By Davies Hood, Induron President
Our Core Values here at Induron are Integrity, Respect, RELIABILTY and Innovation. I was reminded of the least referenced one of these while reading this article in “Chemical Processing.”
As industrial paint manufacturers, we are considered part of the chemical industry, not only by ourselves, but also by the U.S. government. This article begins with the statement, “Reliability improvement remains imperative for chemical makers,” and mentions two of our biggest suppliers – Air Products and Chemicals and Dow Chemicals.
At Induron, we regularly report our Cycle Count (read more about Cycle Count here), which is an internal measure of doing things correctly time after time. More accurately put, it’s a measure of reliability. We consistently score in the 0.15 – 0.25 range (the lower the better), which by all accounts is an industry outlier.
This article talks about how Air Products and Dow have both taken an inward-looking metric and turned it inside out. This places their focus more on their customers than just their internal processes, and puts reliability at the forefront.
Two comments by Wilbur Mok, Air Products vice president of North American tonnage gases, that I particularly appreciated are, “We took the best operating practices and shared them globally. So now we operate each plant the same way.” This led to Air Products “freeing up site teams to spend more time on higher value tasks, such as preventative maintenance, improvement projects and troubleshooting.”
Here at Induron, when we share ideas and spend our time anticipating and preventing problems before they arise (instead of “putting out fires”), we are MUCH more efficient. This is not limited to only production or even customer service, but also Research and Development and especially improvement to existing products. All of this results in us providing our customers with more reliable products.
Dow Chemicals has taken a new approach to reliability similar to the one taken by Air Products. Paul Dean, global director of products services, succinctly stated, “This is a broader and more holistic focus on reliability across the entire value chain.” It sounds to me like Dow took a step back and looked at the bigger picture, or as we say in the business, “took the 30,000-foot view.”
In the end (do we ever really get there?), “We (Dow) want every employee to clearly understand how their work impacts commitments made to external stakeholders,” notes Dean. At Induron, those external stakeholders are our customers. It makes me feel better to know that two of our key suppliers view RELIABILTY as critical as we do!
Founded in 1947, Induron manufactures high performance coatings that serve a range of industrial applications, including the wastewater, transmission and distribution and groundwater storage industries. Learn more about us at www.Induron.com.