Louisiana Electric Power Association (LEPA) Case Study

23 November 2020

AUTHORED BY: Reliability360

Purpose: Relate a customer case study backed up by numbers in an informal conversational tone to boost trust & credibility.

1. Who was the customer?

Louisiana Electric Power Association (LEPA) – Morgan City, LA

2. Who was the primary contact and their role in the operation? 

The plant manager and maintenance manager

3. What was the backstory?

I was contacted by a friend of mine that LEPA was needing to perform a turbine flush before installing their new unit. I contacted Mark, the maintenance manager, about visiting the plant to walk down the job. He agreed, so Brad Gordon and I drove to Morgan City. Brad Gordon is the operations manager and a very experienced field guy. Brad always accompanies me when looking at a job of this magnitude. Providing the customer with my lubricant expertise and Brad’s engineering and mechanical expertise always ensures that the customer is getting the most efficient solution to their issue. We work as a team to look at every angle of the job on every job. The customer was very impressed how thorough we were and our attention to detail. We asked tons of questions because his answers really matter to us.

We were able to customize a job scope that fit his needs and were able to save him $15,000 versus the competition’s scope and price. Our end results were all the same per the scope of work, but we found different areas to save him money and completing the job faster and more efficiently.

4. What problem were you trying to solve?

The customer had a catastrophic turbine failure that required a flush of the turbine oil system prior to the new installation. Existing oil also had to be filtered to the turbine manufacturer’s specified cleanliness codes.

5. How was the problem affecting them personally?

The power plant went without producing power for 6 months, not able to generate revenue during that time. The plant and the staff’s jobs were all in jeopardy if this wasn’t done quickly and properly in time for the new turbine installation.

6. What possible solutions had they considered or used before they met you?

They weren’t really sure what to do other than what the 100-page document from the equipment manufacturer laid out for them in what seemed like a foreign language to most.

7. Why did they choose to work with you over other alternatives?

Our attention to detail, our genuine desire to provide a solution to their problem, our being honest and fair to them with pricing solutions vs. the most expensive and least efficient option

8. How did your solution work out for them? 

It worked out great. We were able to save them $15,000 upfront compared to the next lowest bid. We finished ahead of schedule and were able to leave their jumper kits with them for the next time they have to flush the system. The jumper kits had a value of roughly $5,000 so that will save them next time by already owning that portion. We were able to mitigate the risk of voiding the warranty on a 9-million-dollar turbine by completing all work to the manufacturer’s specifications. We also uncovered a water contamination issue that was not in the original scope of work. We provided corrective action to this problem saving a potential repeat catastrophic failure and voided warranty. We were also able to salvage the existing oil and save them the cost of replacing the oil of approximately $30,000.

9. What would have happened (bad) if they had not moved forward?

They would have voided to warranty on a multi-million-dollar turbine. They would have spent an extra $15,000 if they would have chosen the competition to perform the work. They would be a lot less educated on their system because we took the time to walk them through it with a hands-on explanation and mini-training.

10. What concerns did they have in the beginning?

They were uneasy about the whole process because nobody had taken the time to explain to them the purpose and benefits of performing a turbine flush. This was their first experience with it, with a lot on the line. They had never met us or heard of us before, so I am sure there was some doubt initially.

11. Why did they ultimately decide to move forward anyway?

I think we made them feel comfortable and gained their trust. We gave a very thorough step-by-step breakdown of the process and what the end results would look like. We also showed them the cost and downtime savings upfront.