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The way forward for optimizing resources in complex operations

11. January 2022

Explore how a new solution moves the limits of what can be done

When you look outside the window and see the rain pour down, your first point of action would probably not be figuring a way how to change it. A more sensible approach would be to locate your umbrella or find out if you really need to go outside today. 

Many businesses operate in the same way. We accept that some things are inevitable and take them into account when we organize our operations. Managements invest in redundancy for the inevitable breakdown of a production unit, they budget with the knowledge that something unforeseen will reduce the production rates, and they accept that the weather gods themselves could have a major impact on the efficiency of their operations short- and long-term. 

Now, we don’t suggest you go out and change the actual weather itself. Instead, we suggest that you change how you approach the obstacles and challenges in your operations. Let’s go through how Visavi enables you to optimize planning and execution – while boosting performance, increasing visibility, and controlling costs.  

Moving the limits beyond the human mind

For most of history, the human mind has been the most limiting factor of what we’ve been able to achieve. For instance, it is practically impossible to fully adapt to a situation when unforeseen events continuously impact your daily operations. As with bad weather, instead of focusing on how to change the situation itself, we react by “making the best out of it”.

A great example of this is manufacturers of various products. Our research shows that, out of all planned activities from today and up to 12 months into the future, between 500 and 1200 activities are impacted each day due to change of plans. It is safe to say that no human mind is able to absorb and adapt to these changes in plans and circumstances. 

Visavi solves this problem by accessing your existing data to provide a real-time visualization through an intuitive multidiscipline overview re-planning and optimization engine. Everyone partaking in the operations will have the same information in the same interface, enabling you to make better decisions in terms of planning and execution – beyond what is possible only using the human mind.

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When one activity changes, it is immediately visible for everyone. 

Optimizing resources through actionable insights

Finding ways to optimize resources is a commonality among many businesses, and especially in industries such as energy, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. Throughout the production process, there are many moving parts, events, and challenges that impact the effectiveness of operations – and thus the ability to reach the organization's goals.

A good example of a challenge in this context is how to effectively utilize downtime. A common way for management to solve this issue is to increase redundancy by adding a production line or a new unit. This makes logical sense, as a minor or major breakdown is inevitable. The problem is that nobody knows when it is going to happen, just that avoiding it completely is impossible... Or at least very costly.

What if you rather had a way to keep the production optimized, and if it does break down, utilize the downtime more effectively?

This is one of the core premises of Visavi, as the solution makes it possible to take action in real-time. Firstly, you will get the insights necessary to ensure that the production commences.  

Secondly, you will have a holistic overview that enables you to match the available resources with your immediate needs. In essence, you can make use of a breakdown to simultaneously conduct service maintenance, saving you a lot of time in the long run. 

Thirdly, it will be easier to collaborate across disciplines and the supply chain. Every participant knows where he or she is supposed to be at all times. When something happens, they will have an easier time adjusting and adapting to the new situation. 

Watch webinar recording "How Repsol Sinopec use Visavi to optimize resource planning and usage".

Making an impact on capital allocation

When we speak of complex operations with many moving parts, it is often synonymous with capital-intensive business models – both in terms of OPEX and CAPEX. While some costs are obviously unavoidable, there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of capital allocation. 

Using the example of planning for redundancy: If you need to add a new production unit or new production lines to ensure yourself being able to keep up production when an inevitable breakdown occurs in the future, you will probably need to invest substantial capital into PP&E.

With Visavi, you will get more production time from each asset. In essence, that lets you defer substantial costs into the future or even avoid the investment altogether – saving you a lot of money.

A complementary tool across your portfolio

Most businesses have several initiatives for optimizing operations in one way or another. The processes for implementing (or even developing in some instances) the new systems and technologies are often time-consuming – and it might even take years before results are achieved.

As Visavi is solving a problem that’s generally not explored within the businesses, our solution is a complementary addition to the existing initiatives already in place. Additionally, the time to implement Visavi is usually no more than 8-10 weeks and you are able to utilize the solution to optimise operations across your entire portfolio of assets and facilities, as well as between entities.  

AI: The next step in planning and execution

We are a company that always strives to find ways for our customers to improve their operational efficiencies. With the use of artificial intelligence we are piloting a new module which automatically, using existing planning and taking into account the latest updates on all materials and resource availability, generate an optimized overall plan for execution. Our innovative approach will always be hinged on the notion of keeping the "human in the loop" in order to ensure strong integrity and precision in our end product.

In essence, we are instantly able to suggest actions that are mathematically viable – but normally not recognizable even to professionals due to the limited time available to assess the new situation and take action. All they need to do then is to review and approve the improved plan which is then updating all work-orders. So far, we are observing cost savings around 30 % in the maintenance domain as well as improved overall productivity. Visavi is further enabling an eco-system where other optimization applications can be embedded which may cover additional discipline processes like request and routing optimization, generating significant efficiencies.

 

Want to know how we can help you improve your operations? Book a free consultation here.

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