Reduce project risk, delivery cost and completion times whilst mitigating cost and schedule blow-outs to achieve accelerated positive cash-flow.

Our Services in Infrastructure and Capital Projects

To reduce life cycle cost, we partner with our clients along the entire asset life cycle, from concept development through to decommissioning and disposal. We create sustainable value by engaging the client’s staff, and incorporating state of the art technologies such as Building Information Management (BIM) into traditional working practices. This value is particularly visible in the areas of cost, delivery, safety and training.

Our work has covered maintenance and the operation of existing infrastructure for loading terminals, dockside, ports, rail and power stations. Construction productivity improvements have been made for commercial building upgrades, jack-up rigs, Floating production storage and offloading, oil platforms while Capital Project Interventions have been applied to wharves, jetties, major fixed plant assets and de-bottlenecking projects.


Infrastructure


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5 year rail maintenance strategy development

Viewing maintenance as an investment rather than a cost by applying a total maintenance effectiveness approach to planning, a combined team developed a highly focused five-year strategy for rail maintenance. In doing so, this strategy maximised the ROI on the maintenance expenditure.

Rail track installation and maintenance

Using Lean methods and the substitution of modular infrastructure components and sub-systems to externalise critical path activities, we sped up maintenance execution and inspections to reduce track possession times by up to 50%.

Rail maintenance workshop optimisation

By taking a team-based approach and real 5S principles, SECORA helps rail operators increase safety, productivity and employee motivation. This is achieved by facilitating the design and development of a highly efficient, sustainable workplace environment.

Rail demurrage reduction

SECORA generated a 50% reduction in demurrage costs by managing rail car flow and identifying and reducing process inefficiencies. These inefficiencies had previously led to aged rail cars being present in the rail yard which create demurrage charges from the railroad.

Port throughput simulation and constraints analysis

By applying mathematical simulations to port and rail capacity modelling, SECORA can conduct realistic constraints analysis for highly complex systems, which include random events such as weather and interactions.

Port throughput optimisation

Understand and manage constraints while achieving a 25% reduction in planned downtime. This is achieved by developing and implementing an optimised shutdown and outage strategy for commodity bulk loading terminals.

Coordinating activities of infrastructure authorities

In response to forecast population growth far exceeding the delivery of residential infrastructure, SECORA was engaged to optimise interaction between water authorities, local councils, energy providers, telecommunications providers, property developers and the Government. Coordination and prioritisation of activities led to 50 improvement initiatives across all stakeholders which resulted in a 30% reduction of the time taken to deliver infrastructure projects.

Utilities


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Major asset inspection and maintenance efficiency

At a major water utility, Asset Team Leader’s workloads, levels of overtime and administrative work load were studied to address a reduction in available time for asset inspection and maintenance. Consistent work-scope definition, a standardised approach to all assets, clear accountabilities and responsibilities resulted in a 20% improvement in available time. As a result, inspection and maintenance plans worked to schedule.

Power generation

In a $1.5Bn turnover power generation business, SECORA achieved more than $250M annualised savings through the introduction of a productivity performance program focussing on improvements in operations and maintenance.

Power generation

By using a team based Quick Change Over approach to re-organise and standardise servicing operations, total downtime required for generator maintenance reduced from 72 hours to under eight hours including start-up. This accrued savings of $1.8M p.a.

Poles and wires

SECORA can provide a 30% improvement in productivity of overhead, underground and general maintenance work. This is achieved through logistic optimisation, organisational mapping, interface management, streamlined standard work instructions, improved isolation procedures and overall maintenance effectiveness.

Construction


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Integrated project delivery and Early Contractor Integration (ECI) & engagement

The challenges of ECI can be overcome through a series of effective initiatives. These include upfront project road mapping, project/delivery team training and empowerment to enable collaboration, maximise modularisation, offsite construction and design simplification.

Systems integration and change management

Our project delivery framework ensures on-time, on-budget and quality outcomes. We achieve this by defining processes, such as document control, project controls and finance, and aligning stakeholders at the outset of a project. Our framework lends itself to the utilisation and integration of BIM technology to link large, diverse and potentially remote project teams.

Increasing construction project management capacity

For our project management client, we identified over 50 major improvement opportunities and 10 quick wins by using mapping techniques to make the process flows transparent. Using our prioritisation tool the top 10 projects were targeted for root cause analysis), business case development, proof of concept and implementation. A 10% increase in team capacity was achieved as well as standardisation which enabled the client to plug-and-play a new operating system into new start up markets.

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA)

Utilising DfMA techniques, we facilitate processes to standardise and modularise designs to reduce the number of parts and improve the ease of fabrication. This is applied to create and optimise Pre-fabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construction and Pre-Built Units Modularisation, transferring work offsite to significantly reduce lead time and the cost of construction by up to 70%.

