Communication Issues within Maintenance Department
Esfahan Petrochemical Plant
A Case Report by:
• Akbar Kousha
• Farzin Kaviani
• Ali Emami
• Siavash Nahid
Esfahan Petrochemical Company
PO Box 81395-313, Esfahan, Iran.
Submitted As a Term Paper to:
Dr. F. Kaymaram and Dr.M. Khoshnevisan,
Teaching team of
Communication for Managers
EMBA Program - January 2003
Graduate School of Management and Economics
Sharif University of Technology
Tehran - Iran
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. THE CASE DATA
The purpose of this paper is to study current communication patterns and problems as well as to propose solutions to the problems related to inter-departmental communications in departmental networks delivering maintenance services to production facilities of a typical petrochemical plant. Esfahan Petrochemical Company is selected as the sample firm for this study, and communication patterns such as daily maintenance planning meetings, minutes of meeting and work orders as the main sources of information, and e-mail as the auxiliary information distribution mechanism are described. Problems such as lack of understanding of partners’ information needs, over reliance on key individuals, inadequate document management, work order investigation problems, release of projects by technical services, overhaul mismanagement over-competition, lack of defined communication methods and lack of inter-departmental process understanding, are discussed. Solutions presented include focusing on the coordination meetings for increasing inter-departmental understanding and cooperation, defining common operating procedures, on-line project monitoring, and centralized document treasury.
A crucial aspect of equipment maintenance activities in manufacturing plants is the effective and efficient communication. Experience has shown that the better the equipment maintenance team members are connected to each other and to key external departments, the more operational the equipment is going to be. In recent times, it is becoming common for projects to be performed in department networks, dividing the work between several departments. Communication across department borders poses additional difficulties, e.g., due to factors like lack of trust and cooperation, differing ways of working, and organizational issues.
In this paper we first describe how departments in an interconnected network accomplish information exchange and communication to perform their tasks. We then report on the communication problems they encounter, and the reasons for them. Finally, we discuss how current communication patterns could be further improved to alleviate the problems.
We focus on a case of communication in an equipment maintenance department carried out by a multi-departmental network in Esfahan Petrochemical Company, a typical petrochemical plant in Iran. The network consists of a customer, Production Department, its major service provider, Maintenance Department, and several service provider departments within Maintenance Department. The structure of the network is shown in Figure 1 of the next section. THE RESEARCH METHOD
The data required for this study have been collected through site surveys, interviews with key personnel, and document review at maintenance and related departments within Esfahan Petrochemical Company.
The interview with key personnel was performed using a structured questionnaire a sample of which can be found in appendix 4. The data were then summarized and used for further study and analysis.
II. THE CASE DATA
EPC Mission and Strategy
Esfahan Petrochemical Co., EPC, is the first manufacturer of aromatic chemicals in Iran, producing over 200,000 tons per year of Benzene, Toluene, Orthoxylene,...
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