| Introduction| Glossary| |

Implementing M&T

The "campaign" and "ongoing routine" approaches to M&T are not mutually exclusive; in fact, a combination of the two is definitely recommended. Typically, you would start with an analysis campaign to establish the 'aggressive but achievable' targets which are the hallmark of successful M&T. Savings should result from exposing inefficient operation during the initial campaign - and rectifying its causes.

Once you have set your targets, you can commence regular ongoing monitoring. Because the targets are aggressive, exceptions may be relatively frequent, as every fault which causes consumption to rise above the absolute minimum operational requirement will generate an exception. But remember two things:

  1. The targets you have set are known to be achievable;
  2. You will rank exceptions by cost, allowing you to make rational decisions about their importance
It is reasonable to suppose that in the ongoing routine phase, you will not have to conduct graphical analysis very often. Most of your investigations will be conventional enquiries and inspections, triggered by the occurrence of significantly costly exceptions.

However, there may be some exceptions which persist without any explanation being found. In those cases, you can use the cusum method to identify when the performance of the process changed for the worse, and from there you can go on to diagnose the nature of the change: for example, whether the excess consumption is fixed, or related to the driving factor, or both.

Occasionally you may see spontaneous evidence that performance is consistently better than the current target. When this happens, you should revise the target downwards to reflect what you now know can be achieved. Targets should be revised as and when such revisions are warranted. Do not wait until the end of the year, for instance, and then review them all at once. The same applies if, for justifiable reasons, a target needs to be raised.

Don't just wait for evidence of improved performance to manifest itself. Take active measures to improve efficiency and reduce waste, and as you implement your improvements, trim your running targets accordingly.

Essential ingredients

  • Define all the streams of consumption which you wish to monitor
  • Understand what the driving factors are which determine consumption
  • Measure the extent of each driving factor (be it product throughput, mileage, degree days or whatever) at the same intervals as your meter readings and other consumption data
  • Set activity-based targets (preferably) that are aggressive but achievable. You must do this with agreement from the people who have to achieve those targets
  • Revise targets individually as and when the need or opportunity arises (again with consent from those affected).
  • Analyse and calculate in terms of units consumed, but express any excess consumption in cost terms and rank all such exceptions in descending order
  • Have a robust method of tracking the fate of every exception through diagnosis and investigation, through resolution to elimination of the fault and recording of the end result.