Value engineering

We utilise value engineering to review scope and design specification choices to remove complexity and reduces capital expenditure. Cost reductions of 10-15% are achievable by analysing the project from a functionality perspective and substituting current options for more cost-effective outcomes.

Supply and logistics assessment

Utilising the SECORA Logistics Bridge Concept can determine supply chain, logistic cost and quality improvement potential. The concept is designed to ensure that correct supply is delivered to the correct location at the correct time. An end-to-end review of the logistics functions is followed by a cleansing of the stock on hand. An efficient and streamlined bridge between suppliers, stores and the required destination can then be created.

Lean Construction implementation

By adopting Lean Construction as the chosen approach for the delivery of construction and infrastructure projects, we can build internal capability and realise sustainable construction productivity improvements.

Lean Construction maturity assessments

We help to understand the efficiency of a project’s current delivery practices and we can identify future potential opportunities for improving cost, schedule and quality performance. Our Lean Construction assessments can be scaled to provide a high-level overview or a deep understanding of the entire delivery organisation.

Lean Construction training – Building Information Management (BIM) integrated

As a recognised training organisation, we can provide quality training to enhance capabilities in all stages of project delivery. Building client capability is an integral part of our approach and essential for developing a sustainable implementation capability. We offer customisable training, either on a stand-alone basis or incorporated into our facilitated integrations. Unique to SECORA is the ability to instruct on the integrated implementation of both BIM and Lean tools and techniques.

Lean Construction intervention

We mobilise special resources rapidly to intervene in distressed projects. In applying a tailored approach for each project’s unique circumstances, we reduce project cost and duration and address quality issues.

Lean Construction intervention, example 1:

Schedule problems in a high profile and extremely complex commercial building renovation in the CBD meant that project cost was forecast to exceed budget by five times. With our involvement, the issues were contained and the project was delivered exceeding the original budget by two, despite an expanded scope of work.

Lean Construction intervention, example 2:

Delays in a $0.5Bn Product Loading Jetty resulted in forecast cost over-runs of 30% and jeopardised the sustainment of critical path for the start of volume production. Using basic Continuous Improvement (CI) tools to implement short interval control, improve accountabilities, transparency, targets and communication, corrective actions were implemented and the Start of Production (SOP) was achieved on time.

Improving turnaround times of retirement living units

We were engaged to assist a major property developer to diagnose its unit turnover process, which was taking up to 12 months from a vacancy to re-occupation. As a result, costs were escalating, capital was tied up and derivation of revenue delayed. Working with an Integrated Project Team consisting of client subject matter experts and SECORA personnel, we made transparent the current state, identified constraints and defined solutions. The organisational and process flows were re-designed to minimise cost, maximise efficiency and increase the speed of turnover for the units which lead to a potential reduction in lead time of over 50%.

Capital Projects


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Concept and definition phase

We can remove ambiguity by identifying and engaging all key stakeholders using a structured approach. This is achieved through project framing, defining value aspirations and key requirements, setting the project goals and project brief. Clear processes are then applied through the project road map, as well as document management.

Design and engineering phase

To increase the probability of meeting customer cost, quality and schedule requirements, SECORA utilises a range of techniques. These include identifying and rationalising repetitive processes, creating a highly productive environment with optimised onsite/offsite configuration and integrating with existing project management processes.

Sourcing phase

SECORA aids in achieving supplier collaboration and alignment, e.g. risk sharing. by optimising the supply chain and logistics for on demand delivery and reduced effort. We also provide defining, documenting and integrating project management processes. These processes include controls for projects, finance, contracts and schedules.

Delivery / construction phase

We can help understand and optimise production processes and workflows by engaging and developing the onsite workforce to maximise productivity and teamwork. This is achieved by introducing short interval control to provide means for rapid escalation of issues and to identify and manage cost and schedule impacts. Furthermore, improving onsite organisation and the utilisation of resources ensures the right people, place, time and quantity.

Start-up phase

Improve safety performance and minimise risk through the elimination of unnecessary activity. This is achieved by focussing on communications and visual management to assist handover from the delivery team to the commissioning and operational team.

Operational phase

We improve safety and productivity performance and minimise risk through the elimination of unnecessary activity. To ensure customer expectations for cost and performance are met, we aid in establishing an empowered and capable workforce to solve emergent problems in real time. This team is able to implement short interval control to provide means for rapid escalation of issues and identify and manage cost and operational impacts to attain reliable, stable operations.

Decommissioning and disposal phase

We can accelerate the availability of site by engaging and developing contractors and the onsite workforce to maximise productivity and teamwork. This acceleration comes from implementing short interval control to manage adherence to target cost and schedule, providing means for rapid escalation of issues and identifying and managing schedule impacts.
We also improve onsite organisation and utilisation of resources by focussing on key aspects of the site; the right people, place, time and quantity. Furthermore we focus on safety performance and the minimisation of risk through to the elimination of unnecessary activity, understanding and optimising production processes. SECORA also investigates workflows, managing critical path through to full remediation.

