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Celebrating 15 Years at TINC America 2017

Houston, Texas | September 18th – 20th, 2017

TINC America 2017

TINC America 2017 represents an important milestone. As the 15th Annual Turnaround Industry Network Conference, and the 28th TINC globally, it signifies a decade-and-a-half of industry leaders coming together to push the boundaries of turnaround knowledge. Over the last 15 years, we have watched the turnaround industry take tremendous strides forward. This transformative shift has its roots in TINC, as recognized by the thousands of attendees over the past 15 years. And that recognition has put turnaround excellence in reach for companies large and small.

TINC America 2017

Asset Performance Networks Managing Director Brett Schroeder took to the stage to welcome the owner-operators in attendance, and to look back on all TINC has accomplished. Over 15 years, what started as a single event in Houston, Texas with 18 attendees has grown into a global series of conferences that see more than 200 turnaround professionals attend each year. Brett emphasized his pride in the city of Houston, noting the incredible resilience that made it possible to hold TINC America there just weeks after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey.


Rich Guttchen – Keynote Address

Chevron | Turnaround Manager, Complex Process Facilities

TINC America 2017

Rich Guttchen delivered the Keynote Address for TINC America 2017. His presentation, titled Implementing a Company-Wide Culture of Turnaround Excellence, traced Chevron’s turnaround journey. Twenty years ago, there was no such thing as a turnaround plan; the plant was shut down, the team dove in, and everyone was happy when the event was over. Then in 1996, Chevron rolled out IMPACT—the Initiative for Managing PACesetter Turnarounds. Now Rich sits on monthly calls that involve the worldwide Chevron organization, discussing turnaround best practices with site leaders in upstream, downstream, complex process, and non-complex process facilities across the globe. As Chevron looks to the future, their focus is on building a pipeline of turnaround practitioners to further drive adherence to the IMPACT process in pursuit of even stronger turnaround outcomes.

Nathan Centofanti – Benchmarking: Company Rankings, Part I – Turnaround Practices

AP-Networks | Manager, Benchmarking and Data Services

TINC America 2017

Nathan Centofanti and his team work to develop the benchmarks that guide the insights and best practices shared at TINC and in AP-Networks engagements worldwide. He shared general findings from the AP-Networks Turnaround Database, e.g. 30 percent of turnarounds stay within 10 percent of their cost and schedule targets and have no trips 60 days after startup; an equal proportion—30 percent—miss those targets by more than 30 percent, earning the classification of “trainwreck.” Nathan then posed the question, “What separates the top quartile performers from the bottom?” In short: An emphasis on turnarounds as a business opportunity, and follow-through in the form of stronger readiness. In particular, Nathan singled out scope control, adherence to scope freeze, and effective Management of Change (MOCs). Nathan also emphasized that the top quartile performers didn’t start there. The journey to top quartile takes practice, patience, and dedication, but it can be achieved.

Josh Kise – Benchmarking: Company Rankings, Part II – Turnaround Outcomes

AP-Networks | Consultant

TINC America 2017

Josh Kise began his presentation by sharing an encouraging chart showing industry’s continued improvement on safety. However, the ultimate goal is elimination, not merely improvement. “Everyone is responsible for safety; it’s not just the person walking around in a red hat,” said Josh. Another encouraging trend? After five years of relative consistency in cost and schedule predictability, industry seems to be getting more predictable. AP-Networks will continue to monitor this trend in the coming years. For the first time at TINC, Josh shared data on turnaround intervals. For companies with weak or average readiness measured by AP-Networks’ Turnaround Readiness Index, the transition to longer intervals between turnarounds led to a decrease in schedule predictability. But for those companies that exhibited a high degree of readiness, longer time between turnarounds allowed them to stay closer to their planned schedule duration.

Heith Robey – A Journey to Turnaround Excellence

Celanese | Turnaround Leader

TINC America 2017

Heith Robey came to the stage to describe the journey to turnaround excellence at the Celanese Clear Lake site. Like many, that journey started from “rock bottom,” with behaviors that drove a “cycle of failure.” Perhaps most indicative of the dire circumstances was the “tag you’re it” nature of the turnaround manager. The turnaround would end in failure, the turnaround manager would be let go, and tag!—the next person was up with a death sentence hanging over their head. But in 2012, the site realized it was time for a change; Heith came on as Turnaround Manager and a five-year plan was put together. In addition to instituting a standardized work process with five phase gates, the site put a major emphasis on people. As Heith pointed out, “Who shows up at your job site will determine if you succeed or fail. Even if you have the greatest plan in the world, if they can’t perform it, you will fail.” Today, the Clear Lake site has made tangible gains, performing strongly versus industry. To sum up, Heith left us with some wise words. “Changing the culture can be done, but it won’t be easy, I can promise you that.”

Michael Troxclair and Chris Miller – Closing the Competitiveness Gap

Michael Troxclair – Shell | Turnaround Event Manager

Chris Miller – AP-Networks | Consultant

TINC America 2017

Next it was time for a joint presentation from Michael Troxclair, Turnaround Event Manager at Shell’s Norco Manufacturing Complex, and AP-Networks Consultant Chris Miller. They walked us through Shell Norco’s ongoing journey to close the competitiveness gap between their turnaround outcomes and top quartile performance. Throughout the site, folks had an intuition on where energy should be spent to achieve the biggest gains. Shell Norco partnered with AP-Networks to improve performance. Through benchmarking and onsite analysis, they were able to capture quantifiable data on their own performance vs. industry. Armed with that information, they were able to develop a Credible Path to Top Quartile (CPTQ) that pinpointed the areas that would deliver the biggest gains, confirming intuition with hard data and getting everyone on the same page. As Michael said, “It’s hard to argue or refute when you have the data.” After an in-depth meeting to review the findings from AP-Networks’ study, leadership’s eyes were opened, and today, Shell Norco is working to act on the CPTQ.

