Case Histories

Click on a project below for more details.

Construction Management – Laboratory & Offices
Construction Management – Pharmaceutical Powder ops
Manufacturing Improvement – Medical Product Automated Product
Manufacturing Improvement – Medical Product – Batch Processing
Specification Development – Pharmaceutical – Co-Packed Product

Construction Management – Laboratory & Offices
Background: A Contactor/Engineering company was awarded a Not-to-Exceed $4.9MM, fast-track design build contract with a six month deadline. Failure to meet the deadline would result in a $30,000/week penalty for every week delayed. Any savings on the base contract would be shared between the owner and the GC.

Scenario: Due to the tight schedule the GC immediately began demolition and assigned an in-house engineer as PM. Action Plus Project Management was brought in as Project Manager 4 weeks after demolition started.

Action Plus Project Management reviewed the existing Project Schedule and observed the plan had major tasks with little detail, there were no relationships identified between tasks and only initial resources identified.

Demolition was being carried out by three trades with little definition and lack of clarity. Plans were sketchy and lacked much detail. By the end of the fourth week of demolition, the work was projected at six weeks behind the plan and the demolition work scope was expanding.

APPM gathered the GC’s Engineer, Project Superintendent and Field Supervisor for a four hour review. Utilizing their knowledge and expertise, the goals were defined in detail and a Work Breakdown Structure developed. The group then developed a Network diagram and estimated durations for all tasks. APPM performed network calculations which showed the projected end date 4 weeks later than the deadline. A quick review of risks indicated a potential for an additional two to four week delay. A goal was set to "crash" the program by 8 weeks. Brainstorming with the team, APPM developed a strategy and schedule all agreed was achievable. Many unplanned activities arose. Through frequent review and corrective action, and utilizing the expertise of sub-contractors, the project was
substantially completed one week before the deadline avoiding the late penalty.

Results: CO issued one week before deadline avoiding penalties.
Bonus: Utilizing VE techniques and competitive bidding, the base work was completed $500,000 under budget earning the GC a handsome bonus.

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Construction Management – Pharmaceutical Powder Mixing & Filling
Background: A Pharmaceutical manufacturer made a choice to consolidate operation from two locations approximately 15 miles apart. The manufacturer had relocated most operations with one or two exceptions, plus they had materials stored in the facility they were vacating. To realize the complete benefit of consolidation the owner was seeking to divest the vacant facility.

Scenario: Management was focused on making year end sales when they realized the facility they were not completely vacated from was sold. The purchaser needed the space and a condition of sale was that it be vacated within one month. The manufacturer was not prepared to move the operation.
Action Plus Project Management was engaged as a Project Manager. The objective was to identify a location in the new facility, design the space and engage a contractor to complete the necessary construction within 3 weeks.

On day one Action Plus Project Management visited the site being vacated, gathered details necessary regarding the manufacturing equipment and space requirements and immediately began to search for Construction Contractors. On day two a visit was made to the receiving site. After touring the site with the company management a location within the building was identified. On day three, line layouts and room layouts were prepared and contractors were scheduled to make a site visit. Each contractor was given the layout and a two week deadline for completion of all construction including electrical, plumbing, ceilings, lighting, wall construction and epoxy painting. Company purchase orders were released by the end of week one. Action Plus Project Management visited the site frequently and was in close contact with the GC to ensure both the schedule and scope of work was complete. Construction was complete by the end of the second week with all interior surfaces finish epoxy painted the day before equipment was moved in.

Results: Two days later all equipment was made operational allowing the company to restock the Finished Goods Warehouse before depleting inventory.

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Manufacturing Improvement – Medical Product Automated Manufacturing
Background: A manufacturer had invested $2,000,000 in a "state of the art" Surgeon’s Glove Line. To lower investment costs, the line had been designed by "in-house" engineers who also supervised the fabrication and installation. After the line was installed, in-house engineers and operators attempted to operate the line. After two years the line had been operated four days. Each attempt to operate the line resulted in catastrophic failure
of the equipment.

Scenario: The fabricator and installer insisted the line was built to the company’s specifications and under their supervision and hence they would not guarantee the performance of the line. The principal of APPM, at the time employed by the company in a different location, was brought in to assess the situation and recommend a solution.
The principal of APPM met with management, engineering, maintenance and production operators over a one week period. When not meeting with personnel, the equipment was reviewed and inspected. The line was a multi station unit, twelve feet wide, two stories high and one-hundred and forty feet long. The line consisted of a series of automated dipping stations and heating stations ending with a second story oven 140′ long. The environment was hot and humid. Machine operation was controlled by a series of PLCs linked together with a solid state sensors and controls.

The goal was to make the line produce high quality surgeon’s gloves reliable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for three month intervals with OEE of 98%. The principal of APPM agreed to act as the on-site Project Manager.

A five step program was recommended and implemented to make the line operational at the levels required: The plan would take nine months and require an investment of $250,000. The plan addressed: Equipment redesign, Equipment installation alignment, Operator Training, Implementation of a Preventive Diagnostic & Maintenance program, Re-aligned Maintenance Stores Program.

Results: Nine months following the project start the line was started up and operated continuously for 3 months producing high quality surgeons’ gloves. With the successful completion of this project, a plant wide "continuous improvement" process was initiated.

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Manufacturing Improvement – Medical Product batch processing
Background: A manufacturer critical medical products was experiencing problems. The manufacturer had grown their business to command an 80% market share at a handsome profit margin. The product line contributed more than 50% of the overall profit for the business although it was only 20% of sales.

Scenario: Production problems had disrupted the company’s ability to meet market demand and competitors swiftly filled in the shortfall. Market share collapsed rapidly to 50%. The manufacturing plant personnel indicated nothing had changed in the process, identifying a "quality issue" attributed to an unidentified change in process water quality at the final operation.
The principal of APPM was brought in to help identify the change in process water and recommend a solution.
The principal of APPM observed the entire process including the final operation and inspected the test records of the process water.

Water samples were taken and sent out for a critical analysis. No obvious changes were noted from the period of high production through the deterioration period. Discussions were held individually with management, engineering, maintenance and production personnel. The entire manufacturing process was reviewed including evaluation of in-process quality at each stage of the multi-stage process.

All operations in the company were under heavy pressure to reduce cost.

The goal was to return the plant to reliable production and return to a market leadership position.

The principal of APPM identified a change in management philosophy and the reward system for operators. There were no obvious changes in any one operation. The new incentive system caused operators to imperceptibly loosen quality standards. The production operators at the final stop were the only ones not benefiting from the new plan. They were not able to improve output.

Results: Incentives were revised to reward the workers only if the operation goal was attained.

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Specification Development – Pharmaceutical Co-packed product
Background: A marketer of OTC consumer products recently audited by the FDA identified a critical need to bring their documentation and quality systems on co-packed product into compliance quickly.

Action Plus Project Management worked with the marketer to prepare specifications for use by receiving QC inspectors and also by purchasing when establishing new co-packers.

Action Plus Project Management established formats and methodologies to prepare specifications accurately and with minimal effort. Utilizing digital photography Action Plus Project Management created specifications showing inspection requirements in a visual manner which enabled the marketer and the co-packers, all of whom have ESL employees, to work to common standards that are easily recognizable.

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