnaround standards, setting the right KPIs for compliance, establishing time-based assessment and intervention to achieve assurance, and creating a focused turnaround organization that starts at the corporate level. Craig ended by reminding us that corporate turnaround governance has to be intentional. Someone at the top needs to say, “We’re going to change.”

David Thompson – Putting the Turnaround Plan into Action: The Journey Towards Success and Our Vision for the Future

CVR Energy | Turnaround Manager

TINC America 2019

“It is the teams that are able to build trust in one another and work as one that are able to achieve greatness.”

-David Thompson, CVR Energy

Everyone at TINC America was excited to hear from David Thompson, who was there to tell us about the CVR Energy Wynnewood 2019 Spring Turnaround, one of the recipients of the Awards for Turnaround Excellence. Like any victory, there was a lot of work that preceded it. For CVR Energy, the journey to excellence began in 2014. The keys to success that David recounted echoed the best practices TINC attendees have been hearing for years. It began with measurement, giving CVR Energy the knowledge they needed to improve. From there, alignment and accountability were pivotal. Underpinning everything was the incredible support the turnaround team received from leadership. CVR Energy has established a company-wide turnaround culture, with site and corporate management serving as active participants on steering teams. With this support, the company was even able to effectively integrate capital projects into turnarounds, spurring collaboration and teamwork. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of David’s presentation was where he ended it: not with a celebratory look back, but with a resolved view of the future as CVR Energy looks ahead to the 2021 turnaround and the improvements it’s hoping to make.

Martin Leger – Structuring Your Organization for Turnaround Success

Irving Oil | Turnaround Manager

TINC America 2019

“Don’t go for performance first, go for predictability.”

-Martin Leger, Irving Oil

In 2016, Irving Oil sat down to perform a gap analysis and take a long, hard look at what they needed to do to move their turnaround organization forward. It turns out, the answers were there all along, laid out in ten years of lessons learned exercises, AP-Networks T-AP reports, and feedback sessions with contractors. But with a turnaround every year, the focus was always on chasing that next turnaround, with no time taken to truly look back and review. But that changed in 2016. Irving Oil identified strengths: support from the leadership team, strategic partnerships with embedded contractors, and a stable corporate knowledge base thanks to a maintenance and operations team staffed by managers with decades of knowledge. The company also identified the areas they needed to focus on: lowering turnaround complexity to align with organizational capability, transitioning to a two-team approach with separate planning and execution teams reporting to one steering committee, getting the premise document endorsed by every stakeholder, rolling out new planning software, and improving the capture and freeze of scope. With a “back-to-basics” approach that everyone has bought into, Irving Oil has seen improved readiness and plans to keep driving forward.

TJ Felts – Managing and Integrating Plant-Based Projects into Turnarounds

AP-Networks | Practice Area Leader, VCAP (Value and Competitiveness Assessment of Plant-Based Projects)

TINC America 2019

“Every turnaround manager has a vested interest in the success of plant-based projects.”

-TJ Felts, AP-Networks

It’s no secret that capital project integration is a challenge. As TJ Felts explained, within that project work, plant-based projects exist as a gray area that tends to trip up sites throughout Industry. These projects are led at the site level, rather than coming as a directive from corporate, and they tend to cost less than $20 million. These projects often exist as part of a project portfolio at the site. Outside of project execution, Industry has two major challenges in regards to plant-based projects: prioritizing project selection, and assessing impact on business value after the project is complete. In other words, companies are struggling to choose the projects that will provide the most value, and they’re failing to look back at completed projects to assess what, if any, value they provided. TJ urged everyone to reorient their thinking, asking at every turn, “How is this helping the organization at large?” He also encouraged us to ensure that lessons learned after the fact are truly lessons learned, and not merely lessons observed.

Discussion Panels

Discussion panels harness the full energy, enthusiasm, and insight of the assembled TINC America attendees as a panel of Industry leaders answers attendee-submitted questions.

TINC America 2019

Discussion Panel 1 – Benchmark Research
Brad Enix – Turnaround Manager, Chevron
Ian Sudlow – Senior Turnaround Advisor, Suncor Energy
Chet Unruh – Subject Matter Expert, AP-Networks
Mike O'Kane – VP, Products and Services, AP-Networks (Moderator)

As they registered for TINC America 2019, attendees were presented with 17 potential research topics for the next wave of the AP-Networks Benchmark Research Initiative. They selected the ones they were most interested in, and with those results, the initial 17 topics were whittled down to 5. Those five topics were the subject of the first discussion panel.

  • Detailed Cost Analysis: Benchmarking Costs at a More Granular Level
  • Innovative Execution Practices: Using Information Technology
  • Plant Reliability and Turnaround Performance
  • Scope Freeze and Control: Optimizing Practices to Improve Turnaround Performance
  • Staffing for Success: Structuring the Turnaround Planning Organization

TINC America 2019

Discussion Panel 2 – Building Reliable Early Estimates
Gord Bruce – Turnaround Innovation and Strategy Lead, Parkland Refining BC
Cheyenne Chapman – Turnaround Manager, Chevron
Jeff Saionz – Turnaround Manager, LyondellBasell
Brett Schroeder – Managing Director, AP-Networks (Moderator)

Organizations frequently misunderstand the cost and schedule of an upcoming turnaround until detailed planning begins. As a result, turnaround groups are often held to budgets and schedules not grounded in reality. This panel tackled the issue head on and strove to provide guidance on strategies and data for setting realistic expectations.

Breakout Sessions

TINC America 2019

TINC provides a venue for peer to peer networking like no other. Wherever you see a group of attendees gathered together—be it at breakfast, lunch, or just a quick break between presentations—you can hear them discussing the presentations they’ve just heard. Rather than feeling like they need a break, attendees feel energized to keep the conversation going. Breakout Sessions provide an opportunity to harness that energy and focus it on specific topics.

On Day 1, attendees tackled a variety of topics:

  • Contracting Strategies: Timing, Contingencies, Incentives
  • Cost Estimating Practices to Drive Better Outcomes
  • Operations Engagement and Planning
  • Plant-Based Project Selection and Integration
  • The Site-Wide Approach to Mega Turnarounds: Tools, Communication, and Leadership
  • The Turnaround Work Process and Team Alignment

After the Benchmarking and Research discussion panel on Day 1, each attendee selected which topic they would like to discuss during the breakout session on Day 2. These conversations delved deeper into these topics to formulate questions for further research.

Takeaways from TINC America 2019

TINC America 2019

TINC America 2019 featured presenters at several points along the path to turnaround excellence. Some were well on their way, while others were just setting out. But no matter where they were, or even what industry they hailed from, one thing rang true: The key to improvement was to leverage learnings from every site and every turnaround. Excellence isn’t something with a simple step-by-step guide, something that can be discovered once and applied over and over again. It looks different for every site and every turnaround. It’s hard won each time, and must be continually earned. But by recognizing and nurturing those “pockets of excellence,” wherever they may be, it is achievable.

And as it turns out, there’s real value in achieving excellence—value that can be quantified, value that can be maximized. By keeping that question of value front and center, the time, energy, and money invested in turnarounds yields tangible gains that lead to stronger organizations and a stronger industry for all of us.

As always, it was a privilege for AP-Networks to be part of the conversation with turnaround leaders from across the globe. We celebrate the successes of TINC America 2019 and look forward to the future with excitement!