Welcome to the September edition of Spoke in Brief Australia. Featured this month are the following stories:
- Explainer: The Balanced Business Plan
- Mining’s Hand Safety Campaign leads to 66 new improvement ideas
- InfraBuild Steel’s Industry 4.0 program is driving transformation
- ARC integral to Brisbane’s $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf project
- New lance design improves efficiency at the Whyalla Steelworks
- Wollongong InfraBuild Steel Centre hosts stellar Trade Day
- Hartlepool pipe mill extends global reach with milestone Saudi Contract
Explainer: The Balanced Business Plan
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen Balanced Business Plans (BBPs) increasingly being taken up by our Australian businesses with all businesses now using the tool. This valuable framework helps provide clarity and transparency on our critical business goals and creates a consistent rhythm for our operations.
So, what is it, and why is it so important?
What is it?
The Balanced Business Plan is a structured framework that allows us to document, cascade, track and discuss what is strategically important for our businesses for the financial year.
Rather than just focusing on financial-outcome measures, the Balanced Business Plan helps us to focus, align and commit to goals, measures and target of the enablers of performance, which focus on our marketplace, workplace and people (including safety).
Take a look at this high-level explainer video below from Harvard Business Review.
How we are applying the framework
The video outlines similar principals to the framework we’re following internally, however to ensure we translate our (evolving) Strategy into Action we take a more consultative and collaborative approach in developing our BBPs. This year, 180 of our leaders have been involved in developing nine BBPs through a series of twenty-two workshops. Our Steel and Reinforcing Construction Solutions businesses also shared their BBPs with their extended leadership teams, a further 120 people, during their collaboration and launch conferences. To deliver our BBPs we will involve everyone through our performance framework and accountabilities.
Why it’s so important?
The framework, and approach we’re taking to applying it, helps shift the dial on performance by aligning our leaders on our critical business goals and taking this to the workforce more broadly through our performance approach.
Deputy CEO Michael Morley sees the Balanced Business Plan as a vital way to align effort and drive performance.
“The framework is effective because it turns the planning process on its head and forces you to think about the things that you can control and that are important, and to let the financials happen. It threads right down from strategy to shop floor and is 100% aligned to everyone’s individual accountabilities,” says Michael.
InfraBuild Recycling General Manager Chris Morgan is a convert, “At first we weren’t sure how this process was going to be different to the other business planning tools we have used in the past but after our initial two day planning session with Wiet Pruim (Regional Director for Quest Worldwide) and his team in March we were sold on the Balance Business Planning process. It will enable us to clearly articulate to all Australian Recycling employees, be it in the yard or office, what we want to do with our business over the next 12 months” he says.
For more information, please talk to your manager or HR Business Partner.
Mining’s Hand Safety Campaign leads to 66 new improvement ideas
At the beginning of July, Mining kicked off a focused hand safety campaign to address the rising rate of hand injuries across the business. Not only has the campaign heightened awareness of the key risks contributing to hand injuries, it’s also led to the generation of 66 new improvement ideas to curb the trend.
One of the great ideas included the commitment by our Qube Bulk and Products berth teams to wear bright high visibility gloves for the entire month so they maintained their focus on hand safety.
Mining Executive Managing Director Matt Reed says he is pleased with the uptake from the business on this initiative.
“It has been great to see the level of engagement in the Hand Safety Campaign,” says Matt. “We have achieved an improvement on safety performance during July which is fantastic.”
This is just the start. With the campaign scheduled to run over the next twelve months and onwards, we hope to share more good news stories and see a big reduction in injuries.
InfraBuild Steel’s Industry 4.0 program is driving transformation
Industry 4.0 is one of the most exciting and potentially transformative projects ever undertaken in our InfraBuild Steel business. Under Industry 4.0, InfraBuild Steel will be able to standardise manufacturing processes across all sites and drive a step-change in operations.
So far, the team has been busy reviewing and finalising MES specifications for the Laverton Meltshop, coordinating the integration of Programmable logic Controllers into the existing network to track heats and billets, and looking at implementing a standard product-tracking solution and common Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) protocol to help the mill benchmark against other similar mills. Direct comparability of our mills will allow us to identify areas of excellence and opportunity and encourage shared learning making collaboration a more natural pathway to success.
The creation of a data-rich environment is a central platform of Industry 4.0, and to enable our analytic capability, the team is close to switching on a Big Data enabler called SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition). This will help us collect higher-quality data, which can be more easily analysed.
Industry 4.0 embraces the opportunities of intelligent automation (AI) and harnesses the power of Big Data. This will be fundamental in driving a step-change in our business and help secure our long-term manufacturing viability – watch this space!
ARC integral to Brisbane’s $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf project
With the help of ARC, construction is well-underway at Brisbane’s massive, $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf project. The integrated resort mega-development will see luxury hotels, a casino, retail precincts and new public space delivered to Brisbane by 2022.
ARC Eagle Farm has been an integral part of the Queen’s Wharf Project; manufacturing and delivering major quantities of reinforcing steel and prefabricated diagram wall cages for the early retention work’s system to site.
