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Potash Case Study

Client Profile

A global potash producer sought to implement operational excellence and align all departments’ planning and execution of high-capacity proving run with multi-year consultant engagement.


  • After undergoing expansion, including new mill and shaft, the site required a proving run to establish the new capacity, valued at over $215M annually.
  • The run required high availability and utilization of all major assets including the original Mill, New Mill and the Borer Fleet, at previously un-proven levels.


As-One’s approach led to the effective design, implementation, and achievement of desired results:

  • An initial assessment was conducted to benchmark the current client’s operational practices in Maintenance, Operations, Safety, Materials, Capital Projects, and Interdepartmental Communications.
  • Field observations were conducted to identify root causes of inefficiency, delays, cost structure, and ability to scale practices to all parts of the business
  • Data analysis on various data formats was performed to validate and complement the field observations, as well as to develop a realistic business case.
  • Several workshops were conducted to map out current processes, assess the drivers that will generate the highest benefits, and identify what it would take to collaboratively implement solutions.
  • A custom-tailored solution was designed and implemented.

Based on the results of our analysis, the transformation program was created to design and implement sustainable Industry-Leading operations management practices while providing on-the-job training and support of tools and technology to realize the production and financial objectives.


  • A comprehensive site-wide engagement to address new requirements across all departments and functional groups: Procurement, IT Support, HR, Mine and Mill Maintenance, Engineering & Planning, Reliability, Mine and Mill Production, and Capital Project Management.
  • Development and implementation of an integrated mine/shaft/mill plan, including auxiliary functions such as construction, equipment overhauls, and resource inputs.
  • Establishment of staffing and training requirements, and tracked hiring, training, and recruiting.
  • Conduct FMEAs in the Mine and Mill, developing workarounds, refining asset strategies, and determining PM tasks
  • Development of Annual Shutdown schedule management from scope identification through the closure of Shutdown events and coaching all team members to utilize the business practices, metrics, and Management Operating System (MOS).
  • Coordination of several test runs in Mine and Mill, collection results, and pivoting as required to improve the outcome of the test runs.


To achieve the desired results, As One utilized our methodologies to tailor a solution for the new way of business operations and developed sustainable, improved performance for all site personnel.


Our Methodologies deployed included:

  • Integrated Mine/Mill Planning
  • Maintenance & Reliability
  • Training & Development
  • Management Operating Systems
  • Risk Assessment & Mitigation
  • Mill Ops Debottlenecking
  • Annual Shutdown Planning
  • Capital Project Management
  • Warehousing Operations
  • Rail Logistics Operations

Step 1 – Assemble Change Champions and Subject Matter Experts (SME) in Each Area of the Business:

  • Design a new organizational structure to fit the growing business.
  • Determine roles and responsibilities for each business unit.
  • Prioritize the opportunities found and the value for solving.
  • Structure an improvement schedule of initiatives for each business unit.
  • Create a draft of “what good looks like” to define the objectives of the improvement plans.
  • Begin 3-month instructional programs for Asset Planning + Management (APM) and Maintenance Management Professional (MMP) certification programs to practitioners and leaders.

Step 2 – Develop Business Unit Processes and Metrics to Achieve Objectives:

  • Collaborate to design new business processes and tasks required to scale production.
  • Introduce best practice maintenance management, capital management, and operations management processes.
  • Develop initial “scorecards” composed of metrics for each business unit to drive behaviors and make pre-liminary results visible.

Step 3 – Integrate Business Unit Processes, Tools, and Management Operating System Elements:

  • Bring the champion groups together to understand how each unit impacts the next.
  • Design the Management Operating System for maintenance, production, and materials management to integrate as one team.
  • Utilize the new ERP system to test the execution of the business processes and collection of data for scorecards.
  • Develop external tools/guides required outside of the ERP to conduct business as desired.
  • Communicate requirements from the capital project groups for new identification and evaluation criteria required at the idea and scope development stage gates.

Step 4 – Pilot the New Business Practices on Bi-Weekly Shutdown Days

  • Introduce Short Interval Control boards and communication meeting requirements.
  • Field test all tools (schedules, decision matrices, communication) during single-day shutdowns.
  • Evaluate the success/failures of the 12-hour shutdown event to refine the upcoming milestones required to achieve sustainable success.

Step 5 – Scale the Implementation to Weekly Schedule Management:

  • Implement a sustainable change methodology for Mine schedule management, starting with 3-day locked schedules and working towards 7-day locked schedules.
  • Capture deviations and delays that prevent the execution of the production, construction, and maintenance schedules.
  • Achieve 80% schedule compliance consistently, then scale to other business units (Shafts, Mills, Support Teams).

Step 6 –Implement Leadership-Level MOS to Drive and Sustain Performance Weekly/Monthly:

  • Validate the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) tree and desired trending performance metrics.
  • Design and implement the leadership and senior leadership level scorecards comprised of metrics and trends.
  • Facilitate conversations with the leadership teams to understand, monitor, and drive performance in all areas of the business.
  • Conduct final performance measurement of weekly/monthly asset and cost performance to evaluate readiness for production volume increases.


The results of the program were to realize improved Asset Performance, Financial Performance, and employee training/confidence in their roles:


  • Production exceeded corporate target by 14% and doubled nameplate capacity.
  • Availability of Original Mill increased from 91% to 97%.
  • Availability of Borer Fleet increased from 87% to 90%.
  • Cutting hours increased 120%.
  • Balanced crew staffing & eliminated “no manpower” equipment delays.
  • Completed commissioning process for the new Hoist and Mill, achieving 100% of target production within 6 months.

We achieved far more than we ever hoped to achieve and couldn’t have done it without your help. Your team provided exactly the support we needed.

– President, Potash BU