Project Organisational Effectiveness (POE)

We can improve project delivery productivity by a minimum of 10%, and achieve greater confidence in progress and cost reporting as well as increased accountability in project managers. A reduction of at least 15% in the number of roles can also be expected through the deployment of the SECORA POE approach. In addition to rationalisation, the initiatives provide a roadmap to operations as a foundation for operational readiness planning.

Integration of state of the art technology

BIM allows early design phase virtual walk throughs, clash detection and logistics analysis. This aids in aligning stakeholders, debottlenecking sites and preventing safety incidents. SECORA’s Lean processes fully integrate and complement BIM and offer training, assessments of combined BIM and Lean maturity and facilitation of processes. These processes utilise simulation technology to modularise and simplify designs, inform delivery teams and reduce lifecycle cost of assets. This is a holistic approach, with the integration of technology applied from project definition, through to its operational and disposal phases.

De-bottlenecking

For our construction client, bottlenecks in the value stream were restricting output. These were identified early in the process. We worked to reduce the buffer in the value stream to expose the true bottlenecks, examining them to make improvements. Further reductions in buffer were carried out to expose the next bottleneck, and we repeated the process to maximise its effect. Our client experienced at least a 30% improvement in productivity with minimal disruption and expense to the organisation. Our training and employee involvement methods provide valuable skills to help develop a true culture of continuous improvement into the future learn the facts here now.

Shutdown optimisation

We work to achieve total integration and help increase Overall Shutdown Effectiveness (OSE) in terms of safety, cost, completion rates and duration. In doing so, we have achieved a 30% reduction in required downtime and 1:200 ROI.

Turnaround (TAR) optimsation

Through process and root cause analysis, we have reduced the duration of turnarounds by 20%, in one case reducing the total TAR cost by $70M.

Shutdown and outage management

Working together to achieve total integration, key members of SECORA embedded in the shutdown management team help increase Overall Shutdown Effectiveness (OSE) – in terms of safety, cost, completion rates and duration.

Fabric Integrity Management (FIM)

In response to a targeted 20% reduction in FIM downtime in a live gas facility rejuvenation project, SECORA was able to reduce working within encapsulation by 11 days. This was a 23% reduction in task time. Also achieved was a 20% reduction in planned man hours, the time taken to transport materials, and team walking.

Fabric, inspection, blasting and painting

The integrity of Crude Oil Tanks (COT) as part of our client’s assurance program was targeted for improvement. Maintaining work standards and reducing deferment was crucial to the efficiency of operations. Working with our client, we achieved a 78% reduction in time to install lighting, a 50% reduction in time to offload product and a 71% reduction in time taken to blast in preparation for painting. Furthermore, we achieved an 83% reduction in time taken to paint, a 73% reduction in time to replace anodes, an 86% reduction in man days to complete work and an 80% reduction in cost.

Capital works support services – off-shore scaffolding

Our client’s productivity offshore was being negatively impacted because the erection and dismantling of scaffolding was not achieving company targets. Improvements included a 32% increase in scaffold management productivity, a tenfold reduction in walking for each scaffold erection/dismantling and the replacement of galvanised steel with aluminium which reduced weight by 65%. Importantly, scaffold HSE incidents were reduced by 60%.

Capital works support services – cranes

Using Value Stream Mapping, we can highlight the interface issues between vendors and customers as well as over-specification and under-utilisation of cranes. This has resulted in a 30% reduction in cost.

Our clients in Infrastructure

SECORA is actively engaged with Infrastructure and Capital Projects clients in Australia, the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East. Clients include Jones Lang Lasalle, NCIG, Sydney Water, State Water, the Royal Australian Navy, the BCA Singapore, BHP Billiton and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.

Meet our Infrastructure, Construction and Capital Projects experts.

John Grout

John Grout, Partner

John founded SECORA Australasia with Mark Taylor in 2006 and has consulted for clients in the Mining, Oil & Gas and Professional Services sectors. John comes from senior executive operations positions having spent 15 years in the automotive and defence sectors. His strengths include advising clients in Lean methodologies with particular emphasis on operational effectiveness, asset utilisation, cost reduction, work management, organisation, project management, restructuring and strategic planning.

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Peter Sinclair (AM CSC), Partner

Peter is SECORA's Defence lead and consults to clients in the Defence, Logistics and Ports sectors.  He is a Navy veteran having held roles in operational, strategic and senior line management including the command of three submarines,  the Submarine Task Group, Multi National Task Group Commander and head of the Operations Division for the Joint Operations Command. He is a former Director Business Optimisation at P&O Ports, Director of P&O Trans Australia and General Manager with SKILLED. 

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