22 September 2009
Invensys: Teamwork key to moving forward
Even in a perfect world, getting through today’s tough economic times is difficult at best.
But if you do not have teamwork helping guide everyone through, then it is almost impossible. That point was clearly evident at Monday’s opening keynote at the Invensys North American Client Conference in Houston, Tex.
“Today is all about delivering consistency and follow through day-by-day to keep your business running and profitable,” said Steve Blair, president North America for Invensys Operations Management.
He added technology alone is not the answer. Rather, give that technology to people so they can make informed decisions to they can “obtain sustainable achievements.”
“Sustainable performance is achievable to those who lead,” Blair said. “We prefer to lead.”
In talking about teamwork, ExxonMobil Chemical’s CSR leader, Ken Anderson, knows all about it. After Hurricane Ike tore through Galveston, Tex., 12 September last year, the ExxonMobil Beaumont Chemical Plant was devastated. The plant, located about 35 miles away from Galveston, had a storm surge of 12 feet, which completely flooded the massive plant.
He had to come in and get the wiped out control system for the plant up and running. He said it was a category 2 hurricane with a category 4 storm surge. In other words, the plant was flooded with salt water, and he had to get a team together to get it up and running because this was the only site that produced some of the key chemical for some of ExxonMobil’s key products.
“On day three or day four, we came out with a document I worked on from my pick up truck as that was the only real place I could sit down and work,” Anderson said. “The principal thought behind this guiding principles document was to clearly spell out what we were going to do and what we were not going to do.”
Anderson pointed out some success factors to get a team up and running in a crisis situation:
- Clear chain of command and clear criterion of decision making
- Unambiguous roles and responsibilities
- Inter and intra team communication
- Specified boundaries on work scope
- Identify true schedule of critical activities
- Direct contact with our suppliers
- Short shipping orders expedited control system recovery and commissioning
- Offsite systems staging decoupled and control system recovery from parallel onsite recovery work
Anderson said the plant was back up and running and producing product by early December, just a few short months after the hurricane flooded out the plant. He said that never could have happened if they did not have a clear policy and procedure plan in place. But in addition, they needed people working together to accomplish the goal.
At the end of the day, your product is only as good as a user makes it and Emerson wants to make sure their systems are ...