Case Study: Utility Cost Savings (Lean Six Sigma)


A 2200 MW capacity utility company located in the Midwest with 700+ employees distributed among 3 different geographic locations. With the trend of fossil fuel power plants shutting down and increased cost of power, the client was facing shut down if they did not reduce the expenditure and production cost per MW. Jobs were at risk and outdated practices of operation and deteriorating health of equipment onsite were the challenges. Ageing workforce with limited receptiveness to change hindered progress in the engagement. Transition from a regulated power market to the competitive market was not smooth and the cost of production was way above the market rates


To improve the health of the organization, immediate cost savings programs were required which would mature into a continuous improvement program. The organization also needed a lean six sigma implementation program to move the performance to within the top 10% of similar organizations.


The company conducted idea generation sessions facilitated by Pyrovio Consulting, to identify opportunities for process improvement and immediate cost savings. With this knowledge, the company collaborated with Pyrovio to implement the identified cost savings ideas and capture the annualized savings. Process Improvement ideas were tied to in the introduction of Lean Six Sigma implementation and were completed using various lean tools such as Kaizens, Gemba walks, A3’s, Process maps and Visual management boards.

Before Pyrovio ConsultingAfter Pyrovio Consulting
Undefined direction of improvement for organizationStrives to become the provider of choice in the competitive marketplace by engaging hard working employees to create a culture that is committed to zero harm, operational excellence, and continuous lean improvement.
Limited communication between locationsImproved communication culture with twice a week conference calls to discuss performance of the organization
Unclear/Undefined Contractor ManagementStandard processes and program to manage contractors and ensure quality work
Reactive approach to issuesPlanned approach based on continuous monitoring of operations and maintenance processes
Limited engagement in improving heat rate and outage management domainsInitiatives which continuously improve the heat rate at the plants, scheduling and execution of outages with active employee participation
Limited accessibility to important documents pertaining to plant operations and conducting businessEstablishment of an Enterprise Document system with governance structure for easy access of documents which are up to date
Limited exposure to industry standard procedures and processesLean trained employee workforce taking ownership of procedures and processes to increase efficiency and quality


The organization achieved significant annual savings, reduction in operating costs, improved processes and reduced man-hours through the continuous improvement program.

Idea Implementation Savings

High dollar value and strategic ideas were implemented and substantial annualized cost savings achieved. PMO used to report success to the sponsors and stakeholders.

Result: 3 locations accumulate a total of $17 Million annualized savings to date

Capability – Process & Organization

World Class capability development supported using lean tools like Kaizens, A3’s, 6S, Dashboards and 4 up charts improve processes with less waste and save money on overhead costs

Result: 3 locations accumulate a total of 100+ process improvements to date

Capability – Performance Management

Implementation of key performance indicators, Performance enhancements for reporting tools, optimized Logistics and supply chain operations have resulted in better performance capability

Result: Annual Cost Avoidance of $100K & 10% reduction in administrative work