Case Studies In Creating Value

Client: Boral Bricks, Inc.

Client Perspective:

“Kepner-Tregoe played a key role in the execution phase of the project. With over 230 separate initiatives, project and resource planning was a daunting task. The KT team helped us pull together a structured, logical program for managing the implementation.”

—Ron Henley, Vice President of Operations and Project Sponsor, Boral Brick


A Step Change Project Takes Cost Improvements to the Next Level

Boral Bricks, Inc. ( is the USA’s largest producer of face brick with 21 manufacturing operations and 53 distribution centers in the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest. Company leadership, with an eye on the inevitable future down cycles, has taken advantage of the current positive market conditions to implement a significant “next level” improvement program to improve compressible cost performance by 12%.

After completing a detailed strategic analysis of the business, a Kepner-Tregoe consulting team collaborated with Boral leadership and project teams to structure and implement more than 230 projects to deliver the projected benefits over a two-year period. The projects touch every major aspect of the business including distribution channels, product supply, logistics, manufacturing process and engineering, plant maintenance systems, back office, and capital project implementation.

The Kepner-Tregoe team used proprietary Strategic Project ManagementSM (SPM®) processes and portfolio management techniques to build a project office system and ensure efficient resource balancing and management. At the mid-point of the two-year project, cost savings are ahead of the benefit curve and well on track to meet the goals.

Client: GAF Materials Corporation

“We are integrating the Kepner Tregoe process into other company standard systems. Employee involvement coupled with the Analytic Trouble Shooting approach is helping the company reach our ever expanding goals.”

— Jim Phillips, Plant Manager, GAF Materials Corporation

An Integrated Process Approach Saves $5.5 Million and Positions Organization to Meet Expanding Goals

GAF Materials Corporation ( is North America’s largest roofing materials manufacturer. Since the implementation of the Kepner-Tregoe Analytic Trouble Shooting® process at GAF’s Michigan City manufacturing plant, the facility has realized a $5.5 million reduction in conversion costs over a two-year period. All salaried employees as well as key hourly employees have been involved in implementing the approach.

The program helped GAF employees use a rational thought process to solve problems and provided a standard vocabulary which improved communications throughout the plant. This allowed GAF to identify key process variables and implement a measurement system to determine root cause faster and more effectively. Other GAF Materials Corporation plants have implemented Kepner-Tregoe methodology with similar results.

Client: Cement Australia

Focused Projects Yield Step-Change Production Improvements

Cement Australia ( is Australia’s largest supplier of cement and related products and services. While its thriving Railton plant could sell all the cement it could produce, equipment problems had caused production to fall behind plan. To recapture production for the financial period, operations manager Kevin Doyle and his team turned to Kepner-Tregoe Accelerated Performance Improvement (API) to increase throughput and sustain improvements.

Kepner-Tregoe analyzed opportunities for improvement and identified and implemented four, focused projects that best met desired outcomes. Projects addressed: sustainable operating conditions for clinker, an intermediate component of cement manufacture; increased stability of a key process; improved start ups after planned shutdowns; and minimized probability of critical equipment failure.

Results surpassed expectations producing an increase in clinker throughput of 16%, elimination of any key process instability, an accelerated start up over 20%, and installation of preventive actions that eliminated key equipment failures and kept plant availability at capacity.

Key Performance Indicators