Beyond the Benchmarks

by The Tata Power Co. Ltd.
9 2231 4.8/5

Rajan is always eager to hear from MD, during MD’s communication meets, about new developments & challenges faced at Company level. That day MD stressed upon bringing down the Cost of Generation to ensure sustenance of Trombay operations. MD’s words kept echoing in Rajan’s mind & he reached home in a thoughtful state.

Rajan’s son Prashant greeted him at the door & asked him to play with him. Rajan told him “Beta my mind is occupied with some serious problem of our company, you play with your friends”.

Prashant insisted on knowing the problem. Rajan tried to explain, saying “We at Tata Power Trombay Station generate power mainly from Coal. In recent times, the power business has turned in to a fiercely competitive one. Cost of Generation is the most important component for survival of the business. However, we must fire costlier environment friendly imported coal, received via sea route, to comply with the stringent environment norms. This results in our power being costlier, as compared to the competitors.”

After listening attentively, Prashant said “Daddy, it seems that you people are in a big trouble. I remember, our teacher saying that Teamwork Divides the Task & Multiplies the Success. So, why don’t you talk to Rakesh uncle & Mahesh Uncle in the office?”.

Next day in the office Rajan called an urgent meeting with his colleagues Rakesh, Yogesh, Sachin, Mahesh and Lalit to discuss ways to reduce Cost of Generation. Even after three hours of discussion & 15 cups of coffee, the team reflected that there is not much of scope as the processes are already at a matured level. However, after serious brainstorming the team could see some light at the end of the tunnel & realized that there is a scope for reduction in Auxiliary Power Consumption at Coal Plant, which was recently showing an increasing trend. They further decided to adopt the six-sigma methodology as it is a disciplined, data-driven approach for eliminating defects in any process. Next day, a dedicated team lead by Rajan was formed & started working under the guidance of Senior Leadership for optimizing APC by 'Improving Coal Conveying System Efficiency'. Senior Management regularly reviewed the progress during management reviews.

In the beginning, the team eyed a target saving of Rs. 40 Lakh/Annum, which appeared very stretched, as processes and equipment were believed to be operating at their best. The team devised optimum coal conveying stream utilization strategy and developed a software program in-house, formulating barge unloading strategies under all the possible scenarios.

By adopting a holistic problem-solving approach, Rajan & team could ultimately achieve a saving of Rs. 1.03 Crore/Annum.

While reaching & surpassing the target, the team could also achieve:

  • Improved turnaround time of barges
  • Better stockpile management with optimized resource utilization
  • Significant reduction in diesel consumption
  • Improved maintenance practices

After successful completion, Rajan & team received a glittering trophy. Rajan very proudly presented the same to Prashant saying “Beta, our team wants to thank you” Prashant was puzzled & asked “What for?”. Rajan replied “You said that day ‘Teamwork Divides the Task & Multiplies the Success’ & we followed the same.”

Lessons Learned

  • Each step of the journey opens up new opportunities, not envisioned during ‘Table Top discussions’.
  • Opportunities can be created and grabbed even when the process is supposedly operated under well-defined established conditions (perceived maturity of process).
  • Operating at ‘Perceived Benchmark Level’ limits the thinking capacity towards improvement.
  • Breakthrough results can be achieved by use of software programs and technology where conventional methodologies limit the scope for improvement.
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26 November 2018 by Prakash Kumar
Great example of team work for achieving the benchmark.
28 November 2018 by Vivek Belkhade
Great Work Team!!! This is a result of cost reduction. Cost reduction due to improvement in quality. Lower the number of errors, lower is the cost of re-doing the same. This is “Cost of Quality”. Keep doing great job team.
27 November 2018 by Elias Khan
Interesting part of this success story is, it showcases the role of Auditors, Advisers, Supervisory boards, Tech support professionals etc. who can look the problem from outside and advise us the solutions. In this case Mr. Prashant is the person who played the role of an Adviser thus the team could have achieved the results by collective efforts.
28 November 2018 by Vivek Belkhade
Great Work Team!!! This is a result of cost reduction. Cost reduction due to improvement in quality. Lower the number of errors, lower is the cost of re-doing the same. This is “Cost of Quality”. Keep doing great job team.
28 November 2018 by Swapnil Chavan
Really great team work and achievement. A critical component of team success is the clear and concise presentation of the team’s objectives to the team members by the champions.
28 November 2018 by Dharmadas B Jadhav
The team model is like a wheel, with the hub as the goal and the spokes representing links with various team members. The model will work when the action items are broken down for individual team members. A communication plan is a living document that outlines and lists how to achieve the project goals and objectives.
28 November 2018 by Lalit Neve
Wonderful demonstration of Team Work for achieving and surpassing benchmark.
28 November 2018 by Ishtiyaque Ahmad
Something’s incredible happens when teamwork happens the way it's supposed to happen. Things change when everyone on the team is equally invested in the overall purpose and goal.
28 November 2018 by Mahesh Gharat
Great work done by team. Perfect usage of Six Sigma Tools to solve the problem and achieve success for achieving the benchmark.