7 ways to tell the crew is under performing

As a manager or supervisor you want to know how well the CSD is performing. Not only the actual production, but also whether the production is the highest it can be. To that end I will cover today 7 ways to tell the crew is under performing.

Before we start, let me make one thing very clear. If one of the below points is true for your crew it does not mean they are bad crew or bad operators. It is only an indication that improvements can be made. There is a reason the crew performs as it does. Try to find that root-cause instead of trying to solve the below symptoms.

With that being said, let’s start with the points.

1. Large day-to-day production differences

The production does change from day to day, but if the changes become large it is an indication the crew is not applying a system to increase the production. With a good system the differences between operators become smaller. The production is also depending less on the experiences of an operator, but more on his skill to systematically increase the production.

2. Unable to identify the limiting process

If the operator cannot identify the limiting process he cannot optimize it. Whether the limit is gathering, cutting, suction or discharging will determine how to go about increasing the production. If that knowledge is not known, the operator cannot find a solution to optimize the production.

3. Unable to explain why the production cannot be increased

The ability to explain why he is not able to increase the production, indicates an operator’s understanding of the dredging process. It should be a logical, factual explanation. If he cannot clearly explain the reason it means the reason is not well understood and therefore the operator is not able to find a solution to increase the production.

4. Estimated production not known

Either the operator is not informed by the project staff or he hasn’t looked for the information. In both cases it will limit the operator’s commitment to a high production and therefore his motivation to get the most out of it.

Communicating not only the estimate, but also the basis for the estimate, will increase the operator’s commitment to the project in general and a higher production in particular.

5. No paper dredge plan onboard

Without a clear dredge plan which is reviewed frequently an operator is not aware of the situation in a couple of days or weeks. Therefor he can’t anticipate or make any preparations which will limit the ability to achieve high productions later in the project.

Having a dredge plan which is regularly updated is an invaluable planning and communications tool. The superintendent and the operator can easily communicate, plan and prepare for the coming days thereby increasing the overall production.

6. Shift handovers don’t cover the production process

When an operator doesn’t inform his colleague of the production process it is an indication of a lack of focus on it. At the very least it means the fresh operator needs to familiarize himself with the process from scratch. That alone costs production.

Worst case it means both operators are not giving a high priority to the production, which means it won’t be the highest possible production.

7. No one to call with production related questions

No operator knows everything about all dredging situations. Eventually even the best will run into a situation where they could use some help in finding a solution. If there is nobody they can call, either within the company or outside, they can’t find the best solution to the situation with sub-optimal productions as a result.




Does any of the above points correspond to the crew you are working with? If so, what can you do to change that? If not, how did you achieve that situation? Let us know in the below comments section.


To your long term great results,
Timon Vinke

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