“This project has been progressing in staged packages and ARC Eagle Farm has been successful in working with various contractors on the project to deliver a range of innovative solutions,” Business Development Manager, Kelvin Swayn said.
The project has been a challenging one to manage with logistical, lifting and design constraints due to limited on site access. “The delivery method is a ‘design and construct’ package and our scheduling team’s response time has been critical to ensuring the project is meeting important milestones,” Kelvin continued.
The team at ARC Eagle Farm continue to show a can-do attitude and collectively work hard to hit the project’s milestone construction targets.
New lance design improves efficiency at the Whyalla Steelworks
Primary Steel’s Continuous Improvement Program continues to rack up the savings, with a number of initiatives already saving millions of dollars annually. A perfect example is the Steelmaking team’s use of a new lance design in its Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) process.
Oxygen is used in this process to remove carbon from the hot metal produced by the Blast Furnace, and is blown in using a lance immersed in the BOS vessel. The design of the lance has a major impact on the efficiency of the process, the uniformity of refractory lining wear, and material build-up both on the lance itself and the vessel mouth.
With this in mind, the team implemented a new lance design with secondary oxygen ports in its upper part to create exothermic oxidation around the lance, preventing lance skulling (gradual build-up of solid material). This new design also features high-speed main oxygen ports that provide better overall performance and speed in the operation, while improved cooling also reduces lance wear.
Through these numerous efficiency and yield improvements, this innovative design is saving the operation $2 million per year.
Congratulations to the BOS team for their significant contribution to our Continuous Improvement targets: Petr Suchanek, Fungai Paraiwa, Simon Thorpe and Allen Gurnett.
Wollongong InfraBuild Steel Centre host stellar Trade Day
To expand their footprint in the residential builder’s market, our InfraBuild Steel Centre Wollongong branch put some serious thought into developing a new channel to market strategy based on customer interviews and market mapping. This strategy was launched at an onsite Trade Day and has led to incredible results
The Trade Day showcased the branch’s complete Ground to Roof solution and exposed local southern region builders to the new product and service offering. Over 40 people attended, including all key builders in the region. It also featured seven supply partners, information, product displays and demonstrations, a coffee van and BBQ, merchandise and local radio coverage.
The results were outstanding; two new accounts were opened on the day, $80K of fabricated structural steel was won immediately from builders not dealt with previously, the branch had two steel framing enquiries and secured a $15K sale of purlins!
Following this, the branch has seen an increase in enquiry volume, with immediate sales from new builders. This Ground to Roof pilot has proven the success of a collaborative approach between the branch, business development and marketing to deliver a targeted value-add, customer-focused solution.
Hartlepool pipe mill extends global reach with milestone Saudi Contract
Liberty Steel Hartlepool, has secured a milestone contract to manufacture more than 16 kilometres of heavy-duty steel pipe for a multi-billion-dollar offshore Saudi Arabian oil and gas development.
The order to supply SAWL Linepipe for an expansion of the Saudi Aramco Marjan field is the first major contract the Hartlepool mills have won from the Middle Eastern Kingdom since being acquired by Liberty almost two years ago.
Since then the plant has fulfilled major orders from North Sea oil and gas producers and a range of American customers but the latest contract represents a breakthrough in efforts to establish a presence in the world’s largest oil and gas producing region.
Saudi Aramco is the world’s biggest oil and gas company by revenue and Liberty is hopeful the prestigious Marjan contract will lead to further opportunities in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf region. Saudi Aramco is planning to boost the Marjan and Berri fields’ production capacity by 550,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 2.5 billion standard cubic feet a day of gas.
Liberty in conjunction with Sumitomo Corporation Middle East FZE, will supply the Marjan project with more than 16 kilometres of Submerged Arc Welded Linepipe (SAWL) from its 42-inch UOE mill, one of two mills it operates at Hartlepool. The offshore Linepipe, suitable for highly-resilient ‘sour service’ application, is due for delivery in the final quarter of 2019.
Martyn Curnow, Commercial Director, Liberty Steel Hartlepool commented: “Our facility has a proven global track record of managing projects with stringent technical requirements. The team, led by Steve Brooke in the UK and Saad Jakani in the United Arab Emirates, worked tirelessly with the client to ensure that the demanding specification was fully understood and delivered a robust technical proposal which we are sure was a key consideration in the evaluation and acceptance of our offer.”
“It is extremely pleasing to re-establish the Hartlepool mill as a supplier in the region following a significant period of absence. This success is testament to the hard work and commitment shown by our employees in all areas of the business.”
Masaki Nakagaki, General Manager of Tubular Products Unit, Sumitomo Corporation Middle East FZE said: “Sumitomo Corporation Middle East has a strong presence in Middle East for supply of Tubular products and this recent success is testimony of our efforts to contribute to growth of the Oil & Gas sector in the region with partners like Liberty Pipes Hartlepool.”
Our Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said: “We’re delighted to have secured this very important order. Given that we are operating in very tough market conditions, the award of this contract further underlines the quality of the work at Hartlepool and the team’s ability to meet the highest global standards.”