The Operational Excellence programme was introduced throughout the business globally in 2015 as part of the drive to achieve Swire Oilfield Services 2020 vision strategy. The programme helps to ensure business operational benchmarks and customer expectations are exceeded through the standardisation and continuous improvement of processes, services and products.
Following the initial roll-out, Operational Excellence was fully embraced by the Nigerian team with entry-point Accredited status being achieved in February 2016, followed just 10 months later by the Silver accreditation.
Michael Ikpe, Operations Manager for Swire Oilfield Services Nigeria, commented - “The entire team was thrilled when we were awarded Silver, it was a truly uplifting experience but it wasn’t long until Gold was on everyone’s mind. Shortly after achieving Silver we set ourselves an ambitious but achievable goal; to get to Gold within six months. We knew it would be challenging but we also believed nothing is impossible.”
The road to Gold saw the Nigeria team implement a myriad of additional measures throughout their Port Harcourt site including new training programmes, competency standards and a revision of procedures and processes across several business areas.
The team faced a number of challenges throughout the six-month period which included equipment and resource shortages. The introduction of the innovative “home grown” solutions helped the team to overcome these challenges. They utilised trained and dedicated welders and other frontline operational staff to create a variety of supporting equipment and problem-solving solutions for operational issues. The solutions included lamp posts with manoeuvrable sleeves to lower and raise the light, gas bottle trays to eliminate manual handling and steel-plated storage racks to easily store steel plates vertically for easier handling.
On the 20th of June 2017, the team’s efforts came to fruition as they were awarded the Gold Operational Excellence accreditation - within their 6-month target period. Commenting on his team’s impressive achievement, Michael said: “The Operational Excellence programme has not only been a chance for our team to contribute towards achieving the global business goals but also a welcome opportunity for the whole Nigerian team to take ownership of its own progress. We face challenges every day in our operating environment, but the team has never allowed this to be a barrier to achieving our goals of being best-in-class in the industry. This award is testament to the strength and can-do/will-do attitude of all our staff here in Nigeria. As we raised our Gold Status flag over the base to mark the achievement, it served as a perfect reminder of what is possible when we work together.”
The team are now firmly focused on the ultimate achievement in Operational Excellence- Platinum status. Follow our Nigeria team’s Road to Platinum on our social media channels across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.