October 17, 2012
Amid the global economic uncertainty of recent years, many energy companies have sought to “cut costs at all costs” -- leading in some cases to arbitrary staff reductions with unintended consequences, according to Bill Glasscock, senior consultant for leading energy consulting firm Solomon Associates. Glasscock says it’s time for petroleum refineries, pipeline and terminals, gas plants, chemical facilities, and power plants to get smarter in managing their staffing levels.
“A facility can actually lose money by terminating the wrong people,” said Glasscock, who leads Solomon’s Workforce Optimization Consulting practice. “Poorly evaluated and planned staff reductions can hamper productivity and undermine safety; they are typically not sustainable.”
Glasscock advocates the highly data-driven approach to staffing assessment that Solomon has developed. This innovative consulting methodology moves beyond simple quantitative formulas and across-the-board cuts. The concept of optimization does not always mean a simple reduction in staff; the solution may involve adding staff members to certain department areas.
Solomon’s proprietary methodology includes:
•Performance benchmarking to compare the company’s personnel efficiency relative to peers.
•Process mapping to compare the client’s process maps to actual work processes, such as operator maintenance, routine maintenance, shift operations, and procurement, in order to find opportunities for streamlining.
•Work practices assessment to document inefficiencies in the facility’s current work practices.
•Work sampling analysis to assess how employees in various work streams expend their effort on necessary tasks, which assists in identifying obstructions to improved efficiency.
•Application of best professional judgment of seasoned industry professionals.
“It is well worth the effort for energy companies to take a smarter, more nuanced approach in managing their staffing levels,” Glasscock said. “Our Workforce Optimization Consulting practice is the key to achieving significant cost reductions while still enhancing operational effectiveness, because it is grounded in industry best practices and a thorough analysis of the plant’s workforce that embraces both quantitative and qualitative criteria.”
Based in Dallas, TX USA, Solomon is the world’s leading performance improvement company for energy companies seeking to identify and close gaps in operational performance. Combining proven, patented methodologies with objective data analysis, and led by a team of energy consultants with significant hands-on operational experience, Solomon consistently helps clients with energy-intensive assets achieve greater efficiencies, enhanced reliability, and improved margins. Solomon’s energy consulting and benchmarking studies apply to petroleum refineries, chemical plants, pipeline and terminals, gas plants and power plants...Learn more about Solomon’s energy benchmarking and consulting services at http://www.SolomonOnline.com.
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