John Alkemade – The Turnaround Performance Paradigm

AP-Networks | Managing Director – Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)

TINC America 2017

Day Two kicked off with a presentation from John Alkemade. John took to the stage to answer a question on the minds of many in attendance: How do I go from “better” to “best-in-class?” For those struggling in the bottom and third quartile of turnaround performance, a focus on becoming more predictable is key. But what about those sites that have predictability under control? How do they make the leap from second quartile to top quartile? To answer that question, AP-Networks undertook a deep dive into the practices of best-in-class turnaround performers. The study pinpointed 21 Turnaround Value Practices (TVPs). These TVPs are out-of-the-ordinary practices that drive big gains. While the overall items—such as premise setting and risk based scope review—are already a part of most work processes, industry leaders take their execution to the next level by moving past the simple “checking the box” mentality. By acting on the handful of TVPs that will make the biggest difference for the specific event in question, sites can execute the right scope and make the leap to top quartile.

Jeff Brock – Overcoming Integration Challenges

LyondellBasell | Turnaround Manager

TINC America 2017

Jeff Brock came to the stage to tackle an issue that’s always on the minds of TINC attendees—overcoming integration challenges between capital projects and turnarounds. While there were processes for projects, turnarounds, and even project and turnaround integration at his site, no one followed those processes. When Jeff was brought on board to get things moving, he discovered that neither side knew much about the other. He covered several strategies to help bridge the gap, including a back-to-basics approach to leadership, ownership, accountability, and clear communication. But one particular takeaway rang out loud and clear, guiding all the others: “Start early—that’s the fix. Any questions?”

Mimi Eshetu – NaviTrack: Recent and Upcoming Functionality Enhancements

AP-Networks | Implementation Expert

TINC America 2017

AP-Networks Implementation Expert Mimi Eshetu was up next. Mimi walked us through some of the new and upcoming features on their way to AP-Networks’ web-based portals and tools, including NaviTrack. Highlights included the recently-debuted Online Data Collection Tool, which provides Turnaround Network users with an easier, more accurate method for data collection, and delivers real-time benchmarks upon upload. Mimi also announced the upcoming Handshake feature, which will provide functionality that links the Turnaround Network with the Capital Project Network, helping sites achieve stronger integration.

Discussion Segments

TINC America 2017 saw the addition of TINC Discussion Segments. These topic-specific discussions involved all conference attendees. For each discussion, two industry leaders were on hand to answer attendee questions and compare strategies.

TINC America 2017

Discussion Segment 1 – Estimating and Controls
Dolly Boden – CPF IMPACT BIN Turnaround Advisor, Chevron
Adrian Nolan – Turnaround Improvement Director, Suncor
Pete Shirley – Manager, Turnaround Services, AP-Networks (Moderator)

This segment gave conference attendees the opportunity to ask questions of Dolly Boden and Adrian Nolan. To kick off the session, Pete Shirley highlighted the importance of effective estimating and controls by reminding everyone that “What gets allocated, gets spent.”

TINC America 2017

Discussion Segment 2 – Engaging Leadership
Steve Busick – Turnaround Manager, Phillips 66
Ed Feck – Turnaround Excellence Manager, Andeavor
Craig Small – Senior Consultant, AP-Networks (Moderator)

For this segment, Steve Busick and Ed Feck were on hand to offer their expertise. To start things off, Craig Small reiterated a point that many on stage made throughout the conference: No matter what your processes are, if leadership isn’t backing or driving those processes, you’re going to have inconsistent results.

Breakout Sessions

TINC America 2017

Since the very first TINC, attendees have logged hundreds of hours of thought-provoking Breakout Session discussions. These sessions allow small groups of owner-operators to trade strategies and get down to brass tacks on what works and what doesn’t. The expertise on display in these sessions is always a highlight of TINC, and TINC America 2017 was no different. This year, attendees discussed the following topics:

  • Work Package Planning – What are the proven methods for planning and the best interfaces with scheduling systems?
  • Scope Selection – When and how do you engage the whole site in defining turnaround work scope? How do you ensure scope is well-defined and screened?
  • Capital Project Definition and Integration – Early definition of capital projects is critical to being ready for the event. Who has been successful at making this happen and how? What does project and turnaround integration mean within your company, and how do you drive early integration efforts?
  • Engineering the Maintenance Scope (MOC) - How do you handle turnaround Management of Change (MoC) development?
  • Resourcing the Preparation Phases – How do you overcome the dilemma caused by shrinking turnaround teams and increasing turnaround preparation demands?
  • Managing Execution – What are the proven best practices for execution management?

Takeaways from TINC America 2017

TINC America 2017

AP-Networks Vice President of Turnaround Management Consulting Bobby Vichich took the stage to close out TINC America 2017. He praised the community of committed, passionate professionals that makes the Turnaround Industry Network Conference such a powerful event. Bobby cited the persistent search for a “silver bullet,” the one solution that will make turnarounds a success forever and always. He urged those in attendance to move past the search for that “one solution” and to realize the reality: The “silver bullet” is incremental gains stacked one on top of the other—it is continuous improvement. And TINC will continue to provide a forum, in Houston and around the globe, for turnaround professionals to come together in pursuit of that lofty goal.