“We have got to take pride in what we’ve built here. It is a cost management process that works and by far the best I’ve seen in my career. Phenomenal!”

Maintenance General Foreman
Project Info

After years of exceeding the maintenance budget by several million dollars, a new approach was necessary. This client worked with RLG to conceptualize and implement a solution to promote cost visibility using their existing systems and procedures, enabling timely decision making and forecasting for maintenance work planning. 

Project Highlights

  • A team of RLG performance coaches were already on-site, helping with front line (union) engagement and site safety. This maintenance cost opportunity was brewing below the surface for months but came to the surface in January, after the last-year numbers came out, again showing a large budget overspend.
  • With the maintenance superintendent and an RLG coach, a facilitated whiteboard session brought the solution to life. Over a series of short facilitated meetings, other leaders and one of the site accountants developed the roadmap for a solution.
  • This was the first time in recent history that accounting and mill leadership became a collaborative team. Before that, these groups were really in silos, and accounting was primarily a report-creator, not a partner.
  • RLG developed an documented and supported process to allow YTD budget tracking and forecasting. The Operating Rhythm sequence of weekly meetings were adjusted, and in some cases eliminated, to make space for a new weekly cost forecasting and decision making meeting.
  • Now, instead of looking back at the cost-spend, the team looked at the current spend versus budget and made decisions on contractors and major maintenance on a weekly basis. This rhythm of weekly behaviours and collaboration enabled the team to be fully on-the-same-page.
  • Both contractors and Operations noticed a big change. There was more certainty in decision making and planning, and more confidence in the budget forecasts.
  • This process took about five or six months to get fully ramped up and it was fully sustainable and improved post-RLG involvement. When we called back a year after RLG left site, the accountant said "it's great, and we've even improved it!"


“Now I can make decisions about using contractors that I feel good about. This makes it so clear what we can and cannot do to stay in budget.”

Supervisor over Site Contractors

“Now we’re making decisions in advance about the timing of bigger jobs and shutdown days based on the budget we have to work with. It’s a big change but a good one.”

Maintenance Superintendent